2003 Accord Radio Display Problem

I love my 2003 Accord EX. But I have a problem that the dealer says will only cost me about $1000 to fix. Last week my radio display just went dark - couldn't see anything - no climate information, time, radio
stations, etc. Nothing. The unit continued to work OK - I can still play the radio and change stations, select differnt climate features and temps, but I just can't SEE anything on the screen - have to control it from memory. I checked the fuses - nothng doing there. Very frustrating. On the positive side, I've discovered some new local radio stations by using the SCAN button that I would not normally have found since I usually stick to my preset stations....and temperature selection is a bit of a gamble.
I did some checking and found that Honda issued a service bulletin on this problem right after the 2003 models shipped - it's a known problem. But they didn't issue a recall (there's a difference). I called the dealer (Fairfax Honda in Fairfax Virginia) and explained the problem. I told him about the service bulletin, etc. He said yes, they know about theis particular type of problem. I began to feel better. But his first question was about the car's mileage - I have 39,000 miles, and the warranty expired at 36,000 miles. I then started to get that very uneasy feeling in my stomach. The dealer says, so sorry, it's out of warranty. I said, but there was a manufaturer service bulletin on it and surely Honda will fix a known problem, even if I'm a few thousand miles out of warranty. Dealer says, sorry, it'll cost about $1000 since the replair involves replacing the entire audio unit. But, the good news is that they have several units in stock and can do the replacement the same day. Interesting. I guess they've had a fair number of these to replace so they're planning ahead and stocking new audio units. Dealers don't do this unless they have a demand (and Honda has a problem). Too bad Honda didn't choose to make this a recall and cover the cost, no matter what point in the warranty. A bad design is a bad design and should be covered. The dealer said they had no ability to work with me on this, that it was a Honda policy that when it's out of warranty, its out of warranty and the dealer has no lattitude to work with the customer on a solution. I was told I could appeal to Honda if I didn't like the policy.
So I called Honda Customer Service (1-800-999-1009) where a very polite person took down all of the key information about my problem including what I was told by the dealer. She said that she will "open a case on my problem" and one of their examiners will get back to me soon.
I'm very hopeful that Honda will make this right for two reasons - I'm barely out of warrantly, but more importantly, it's been a known problem since 2003 and should not (IMHO) be limited by the warranty period. If I don't get any support from Honda, I'll probably swallow hard and pay the price since it's still cheaper than buying a new car. But it would probably be my last Honda. I'm counting on Honda doing the right thing. Honda makes pretty good vehicles and I think they have earned their reputation by not only making affordable and very reliable cars year after year, but also by treating their customers right with the goal of making them want to remain Honda owners and buyers for many years.
I'll do a repost and let you know how it turns out.
Mike Bartell Fairfax, Va.
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A $1000???
NO.
I own a company called Sound Solutions in Maryland. (not the one in VA). We do repairs on OEM radios.
I have not looked at your failure, but a repair through us should run around $240. We have a truck that services the Carmax in Dulles (Sterling) if you want us to repair your existing radio. No need to purchase a new one. I would require two trips. One to get the model number of your radio, then a second to exchange it. In between we would order you an advanced exchange (because of your AC controls being all in one unit)
Let me know if you need our help.

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On Tue, 31 May 2005 18:51:14 -0400, "Masterson"

they didn't do a recall because it isn't a safety issue. if you pull it out and smack it i bet it will come back on. it has to be a bad solder joint in my opinion. since honda doesn't build stereos it's up to their vendor. Chip

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HAHA......
Chip you make me laugh!
Violence and electronics dont mix. "Slaping" it is not a good repair. Temporary at best.

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That line of reasoning makes no sense. Honda is the responsible party no matter if they build a component in their own factory or buy it from someone else. The customer did business with Honda. Honda chose which parts to make and which to buy and chose who to buy them from.
John
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John....
Your completely correct. It is Honda's responsibility to honor their warranty.
Ohhhh wait......the OP said it was out of warranty. So at that point its no ones responsibility to repair it for free.
Again.... Free exchange radio from the dealer and $89.00 (about one hour of labor) = REASONABLE.
Is this thread over yet? It is for me.

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wrote:

'03. Our dealer installed a remanufactured (they are an Alpine product) all we paid for was the install ($89.00).
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If you are over the 36,000 3 years, $89.00 was reasonable, if you are under, they stole $89.00 from you.
For them to only charge labor implies that Honda paid for the radio - if so why didn't Honda also pay for the labor? If Honda didn't pay for the radio you have a pretty good dealer.

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On Wed, 01 Jun 2005 18:35:29 -0400, Al

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85,000 miles = Out of Warranty. $89.00 = Reasonable

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On Fri, 3 Jun 2005 05:04:09 -0400, "Masterson"

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Success!! The dealer spoke with Honda and Honda agreed to cover the repalcement cost. I should have the car back tomorrow (they were also doing the 37k service....plus replacing the wiper motor that went out this morning...not covered - I'm not having a good month!).
I'm surprised but very happy that Honda decided to cover the radio display problem. I think this was the right thing for them to do given the history of this sort of failure. The dealer said the customer cost of the radio was $750, plus labor to install it (probalby cost about $900 total to repair). Said the solution required a complete audio unit replacement, not just the display. Honda's back on my good side.
Mike
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