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This is why some people didn't want to settle with Honda. Heather Peters, who took Honda to small claims court in Torrance, CA recently over claims of the Civic Hybrid's fuel economy, has been awarded $9,867.19 in damages. That's almost the maximum allowed in small claims court ($10,000) and is a decision that might have a big impact on future class-action litigation.

Think back to 2007, and the case of John True, the man who sued Honda for what he said were misleading claims about the fuel economy of the Civic Hybrid. The EPA said the car got 42 combined miles per gallon, but True got more like 32. Honda settled what became a class-action lawsuit out of court in 2009, although even at that time we were wondering if it was a fair deal. The proposed settlement gave Civic hybrid drivers the option to get either up to $1,000 off the purchase of a new Honda or a