Gray Market Honda

I have a 2001 Honda Odyessey Mini Van made in Canada for the Canadian market that I bought from a US dealer. It had about 300 miles on it when I bought it and I was told it was techniqually a used car from Canada. I bought an extended warranty with it. That has expired, but now at a bit over 80K miles the transmission is starting to go. Honda extended the warranty on this model to 100K as they have deffective transmissions. Honda USA said they would fix anyone’s transmission if it went before 100K. However, my dealer(not where I bought it from) says they can not fix it for free as it is a “gray market” car. It will cost me $3800 to fix. If it were not a gray market, it would be free. I don’t see why Honda can make a car, which I buy through one of their US dealers and now they will not fix it for me, because it was a Canadian model. Any advice? Seems like such a scam that they will not honor fixing the defective transmission they produced. This is my fourth Honda I have ownned. But it may be my last. How can Honda, allow their dealers to sell a car that if it is recalled, will not be fixed free? Help anyone?

I am no lawyer, but it sounds like the dealer gets a lot less than $3800 from Honda for fixing that defect, so they are trying to enhance their bottom line by feeding you a line of BS.

So if you take this car to Canada is it covered? What if a Canadian was just driving through and the car broke down, will Honda of USA honor the warranty.

I would go beyond the dealer and contact Honda Customer Service.

I can’t see where the assembly was completed makes an once of difference. Many cars of US brands have been made out of the US and the warranties are good here. Now if it were a non US version the dealer many not have the parts or information to do the job, but I suspect Honda will take care of it. Contact Honda.

Read the terms of the warranty information that is–hopefully–sitting in the glove compartment. My best guess is that Honda of Canada is a different corporate entity than Honda of the US, and that distinction can make a world of difference in terms of legalities. A difference in corporate entities means that one entity has no responsibility to take care of the obligations of the other entity, and payment for warranty coverage is an example of that type of obligation.

Just as an example, here is some verbiage from the original warranty on my Subaru:
“These warranties are made by Subaru of America, Inc (SOA)…Any and all repairs must be performed by an authorized Subaru dealer located in the US…In the event of an emergency in which there are no authorized Subaru Dealers open for business within a distance of 75 miles, minor repairs may be made at any available repair facility. SOA will reimburse up to a maximum of $500. for any such emergency repairs that are eligible for coverage under the terms of this warranty.”

I’m sure that some of the wording would be somewhat different in your warranty, but corporations all build self-protections into their warranty coverage, and I am fairly sure that Honda of Canada would have similar restrictions on their warranty coverage. This is an example of the problems that can result from the purchase of “gray market” goods, whether the product is a camera, a watch, or a car.

First off it’s NOT a Grey Market car. This car was made in the US…then sold in Canada.

However…there may be issues with getting the warranty on this transmission. Because it was basically sold new through the Honda of Canada, Honda of USA may NOT cover this warranty. It’s weird, but it could be the case. Start going up the food chain.

Mike, there was a time when ALL Honda minivans were made in Canada only, in Alliston, Ontario. By now they may be produced in both countries, but a Canadian Honda minivan is defintely “made in Canada”. That deos not make it different from a US made one, except for some lighting and child restraint items.

Most Japanese car owner’s manuals and warrantites say that if the car breaks dowen on holiday trip in the other country, the local dealer will fix it under the applicable warranty.

Agree, this dealer is trying to weasel out; go to another one, and also call the local Honda zone office. If Honda also weasels out, I would take the car back to Canada and have it fixed there.

My opinion is that you’re stuck with both the car and the repair and it’s quite likely there are some government regulations at work behind all of this to boot.
That’s a risk you take by buying a car like this and since you were told about it pre-purchase then it’s not an illegal transaction.
People often buy a gray market car because they’re “getting a deal on it” without knowing about the risks involved; or because they know of the risks and are willing to overlook those risks due to the deal. All fine and well when the car is new and not a problem…

You will likely find that few, if any, car makers will warranty anything on a gray market car. I vaguely remember reading a story about half a dozen years ago in which Chrysler put out a press release stating they were not going to warranty anything on a gray market Chrysler product. It’s not a Honda-only thing.

VDCdriver is also correct about this applying to products other than cars and also correct about the corporate entity responsibility.

If it could be done, think of someone importing an Australian built Holden and showing up at a GM dealer for warranty work. That won’t happen either.

I can’t speak about 100K miles on a transmission, but I will tell you, and everyone I know, about HONDA’s not owning up to their warranty on BRAKES, which is my current issue. 30K miles, and a $180 repair is apparently ON ME, since they dissavow any responsibility for their crummy parts used in their brakes systems.
Fight with HONDA AMERICA, Customer Service, 1919 TORRANCE BLVD., TORRANCE CA. 90501

We’ve owned 2 Accords…and their brakes lasted well past 80k miles. Their OEM brakes are EXCELLENT. Brake wear has a lot to do with HOW YOU DRIVER.

I am not aware of any car manufacturer who warranties brake pads/linings, since they are a wear item that is mostly affected by the driving habits of the car’s owner (as Mike pointed out). If there is a defect in…let’s say…a caliper…and this led to premature wear-out of a set of brake pads, the replacement of those brake pads would be covered under warranty. But, simply having to replace brake pads earlier than you think is desirable is not a warranty-eligible situation.

If someone has a heavy foot on the brake pedal, and particularly if the car is driven mostly in urban settings, 30k is not actually considered to be an unusual point for pad replacement. Back in the '70s, there were some small GM coupes (marketed as Chevies, Pontiacs, Oldsmobiles and Buicks although I can’t recall any of the model names) that typically needed to have their brake linings replaced at about 11,000 miles–and even that extreme situation did not qualify for warranty coverage. Those same cars, when equipped with a V-8, needed to have the engine hoisted a few inches off of its mounts in order to be able to access two of the spark plugs. Needless to say, most of those cars went their entire life without having those plugs replaced–and this defect in design was also not a warranty item.

I still think there might be hope. IF this is a Canadian car and is warrantied by Honda of Canada, then when traveling through US, who is responsible for honoring the warranty?

That’s where the holiday clause comes in. But this van live in the USA.

I would contact 2 other dealers and ask them if they will do the warranty work. If not, contact Honda USA and discuss this issue with them. If it has to be a Honda of Canada job, contact them. You probably don’t live too far from Canada if you bought a Canadian car. $3800 buys a lot of vacation. Take some time off, if necessary, and get it fixed in Canada if the system requires it.

Have you tried going to a different Honda dealership to see if they will fix it for free? See what happens if you don’t volunteer the details surrounding the sale.

C’mon, they’ll check the VIN.

You bought this van because it was cheaper than a true US market Odyssey. I deal with this all the time (I make a living clearing things through US Customs and we get calls about these vehicles all the time). This is a classic case of caveat emptor. If the van was made for the Canadian market and you purchased it “out of market” it is now gray market (sorry Mike In NH).

You take Honda USA to task for selling this vehicle to you but they did not authorize the sale of this van. You said so yourself. “techniqually [sic] a used car from Canada”.

I am sorry for your troubles with the transmission. Hopefully you saved at least $3800 by buying the van “out of market” so the pain of the repair will be salved by knowing you at least came out even.

This story should serve as a warning to all those people looking to save a few bucks by buying “out of market”, typically Canadian, vehicles. Caveat Emptor. Let the Buyer Beware!