Honda’s “Hands-Free” Battery Draining Malfunction Now Faces Class Action

Disclosing product defects goes with the territory for many manufacturers. Now automaker American Honda Motor Company is looking at a class action which alleges that Honda failed to disclose a defect in its “HandsFreeLink” Bluetooth calling system, offered in Acura vehicles.

Plaintiffs allege that the HFL system is defective: failing to switch off when not in use—sometimes even after the car’s ignition is turned off. When the HFL system does not turn off when it should, it causes significant electrical drain, resulting in prematurely dead batteries as well as failed electrical components. This has left many Acura drivers with cars that don’t reliably start, that require frequent and expensive replacements of batteries and other electrical components, and may ultimately lose power while being driven.

According to plaintiffs, Honda knew about this dangerous defect but did nothing to alert current or potential Acura drivers about it. They also did not take action to remedy it. Since 2005, Honda has issued five total internal Technical Service Bulletins to its dealers that describe this defect, but which offer no meaningful solution, warranty protection, or recall. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has also received complaints about the HFL defect as well as the cascading hazards it presents.

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