Do You Own or Lease a Defective Honda Civic, Accord, or CR-V?
Call Nita Lemon Law Today!
A lawsuit filed on March 23rd in a federal court in Minnesota alleges that several Honda makes and models on the market were sold with serious engine defects. These vehicles all have the same engine in common – the Earth Dreams 1.5L direct-injection engine. According to reports, the defect allows the engine oil to become contaminated with gasoline, which can cause the engine to break down earlier than it should and cost more to maintain and repair. It could also lead to engine stalling while in operation, a situation that poses a serious safety hazard to drivers and others they share the road with.
If you purchased one of these allegedly defective vehicles, you could have rights to a repair, replacement, or other remedies under California lemon law. Before your Honda experiences catastrophic engine failure, or before you spend needless hundreds or thousands of dollars on vehicle maintenance or repair because of a defect in your vehicle, call Nita Lemon Law to learn about your rights.
Which Hondas Are Affected?
The lawsuit alleges defects in the 1.5L Earth Dreams engine. If you have a Honda Civic, Accord, or CR-V from certain model years between 2018 and 2021, you might have this engine in your Honda. Here is how it breaks down:
If you own or lease a Honda Civic with the EX, EX-L, Touring or Sport Touring trim levels with the model year 2019, 2020, or 2021, you likely have the 1.5L Earth Dreams engine. If you have the LX or Sport, your Honda likely has the 2.0L engine.
If you own or lease a Honda Accord with the LX 1.5T, Sport 1.5T, EX 1.5T or EX-L 1.5T trim levels with the model year 2018, 2019, 2020, or 2021, you have the 1.5L Earth Dreams engine. If you have the Sport 2.0T, EX-L 2.0T, or Touring 2.0T, you have the 2.0L engine.
If you own or lease a Honda CR-V with the EX, EX-L, or Touring trim levels with the model year 2019, 2021, or 2021, you likely have the 1.5L Earth Dreams engine. If you have the LX from the model year 2019, you likely have a 2.4L engine, but the LX for model years 2020 and 2021 does have the 1.5L Earth Dreams engine.
What’s Wrong with Honda’s 1.5L Earth Dreams Engine?
Engine oil provides a vital function of lubricating the engine’s moving parts. The direct injection method of the Earth Dreams engine puts gasoline straight into the combustion chamber of the engine for greater fuel efficiency, yet not all fuel gets burned in this process. This uncombusted fuel can make its way into the crankcase and mix with the oil in the oil pan. Once the oil becomes contaminated with gasoline, it gets diluted and loses its viscosity, or its ability to serve as an adequate lubricant. This can cause engine parts to wear out prematurely or cause the engine to seize up while on the highway or in traffic. At best, you could be facing additional costs to maintain, repair and replace engine parts that you shouldn’t have to. At worst, your car could suffer catastrophic engine failure while you are on the road, putting your life and others in danger.
Other problems associated with Honda’s 1.5L Earth Dreams engine include the strong smell of gasoline permeating the cabin. This odor is not only unpleasant, but it can cause headaches and dizziness while driving and create other adverse health impacts. Drivers have also reported problems with the heater and defrost, as well as intense vibrations that can be frightening, unnerving and even make the vehicle occupants physically ill.
What Are My Rights if I Have a Defective Vehicle?
The lawsuit alleges that Honda has known about the defect for some time yet has failed to recall the affected vehicles, repair or replace the defective engine, or even notify current and potential owners and lessees of the problem. The complaint points to an attempted recall in China to show Honda knew of the problem as far back as 2018, along with a warranty extension in 2019 that shows they are aware of the problem, although they refuse to officially acknowledge the problem, repair the vehicles, or warn drivers of the defect.
If the lawsuit gains certification as a class action and eventually settles, then you might someday be notified of the settlement and given a small amount of compensation. In the meantime, however, there may be steps you can take right now to get immediate relief from the cost, inconvenience, unpleasantness, and danger of driving a Honda with the 1.5L Earth Dreams engine. If your vehicle qualifies as a lemon under California lemon law, you could be entitled to one of the following three remedies:
- A refund of the amount of money you have put into the car, including having your loan balance paid off by the manufacturer
- A vehicle replacement with a new, similar vehicle under your original purchase contract
- A cash settlement that pays you for the decrease in your Honda’s value attributable to the defect
If you have already spent money on vehicle repairs related to this defect, you can also recover these costs and incidental expenses such as towing or car rental fees.
What Is a Lemon Under California Lemon Law?
If any of the following have happened during the first 18 months or 18,000 miles after vehicle delivery, then the vehicle is presumed to be a lemon under California lemon law:
- Two or more attempts to repair a serious safety defect
- Four or more attempts to repair the same problem
- Out of service for repair for more than 30 days total
The lemon law applies for as long as the original manufacturer warranty is active, including if you are an owner, lessee, or if you purchased a used vehicle that was still under warranty.
Get Immediate Assistance Dealing With Your Lemon Car
Given the problems identified with the 1.5L Earth Dreams engine, vehicles equipped with this engine could well be deemed a lemon, triggering rights under California lemon law. If you have an affected Honda Civic, Accord or CR-V, call Nita Lemon Law for a free discussion of your rights and options.