Honda can thank Wal-Mart for the automaker's recent victory in a class-action lawsuit over Acura RL models equipped with the company's Collision Mitigation Braking System. The system was designed to warn drivers of a potential crash, tighten the vehicle's seat belts and automatically apply the brakes. However, lawyers for approximately 2,000 plaintiffs sued the Japanese automaker, arguing that the system may warn the driver too slowly, and it may not work at all – the lawsuit also complained the system may shut off altogether in foul weather. Reuters says the suit involves RL models equipped with the optional CMBS system purchased or leased between August 17, 2005 and December 16, 2008.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, California found that a court ruling in a Wal-Mart case last June effectively narrowed the scope of class-action lawsuits. The same ruling was found to apply to the suit against Acura as well. Previously, a district judge in Los Angeles had ordered that California's consumer protection laws could be applied to RL owners nationwide, but the new ruling repeals that judgment. The circuit court also reversed the district court's finding that car buyers could have relied on advertising by Honda about the collision system. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found there weren't enough common facts among the plaintiffs' claims to apply the California laws across the board.

At this point, it's unclear how the plaintiffs in the case will respond to the decision.


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  • 29 Comments
      Spartan
      • 2 Years Ago
      We have this system in our SHO, and I have yet to see it in action. I guess it's because we pay attention while driving. Go figure.
      Fonin
      • 2 Years Ago
      ok, lets all get it out of our systems NOW. we are enthusiasts, we love cars, we love driving them, we love talking about them. then there is everyone else, most who only care about the prestige or size of their vehicle to promote status. Will you or I ever let the collision warning system replace our attentiveness? NO. Would we rely on a system to alert you when you are too tired to drive? NO. Do we need laser guided cruise control? NO
        Fonin
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Fonin
        We love our ability to drive, we love our vehicles and the freedom they impart to us. We CARE about these things. other people? meh.
      MONTEGOD7SS
      • 2 Years Ago
      My automatic driving/makeup application system doesn't work, I'm gonna sue. :'(
      Andrew
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have the exact make and model Acura RL pictured above. I have had 5 cars in 10 years and this is by far the best one I've ever owned. My car now has over 110,000 miles, average 21/28 city/highway and has every creature comfort and techno-gadget a man could want. I drove a 2012 Volt yesterday, and in 3 years it is the first thing that really got me thinking that maybe I might be ready for something new. I get 20-25 rental cars a year for business, ranging from the mundane (Impalas/Camry/500) to the very good (Sonata/Optima) to the eye catchers (CTS/Camaro SS), so I feel justified in sentiment that Acura is really onto something with the RL. The reason dealers don't sell them isn't because it isn't good, it's because they don't have purchase incentives...EVER. Check out BMW and Mercedes pricing towards the end of the year...$5000-$7000 off MSRP on cars that had sat on the lot since January. Acura doesn't touch the RL...is it bad business? Maybe...but they aren't taking a loss on a car just to say sales numbers are higher than than they otherwise should be.
      Scr
      • 2 Years Ago
      It will go up to the Supreme Court to futher clarify the scope of class actions. The 9th's decision will be overturned, as 9th Circuit has the highest rate of cases being reversed some 75% to over 90% depending on the cases heard that year. What is the point of having the court if some 90% of it's cases end up reversed on appeal?
      JasonERF
      • 2 Years Ago
      Acura shouldn't win anything, ever, concerning the RL.
        onewayroll
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JasonERF
        Hey, I'm no Honda lover, but my bro has a 07 RL and it's a pretty nice ride. It's not a great car but it's far from bad.
        piggybox
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JasonERF
        unfortunately you are not a judge to tell us should or shouldn't
      Ridgie30
      • 2 Years Ago
      As usual, people need to concentrate on DRIVING...BUT you'd have to question the intelligence of anyone buying or leasing a RL of this vintage...Their decision to own an RL instantly makes their lawsuit 'frivolous'... I've owned a lot of Acuras and Hondas and I've driven this RL. There are A LOT of better choices for the same money...A LOT...That being said, driving is just that - driving - regardless of the safety systems on your vehicle...
      IBx27
      • 2 Years Ago
      How can 2,000 people be affected when they only sold 4.7 RL's in the past four years? Also, your car didn't apply the brakes for you while watching out for collisions for you...and you're complaining why? People who opt in for that kind of stuff should have their licenses taken back and be forced to take an intense road test to get it again.
        Fonin
        • 2 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        or they could get on the bus. if you don't want to deal with driving for yourself, and texting/podcasts/FBing are too important... take transit.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Robert Fahey
      • 2 Years Ago
      America speaks: “Give us better safety systems. In fact, we’ll sue if you don’t adopt them.” “Oh, but if you adopt them, we’ll STILL sue you -- if we think they failed to activate.” As I’ve said before, the American motorist falls into two categories: 1. Plaintiffs 2. Future plaintiffs
      tipdrip215
      • 2 Years Ago
      I didn't know 2000 RLs in this body style existed. All jokes about this car being a poor seller aside, maybe we should go back to the 60's and 70's when cars didn't have all these electronic gizmos so if Joe Doe the average driver has to make a panic stop, he can do it with his own good old feet. It's absolutely ridiculous what these electronic nannies are doing to people.
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      "..arguing that the system may warn the driver too slowly, and it may not work at all" So which is it? Does it not work at all (should be easy to prove)? Does it warn too "slowly"? here's a radical thought, driving is inherently risky pay attention when piloting a car.
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