Dealer will not honor the warranty

I bought a new 2020 Honda Pilot back in October which I myself only drive. It has 25k miles and I’ve taken good care of it. I love using the sunroof and recently it malfunctioned. I pushed the switch for automatic full open when I heard a loud “clacking” sound. It got stuck midway and I had to play with the switch to finally get it to close. I tried to open it a couple more times and it paused midway and I had to hold the switch to close it fully. I took it into a Honda Dealer the next day. I expected it to be covered under the warranty since the car is just shy of 2 years old and the mileage is still well within the warranties range. I was told it would be a $3000 repair bill and not covered under warranty due to physical damage. The only damage they could show me was to the track via pictures. I explained this was due to the malfunction and I and no one else handled the sunroof beyond its intended use and my vehicle showed no other signs of being tampered with. They will not budge and Honda will not help. Thoughts anyone?

It’s unclear what you mean by this. If your warranty (the one you got in writing when you purchased the vehicle) says this is covered, and the dealer is not providing you the satisfaction you believe you deserve, you’ll have to contact the manufacturer (Honda) directly. Usually there is Honda customer contact information in your owner’s manual.

Is the dealership saying they believe you damaged the sunroof? Did you or anyone else attempt a diy repair on the sunroof?

If you have already contacted Honda corporate, you might try and reach out to them on social media. Almost all negative posts get a reply from customer service. They will be more likely to help you if they are worried that you might post a negative comment.

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Lawyer up.

I’d get a second opinion from another Honda dealership.

Sometimes extras like the sunroof are installed by the dealership, so they’re not covered by Honda’s warranty. Check the fine print in your purchase paperwork.


It might be the way you presented the story. Go to another dealer and just tell them the sunroof stopped working. Don’t elaborate much on what you touched, etc.
Let them figure it out.
If they deny warranty, then call Honda and open a case.


I’m pretty sure sunroofs on recent cars are all factory installed, so it should be covered.


Clarify a few things first. You say this is a “new” 2020 bought last October.

Does this mean a brand new (as in 4 or 5 miles) on it?
You say it has 25k miles on it. Did you put all of those miles on it and if not how many miles on it when purchased?
What is the in-service date? (Meaning first sold brand new or used as a dealer demonstrator.)
If this car had miles before you bought it then what does your window warranty form state? You should have a copy.

Point here being that if this car had a history before you damage could be inflicted for a number of reasons.

They took pictures of what appeared to be a broken track on the sunroof. It malfunctioned during normal operation and nor I or anyone else attempted any diy. I took it straight to the dealership to be looked at. Honda stated it was my best bet to try and resolve it with the dealer or get a second opinion at another dealer. Honda said it could take weeks to months for them to send someone out to look into the matter.

I bought it brand spanking new with 6 miles on it. Warranty states accessories and the like that come with the vehicle when purchased are covered for three years or 36k miles.

It was factory installed.

I’d still recommend a second opinion from another Honda dealership.

If the track movement was obstructed by debris this would not be a manufactures defect. Did they state the failure was caused by an outside influence?

As @Mustangman said, you need a lawyer. One nasty letter on a lawyer’s letterhead may be all that’s needed.


I agree this should be a warrantable fix UNLESS as Nevada mentions it broke due to an outside influence.

Here’s the questions and you state that you use it a lot. Open and some debris enters the track maybe…

You said you switched to automatic full open and then heard a loud clacking sound.
You then said that had to play with the switch until it finally closed. It’s also stated that in closing it paused and you had to hold the switch to close it fully.

That comes across as forcing the issue instead of just stopping. So did you advise the dealer that you forced the issue? Any frustration on your part during this episode?


Shady dealers avoid warranty work like the plague. (probably should stop using that phrase as it’s no longer true for some people today)

They don’t make any money doing warranty work.

The part is free from manufacturer, and the manufacturer dictates the labor hours because they’re paying for it.

And the manufacturer is going to believe the dealer even if they’re lying thru their teeth.

If possible, sue them in small claims court.

No lawyers fee.

Where I live the damage limit is $15,000.

So , I could sue them for the repair, and then ask the court for punitive damages for wasting mine and the courts time, and to teach the shady dealer a lesson.



That is not completely true. Honda will help as you stated later, but they want you to try a few things first before they go to the expense of sending out a representative. Do as they ask, it will help you with getting their cooperation in the future.

Also at the first dealership, go back and DO NOT accept the service writers opinion as the final answer. Ask to see his supervisor. If you don’t get a satisfactory answer, go all the way to the general manager. You will often get much better results with a supervisor or a general manager.

If you chose to use social media, be careful to only state the facts. Do not make any general statements like “Honda wont help”. Honda may very well be willing to help after you help them. Also avoid calling the dealer “a crook”, just present the facts.


Could be debated. If there’s the sort of normal debris on the track that might get there by parking under a tree say, still a properly designed sun roof might not be able to open and close, but the car owner imo should be able to expect that the debris on the track wouldn’t break the sun roof; or if it did the new car warranty would cover the repair .


You’re getting good advice. Our family has had several occasions where we got warranty satisfaction only after escalating up the corporate chain, above the dealership itself (other manufactures in our case). It took a long time, once about 4 months, for a district rep. to inspect the car, but then on things flowed smoothly.

Endeavor to stay calm but business-like, remain non-judgemental. Try to build a positive relationship with someone in a position of authority. Check in every few weeks, don’t let the matter die. Give the corporate escalation process some time, but ask for a specific date by which you expect to hear from someone and check back the day afterwards. If things stall, a letter from an attorney might help, it tells them you aren’t going away.

Avoid personal or judgemental attacks or public statements that could psychologically harden the dealerships position or allow them to dismiss you as a nut case. Social media has become so toxic it might doom your chances. Contacting a newspaper or radio station “problem resolution” columnist with your situation is a socially acceptable way to spotlight your issue and often gets results.

To prevent them running out the clock on the warranty - establish a paper trail, documenting each encounter in writing - do this by obtaining and saving paperwork detailing the problem from each time you take it in. If they don’t or won’t write up a visit, follow up each visit (and call) with a letter summarizing the interaction, who you saw, specific issue discussed - keep a copy and send it by registered mail (USPS) and keep the receipt delivery confirmation. You can use registered mail if you want to ensure it’s signed for by a specific addressee.

Small claims court is an option (your paper trail can help wonders), but it can be hard to enforce a judgement, i.e., collect. A coworker succeeded with this after learning a dealership’s bank account number and having it attached - the specific account was empty when the paperwork arrived, but they paid up right afterwards.

Hang in there, it seems likely to be fixed on warranty, eventually. If they do fix it, be gracious in thanking them and try to part on friendly, or at least “professional” terms.