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My Honda Lemon

How is it right that Honda can sell me a “brand new,” Civic and 3 months into ownership there are major problems with the car resulting in a $3,000 replacement of the entire AC system and a complete malfunctioning of the computer system that causes the screen to flash that ALL systems are in failure? You will not work with me and expect me to accept that “there won’t be anymore problems,” with the car after you fix it. I don’t believe and you don’t either. You will not buy the vehicle back and are forcing me, a FIVE time buyer of Honda sedans, to use the Florida Lemon Law to get you to take it back. So much for customer loyalty. Obviously that’s a one-way street.

If the Lemon Law in FL is as consumer-friendly as the one in my state, a person who “wins” their case gets his/her choice between a “comparable” replacement vehicle, or a full refund–including MV fees.
In some states, a “win” only gets you a replacement vehicle, so I hope for your sake that the FL gives you that option. Clearly–you don’t want a replacement vehicle from Honda!

In the meantime, you need to peruse the content of FL’s statute, in order to “have all of your ducks in a row”. That usually means that you have to be able to demonstrate that the problem(s) were not fixed by the third repair attempt, or that it took an excessive amount of time in their shop to fix the problems.
As annoying as the stated problems are, if they were fixed in a fairly short period of time, or if they were fixed by the third repair attempt, then you probably won’t qualify for a Lemon Law settlement.

As the old saying tells us, The Devil is in the details, so you need to read the details of the FL statute in order to see if you qualify.

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You are obviously upset, assuming the repairs were made at no cost to you, you have your warranty left I assume, but in my estimation does not qualify yet for lemon law.

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I’ve gotten the details of the law. I’m collecting documents, etc. Florida is a bit more business-friendly, so I’m meeting all the deadlines in the statute as required. The dealership offered to “trade,” the vehicle in, but when it all shook out I was going to be in the hole for $9,200. No thanks.

Not quite to the threshold of the Florida Lemon Law but they’ve had it for about three weeks and they have a total of 40 cumulative days to handle any nonconformities. Once the cumulative days are at 40 then I’m filing. I sent AHM Inc a demand letter as required at 15 cumulative days… We’ll see. Pretty bad for a car under 4k miles though.

Fortunately, for you, the problems occured during the warranty period. This follows a statistical distribution known is the negative exponential distribution. When a new machine is put in service, most of the failures will occur almost right away. As the mileage and time increase, failures will diminish over the expected service life of the machine. The warranty is there to catch these initial problems. Manufacturers used to set the warranty at 90 days or 4000 miles. It looks like your failures occured within this period. Since today’s warranties are much longer, you should be o.k.
If the dealer’s repairs are satisfactory, I would drive on.


Agreed. Every other Honda I’ve ever purchased went to almost 90k miles without a hitch. It’s been about 12 years since I’ve purchased the last and I don’t know how quality is overall nowadays, but it’s been disappointing to say the least.

There isn’t a single manufacturer that made 100% perfect cars all the time. Never has happened…never will. I understand your frustration. You spend good money on a new vehicle and expect it to be perfect. And unless there’s a major design flaw, I’ll bet the vast majority of Civic owners haven’t had 1 single problem. Unfortunately sh*t happens. It’s a bummer when it happens to you.

In all probability there probably won’t be. BTW - this has more to do with the dealer then Honda. Dealerships are franchises.

@SGraves. It is disappointing to have problems in a new car. I had the same problem with a Toyota 4Runner we purchased back in 2003. Part of the problem was the failure of the dealer’s service department to solve the problem. Ultimately, the problem was solved and the 4Runner has been trouble free in the 17 years we have owned the vehicle.

I have purchased upright vacuum cleaners for our church and for my son from Big Lots. These vacuum cleaners come with a factory warranty and are sold as “factory reconditioned”. My guess is that these vacuum cleaners came back to the original store that sold them and then were returned to the distributor. If the defect was minor, it was repaired. I never had a problem with these reconditioned machines. Our custodian has stressed tested them–equivalent if driving a car and doing a wide open throttle 0-60 test at every stoplight. These vacuum cleaners have held up well under commercial conditions.

We turned into a vacuum idiot. At home bought a nice hoover at goodwill for $10 for the porch, needed new wheels, $8, works great, all the bells and whistles. Oreck at the cabins not working so good, $265 for a complete rebuild. I think the dealer was junk. Wanted to pick it up, it was ready he said, nothing done to it screws from the bottom gone and plate on the bottom held on by electrical tape. Luckily we had 2 Orecks 1 for each cabin, and the repair one I will pick up in June. Dealers, repair shops for anything can be hit or miss.

They didn’t build the car, Honda did. Your beef is with the manufacturer. Their hands are tied. The dealer probably shouldn’t have made the trade offer. They should have known all it would do is make you angrier.


What year are you talking about? Honda had problems with the 2016 Civic.

My current experience with Honda on my 2019 Accord was: after 6 failures and 37 days out of service and 3 separate demand letters (after each of VA lemon law qualifier tests was reached) they are still claiming nothing serious is going on and they reject to buy it back, even when it qualifies on multiple “either of these” factors under VA law.

My bet is: Honda made so many changes in the last generation and received such a flood of problems that they are trying to plug the holes in the levy with all their fingers.
All the tactics of denial were deployed on me, with the latest twist of them rejecting to give me a written response on my last request.
They are clearly testing me on if I’m indeed going to deploy the lawyer on them.
I will not hesitate to do that, but for now I went above the head of the “mediator” assigned to me and requested response from his supervisor, they are cobbling the answer “since the case has to be reconsidered”.
If that is not “yes”, the only next step is to actually go with professional legal representation :frowning:

Sounds like Honda to me. I’ve gotten so many excuses that it’s ridiculous. Stick with it brother…

I’m not giving in. I’ll stay at it as long as it takes…and a lawyer is not off the table at all.

Scott W. Graves,Sr.
Spes Mea In Deo

No experience w/Florida Lemon Law, but it seems only fair — I know it takes a lot of chutzpah to believe the legal system has anything to do with fairness … lol … — but still it seems only fair to give Honda a chance to effect a timely repair before throwing in the towel. They’ll provide you an acceptable loaner in the meantime, right? If it’s only a couple of weeks with the loaner, suggest to give them a chance. Honda may be running into some technical problems in making their vehicle designs overly complex. It’s fairly easy to design a complex desktop computer that’s reliable when sitting still on top of a desk, always between 60 and 80 degrees F; but trying to put that same sort of complicated electronics into a car that’s going over bumps, around corners, and a much higher temperature range, that’s a major challenge.

Oh no, not another of George’s stories … lol … years ago I happened to be watching while a coworker was busily designing a circuit board , when his boss walked into the room. Pages and pages of D-sized sheets on the table. Boss: “how’s it going?”. Friend: “Mostly ok, but I’m having to correct some issues doing the timing diagrams now.” Boss: “timing diagram problems? it’s a digital circuit, and/or logic is all, it either works or it doesn’t” Friend (getting red in the face): “it’s pretty clear you’ve never designed a digital circuit that’s used in any actual real-world product” … lol …

It’s not about complexity of the task, but about maturity of the product delivery process in the company.
I think Honda decided to cut corners in all these pesky tests/approvals/changes process thingies, which were slowing down the time to market, but these processes were there for a good reason, so now the consequences come.

If I had been your friend’s boss and he spoke to me that way, I would have fired him immediately, and had security escort him off the premises.

As a manager and past VP of engineering…That is extremely unlikely you could do that. Most mid-size companies have work place policies in place. Unless that violated a work place policy (which I seriously doubt), then it would be impossible to fire him. You’d also have to get HR involved. And even if it was a violation of company policy it would still be extremely unlikely to fire him.

With that said - I’ve stood up to incompetent managers before. Especially when I was doing consulting to the insurance industry. Most insurance companies have a policy of a manager must have a degree in Business. Even if that manager is managing engineers. Which is probably the WORSE business policy I’ve ever ran across. Several times I’ve had to tell my manager at the time that what he was asking was IMPOSSIBLE and he had no idea what he was talking about (which was so true).

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I have stood-up to incompetent school principals, and I always won–much to their dismay.

When the last one of those fools tried to do something that I knew was both unethical and illegal, I told him, “You do what you have to do, and I’ll do what I have to do”. I phoned a couple of members of the Board of Ed who conducted an investigation, he rescinded his original plan, and he never spoke to me again.

Not having to speak to that charlatan again made it a win-win for me.