When it comes to gas mileage figures, we're always told "your mileage may vary".

It's when that mileage varies outside of reasonable expectations that people start to take issue, and that's exactly what happened when 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid owner Heather Peters was unable to match Honda's 50 mpg claims for the car.

Peters won the resulting small claims lawsuit, but now the LA Times reports that California and four other states have won more time to decide whether they'll object to a proposed class-action settlement on the matter.

Honda had to pay almost $10,000 in damages to Peters earlier this month after the Torrance Small Claims Court ruled in favor of the Civic owner's case. Honda is planning to appeal the ruling.

Peters objects to a class-action settlement, because it pays so little to the owners - as little as $200 - while the attorneys involved profit massively, up to $8.5 million.

Iowa, Massachusetts, Texas and Washington have also been granted more time to decide how to handle the proposal, to which they have until February 29 to object. The court will decide whether to accept the settlement on March 16.

If the class-action lawsuit doesn't go ahead, Honda could instead stand to lose millions from individual small claims cases similar to that launched by Heather Peters.

Do you find yourself struggling to match the EPA's gas mileage figures for your own vehicle? Why not check out our tips for improving you mileage? You don't even need to use hypermiling techniques - simply knowing your car better is a good way of making the most from every drop of gas.


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