Woman takes unique road to sue Honda over mileage

By LINDA DEUTSCH | January 3, 2012 | 3:50 AM EST

TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — A woman with a complaint against Honda Motor Co. is taking an unusual route for her lawsuit. Instead of joining a class action involving her 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid, she is going to small claims court.

Heather Peters hopes to get $10,000 in damages, far more than Honda owners would get in a proposed nationwide class-action settlement.

Peters says she was promised her car would get 50 miles per gallon, but it didn't come close. After the battery started deteriorating, she said it was getting only about 30 miles to the gallon.

Peters is a former lawyer and believes she has a better chance in small claims court, where defendants can't be represented by high-priced lawyers. A hearing is scheduled Tuesday in Torrance, where American Honda has its headquarters.