A Texas woman has filed a class-action lawsuit against Honda Motor Co. and its odometer supplier, Nippon Seiki Co., alleging that the two conspired to use faulty odometers in Honda's Odyssey minivan.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern Division of Texas, alleges that the odometers in 1999-2004-model Odysseys inflate mileage by between 2 and 4 percent.
Consumer lawsuits over altered odometer readings are common. But in most cases, a retailer is accused of altering the odometer of a used vehicle. The Texas lawsuit is unusual for alleging that an odometer was intentionally designed to misread.
The lawsuit alleges that, as a result of the higher odometer reading, Odyssey owners receive less warranty coverage than they should.
According to the lawsuit, the alleged flaw would deprive an owner with a 36,000-mile warranty of 900 miles of coverage.
The lawsuit estimates that the entire U.S. owner body of 1999-2004-model Odysseys is being deprived of 500 million miles of basic warranty coverage.
This month, American Honda filed a response to the lawsuit, denying the allegation that Honda had purposefully designed an odometer to perform incorrectly.
A spokesman for the automaker in Torrance, Calif., declined to comment on the case.
Nippon Seiki manufactures odometers and other auto parts in North America through its New Sabina Industries Inc. subsidiary in Sabina, Ohio.
New Sabina Industries also is named in the lawsuit.