Am I being out of line with Honda?


#1

So here is the long & short of it. I bought a brand new 2006 Civic while I was living on the East coast. Ever since I have had it, I would get water on the pass. floor whenever I used the ac or defrost. After many trips to the dealer it is still leaking. Now I move to the west coast, a dealer finds out why it’s leaking, a cracked housing, & they want me to pay ($800) because the warranty is up! After going round round with the dealer I call Honda directly - they offer to pay half. No deal. If this would have been properly diagnosed the first time it would have been fixed for free under warranty. I’ve called Honda several times, talked to supervisors, managers, you name it - still no help. I am about to go on an anti Honda crusade. Is it just me or should I be getting a little more support from them. Any ideas, suggestions would be appreciated.


#2

If your initial report of the problem was within the warranty period they should honor the warranty and fix it free of charge. Did you keep records of your earlier trips to the dealer?

I think you have a good case. Rather than phone calls to Honda, send letters and keep good records. The fact that you bought the car on the east coast may affect how you go about dealing with this legally- although Honda really shouldn’t treat you any differently.

Talk to a local consumer advocate regarding your rights. You should not need a lawyer.


#3

If this was a problem that was reported while the vehicle was still under warranty, but wasn’t fixed, but is discovered after the vehicle goes out of warranty, this is called an ongoing warranty issue. Just because the problem was found after the vehicle went out of warranty, doesn’t leave the dealer off the hook. Because the problem wasn’t fixed while the vehicle was still under warranty.

Tester


#4

I figured it was an ongoing problem too & should still be covered under warranty. Honda does not see it that way. I just can’t believe how stubborn they are being. One of the supervisors even told me I probably broke the thing.
I do have some records not all because some got lost or thrown out in the move. I would think one docemented case is enough.


#5

How many miles on this vehicle? It seems to me this problem should still be covered under the factory warranty time wise.

Other than out of warranty mileage wise, I don’t see how they can refuse to repair it unless the damage was done by something or someone.
Are you over the 36k miles period?
With a previous record, and especially if the car is under the mileage, I don’t see how they can refuse to repair this.

It sounds like we’re talking about an evaporator case here and it’s possible that this plastic case could have been cracked during the A/C installation.
You might try to verify that the A/C unit on this was actually installed at the factory and was in place when the car rolled off the assembly line.

Sometimes A/C units may be installed after the car leaves the factory and that opens up a story of its own about warranty periods.


#6

I put alot of miles on my vehicles. This one has over 60k on it. It is the evaporator case that is cracked. There trying to tell me I broke it within the first few thousand miles which is when I first complained about it. I find it hard to believe hoe someone could damage this after it has already been installed since it is so hard to even get at.


#7

I have a feeling some meatball mechanic broke the crappy plastic nipple off the heater (evaporator too) box when he was trying to get the box to drain after your FIRST complaint. Not wanting to admit his culpability, they just stone-walled you from that point on.

The California dealership knows SOMEBODY broke it, but really doesn’t want to find out who. You are left holding the bag. But you are right, Honda should fix it.


#8

Small Claims Court


#9

Unfortunately, thats probably where I will end up. When I told Honda I would file a complaint with the Alaska Attorney General, Dept of Consumer Protection & Better Business Bureau, they seemed to care-less. Small claim court definately is an option.


#10

You know what would be fun? If you had the time?

Park in front of the Honda dealer, and place a large sign on top of the roof that states, “ASK ME HOW HONDA HONORS ITS WARRANTY COVERAGE”.

Then see what the dealer does.

Tester


#11

Well, when you’re out of warranty you’re out.
You can certainly bring a suit in small claims but I don’t think there is any way in the world you would win it.

The reason being is - who are you going to go after? If one assumes that either this case was cracked when installed at the factory or was broken by someone who was dinking around with it previously then how are you going to prove which one?

You can’t go after a west coast dealer for what an east coast dealer MIGHT have done either.
You will have to provide the preponderance of the evidence that shows you have had on-going and multiple complaints over this, but since you state that records have been “lost or thrown out” and that you think “one” example should be enough, then you might have a very tough row to hoe.

If this is a simple crack in the case and since the case only has a small amount of non-pressurized drip water inside, then why can’t someone simply wipe the crack down and smear some RTV sealer over it.

(If the problem is the drain nipple being cracked on the evaporator housing then it is also possible for this to happen if someone shoves a heavy foot forward and up on the passenger side floorboard. This may be a point used against you if this actually got into court, so figure the answer out now.)


#12

You should forget about the Better Business Bureau, IMHO. If you don’t know why I am saying this, then post back and I will explain why this is almost always a total waste of time, effort, and possibly money.


#13

Isn’t there some kind of claims arbitration process? I seem to recall reading that in my Toyota warranty manual that came with the car manuals. Check your owner’s manual, Honda may have something similar. You could avoid the hassle of small claims court that way and likely you would prevail given you have evidence of the problem while under warranty. Good luck!


#14

go to consumerist.com and look up “executive e-mail carpet bomb.” Then unleash one on Honda. The vast majority of the time, this tactic will result in you getting everything you want and then some.

Honda’s in the wrong here. You reported the problem. Many times. They were too stupid to find the problem. Their incompetence is not an excuse to get out of the warranty coverage.


#15

do tell.


#16

Your first step should be to write or call the dealer that you took it to on the east coast and request a history of repairs on your car. They keep all this in their computer and Honda should also have this record. You may be able to get this printout from your current dealer, but the original dealer can surely provide it. Then contact Honda with this record, they should have to honor the warrantee. If they don’t, they could be subject to some legal action. Once confronted with the record, I’m sure they will comply.


#17

I have contacted all the dealers involved. Somehow I feel I will end up on an anti Honda Crusade.


#18

Since it leaks all of the time this means the crack is down low and accessible.

A tube of RTV is 3 something dollars here and a small claim filing is 25 + the aggravation.

Would it not be simpler to just get some RTV, peel the passenger side carpet back a few inches, dab some RTV on the crack in question, and quit worrying about it?

You can continue a crusade if you want but your chances of winning even a small claims suit after 60k miles is going to be around slim and none.

Retain an attorney and you may possibly get somewhere.
Option A. Blood sucking attorney - about 500 dollar retainer on average here, to start with. (Honda has an entire building full on retainer)
Option B. RTV - 3-4 dollars and 3-4 minutes.


#19

Okay. First we need to establish the fact that, contrary to what most people believe, the Better Business Bureau is NOT a governmental entity with regulatory or punitive powers. Instead, it is a private organization that businesses join voluntarily, for an annual fee.

To be fair, patronizing a business that is a member of the BBB is probably going to result in better treatment for the customer. But, note that I said probably, not definitely.

Let’s say that you have a dispute with a merchant, and you contact the BBB. The first thing that they will determine is whether or not the offending business is a paid-up member. If it is not a member, you will be told that the BBB will take note of the information that you provided, but that they are powerless to intervene with that business.
Result for the consumer? Nada.

Now, let’s say that you contact the BBB and they find that the offending company is a member. What will they do? They will contact the business in question, and they will request that the company satisfies your complaint. The key word is REQUEST, not ORDER. What is the penalty for a business that does not satisfy a customer? For a few offenses, the penalty is…nothing… other than to note that information in the files of the BBB.

If a member business begins to develop a pattern of unresolved complaints, then the BBB gets serious and informs the business that they will not accept the annual membership fee unless the business begins to do the right thing in terms of satisfying customers. So, the harshest penalty that the BBB can enact is to refuse to accept the annual membership fee from a business. Wow! That’s really harsh!

So, as I have implied, patronizing a business that is a long-term member of the BBB will likely result in a better experience for a customer, but it is not a guarantee of anything. A business could join for a few years, get those nice decals to display on their front door, and then turn into a business that abuses customers. On the other hand, patronizing a business that is not a member of the BBB is a real crap-shoot. That business could be great in terms of customer service, or it could be run by crooks.

Oh, and by the way, the BBB sells local franchises. And, in some areas, the local franchise-holder charges a fee for a consumer to file a complaint.

So, clearly, the BBB is a profit-making organization, and is not a governmental organization with regulatory or punitive powers. If someone is looking for actual enforcement of regulations, then that person should look to their local consumer protection agency (usually county or state operated), rather than the BBB.


#20

thanks for the info. at times like these i wish i still liven in connecticut - the attorney general there is a bull dog. huge on consumer rights.