My Honda Lemon

@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.


At the company I worked for, >3000 employees, everyone was an “at will” employee, and I had authority within my department to summarily discharge anyone for insubordinate behavior, without prior HR approval. I never needed to fire anyone there, I simply made someone’s life miserable until he quit.

My company is less the 500 people and we are all at will employees. But if the company has any type of “Company Guidelines” (which every corporate lawyer I know says is a must), then there’s probably a section on dismissal of employee.

The other part is if you company has any type of contracts with the State or Federal government, then they put requirements on your company. Mostly to do with hiring practices.

I’m not saying companies don’t do it…but trust me it’s a lot harder then it seems. If one person made one outburst the whole time they worked there and the manager just fired him for that…There’s a good chance the company could/will be sued and loose. I’ve seen it…and been involved in it (not directly). Companies will try to avoid a lawsuit like this. They want everything documented (a lot of documentation) before they fire someone.

How long ago was that? It hasn’t been like that for at least 20 years where I have worked. All at will employment. As a manager you must involve HR. They conduct interviews and work with the manager to determine the best course of action. There are reasons for immediate termination but the manager cannot do that in isolation. Secondly, corporations are very much in tune with avoiding claims of hostile work environment arising from the type of retaliation you mention.

Meanwhile, back at the lemon ranch, I wanted to make the point that the best way to protect yourself from being manipulated by corporate vagueness is to do your homework, document everything, keep careful records of every conversation and every event, and put it all together into a claim under your state’s laws. Be clear what you want to happen, and why. Asking what a company plans to do about your problem simply opens the door to them answering you, and it’s unlikely you will like the answer. Don’t ask, tell them. And tell them how long you will wait for a reply, before taking the next steps you have planned. No need for anger or loud talk or swearing. Just quiet clarity and firmness. You bought a car and they gave you an unfinished kit.


Had a few “Discussions” with bosses over the years, my right ear a little loss of hearing as the flip phone did not turn off speaker phone automatically, and ouch. He was hollering so loud, and I am hollering you are blaming the wrong explative person, retired 12 years later. Went to close my self off in the server room, but everyone in the office heard his and my rant. We are buds to this day, stuff happens, big people get over it.

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That’s how I achieved resolution of the torque converter issue on my then new car a few years back.

Your company must have been an entrepreneurship. A professionally managed company would have had policies in place to determine when an employee could be terminated. In case you take offense at my terminology, professional management means that anyone in the organization can leave and it will not sink the company. HR, management, engineering, business, and other policies are clearly defined so that issues can be dealt with without have certain key people in the loop. In an entrepreneurial business, the leader and maybe a very few others make all the decisions, and the standards they use are not written down for others to execute when the need arises.

Former chef etc. Rule number one no one is indispensable, Had to let one of the greatest programmers genius figure it out guy I ever had go, due to absence record and showing up while intoxicated. I imagine the same happens in auto repair shops.