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Honda, Acura Vehicles Download Texts Washington Class Action

Is your vehicle’s infotainment system downloading and recording your text messages? The complaint for this class action alleges that vehicles made by the American Honda Motor Co., Inc. have infotainment systems that download and record text messages from any smartphone connected with them. The complaint alleges that this is a violation of a state law, the Washington Privacy Act (WPA).

The class for this action is all persons who, between September 24, 2018 and September 24, 2021, had their text messages recorded by the infotainment system in a Honda or Acura vehicle while the persons were residents of the state of Washington.

The WPA prohibits any person or entity from intercepting or recording private communications unless except with the permission of all parties to the communication.

The infotainment systems installed in Honda vehicles allow for smartphones to be connected so that they can be operated through the system. This includes the ability to make and receive calls through the system and to play music stored on the smartphones. The systems are made to operate with both Apple and Android devices.

The complaint alleges, “On information and belief, infotainment systems in Honda vehicles from at least 2014 onward also download and store a copy of all text messages on smartphones when [they are] connected to infotainment systems in Honda vehicles.”

The complaint also suggests that the part of the infotainment systems that extract the text messages are made by Berla Corporation.

It seems that the stored messages are not accessible to the owners of the vehicle or associated smartphone. The complaint quotes Berla as saying, “Our vehicle forensics tools are available to law enforcement, military, civil and regulatory agencies, and select private industry organizations.”

The complaint quotes Berla’s founder and CEO, Ben LeMere, as saying, on a podcast, “Your phone died, you’re gonna get in the car, plug it in, and there’s going to be this nice convenient USB port for you. When you plug it into this USB port, it’s going to charge your phone, absolutely. And as soon as it powers up, it’s going to start sucking all your data down into the car.”

It also cites a story told by LeMere on a podcast about pulling the data from seventy phones out of a single vehicle rented at an airport. “All of their call logs, their contacts and their SMS history, as well as their music preferences, songs that were on their device, and some of their Facebook and Twitter things as well.”

The complaint alleges, “Berla specifically restricts access to its systems, making them available primarily to law enforcement and private investigation service providers.”

One of the two plaintiffs in this case owns a Honda vehicle and has plugged his smartphone into the vehicle. The other sent at least one text message to the first. Neither of them gave their permission for their messages to be intercepted or recorded.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Privacy

Most Recent Case Event

Honda, Acura Vehicles Download Texts Washington Complaint

September 24, 2021

Is your vehicle’s infotainment system downloading and recording your text messages? The complaint for this class action alleges that vehicles made by the American Honda Motor Co., Inc. have infotainment systems that download and record text messages from any smartphone connected with them. The complaint alleges that this is a violation of a state law, the Washington Privacy Act (WPA).

Honda, Acura Vehicles Download Texts Washington Complaint

Case Event History

Honda, Acura Vehicles Download Texts Washington Complaint

September 24, 2021

Is your vehicle’s infotainment system downloading and recording your text messages? The complaint for this class action alleges that vehicles made by the American Honda Motor Co., Inc. have infotainment systems that download and record text messages from any smartphone connected with them. The complaint alleges that this is a violation of a state law, the Washington Privacy Act (WPA).

Honda, Acura Vehicles Download Texts Washington Complaint
Tags: Recording Electronic Communications Without Consent, Your Privacy