Carlos Ayala Perez vs. American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

On June 17, 2024, the jury awarded the plaintiffs $64,486.82 in damages against American Honda. Additionally, they imposed a $120,000 civil penalty for Honda’s willful failure to repurchase or replace the defective vehicle.

Case Background

The lawsuit was filed on December 22, 2021  by Plaintiff Carlos Ayala Perez and Francisco Alcantar Vargas in the California State, Fresno County, Superior Court (Case number: 21CECG03781) and was presided over by the Judges  Tyler Tharpe, Jeffrey Y. Hamilton, Jr., Kimberly Gaab, Kristi Culver Kapetan and Stephanie Negin. The plaintiffs, filed a Lemon Law lawsuit against American Honda Motor Co., Inc. for violations of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.


On October 19, 2019, Carlos Ayala Perez and Francisco Alcantar Vargas, residents of San Jose, California, purchased a 2020 Honda Pilot (VIN: 5FNYF6H90LB013215) from an authorized Honda dealership. The vehicle came with express and implied warranties from American Honda Motor Co., Inc., a California corporation with its registered office in Los Angeles. The plaintiffs used the vehicle primarily for family and household purposes, qualifying it as “consumer goods” under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.

Shortly after purchase, the Honda Pilot developed significant defects and nonconformities within the warranty period. The plaintiffs diligently delivered the vehicle to authorized Honda repair facilities multiple times in attempts to fix the recurring problems. Despite these repeated efforts, the dealership was unable to successfully repair the vehicle. They could not bring it into conformity with the warranty. The plaintiffs gave American Honda a reasonable number of opportunities to cure the defects. However, the issues persisted, causing continued frustration and inconvenience.


The plaintiffs suffered significant injury due to the defective Honda Pilot they purchased. The vehicle developed persistent electrical and exterior problems that substantially impaired its use, value, and safety. These defects caused the plaintiffs ongoing frustration, inconvenience, and potential safety risks. They experienced these issues as they attempted to use the vehicle for its intended family and household purposes. The plaintiffs also experienced financial harm from owning a defective vehicle that did not meet the promised quality standards. Additionally, the vehicle potentially lost value due to its issues. They incurred additional expenses and lost time from multiple repair attempts that failed to resolve the problems. The ongoing issues deprived the plaintiffs of the full use and enjoyment of their vehicle, causing stress and diminishing their quality of life


In Lemon Law lawsuit, the plaintiffs sought general, special, and actual damages and requested rescission of the purchase contract and restitution of all monies spent on the vehicle. They asked for compensation for the diminution in value of the Honda Pilot. Additionally, they claimed incidental and consequential damages resulting from the vehicle’s defects and failed repairs. The plaintiffs demanded civil penalties of up to two times the amount of actual damages, citing American Honda’s willful failure to comply with the Song-Beverly Act. They requested prejudgment interest at the legal rate. The plaintiffs sought formal court recognition of their revocation of acceptance of the vehicle. Finally, they demanded reasonable attorney’s fees and costs associated with bringing the lawsuit.

Key Arguments and Proceedings

Legal representation

  • Plaintiff(s):Carlos Ayala Perez | Francisco Alcantar Vargas
    • Counsel for Plaintiff: Roger Kirnos| Maite C. Colon


  • Defendant(s):American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
    • Counsel for Defendants: Julian G. Senior|  Nicholas Secord | Jonathan Kom | Ryan E. Kreda 


Firstly, they claimed breach of express warranty. They asserted that American Honda failed to bring their 2020 Honda Pilot into conformity with the terms of its written warranty despite a reasonable number of repair attempts. Secondly, they alleged breach of implied warranty of merchantability. They argued that the vehicle was unfit for its ordinary purpose, fell short of promised quality standards, and did not match the quality generally acceptable in the automotive trade. Before initiating legal action, the plaintiffs formally revoked their acceptance of the vehicle. They contended that American Honda neglected its legal obligation to promptly offer either a repurchase or replacement of their defective Honda Pilot. This failure to address the persistent issues with the vehicle, despite multiple opportunities for repair, formed the basis of their legal claims under California’s consumer protection laws.


The company denied all allegations and asserted 18 affirmative defenses. These defenses included claims that the plaintiffs misused or failed to maintain the vehicle properly, that the vehicle was not defective and remained fit for transportation, and that the company had a qualified dispute resolution process in place. American Honda argued that the plaintiffs’ claims were barred by various legal and procedural reasons, including the statute of limitations and failure to provide proper notice. The company requested dismissal of the complaint, judgment in its favor, and recovery of legal costs.

Jury Verdict

In Lemon Law lawsuit, on June 17, 2024, the Fresno County jury calculated the plaintiffs’ total damages to be $64,486.82, which included the vehicle’s purchase price of $45,850, finance charges of $8,800, sales tax and other fees of $4,320.55, and incidental and consequential damages of $7,492.81. The jury determined that the plaintiffs had driven the vehicle for 2,584 miles before first delivering it for repair, resulting in a usage value of $976.54. This amount was subtracted from the total damages. Additionally, the jury found that American Honda willfully failed to repurchase or replace the vehicle. As a result, they imposed a civil penalty of $120,000, which was within the allowable limit of two times the total damages.

Court Documents:

Available upon Request