And yet even more on the legendary Honda failing transmissions--Honda won't let you buy a new one on your own

Page 1 of 2  
Some of you know about my 2002 Odyssey with 73K miles and its failed transmission, and American Honda's "generous" offer to pay 50% toward
the cost of replacing it.
And, of course, you know my feelings on the subject.
Anyway, I dropped the van off yesterday. In talking with the service writer, he indicated that as of about six months ago, if you need to replace the transmission in your 02 or 03 V6 Honda, and you come in to ask that the dealership do this, American Honda will not sell you a replacement unit of any kind under any circumstances.
Please allow me to repeat this: American Honda will not sell you a working transmission to replace the self-destructing one they sold you 8 or 9 years ago when you bought the car new.
The ONLY way to get an American Honda transmission, he said, is if you are under some sort of warranty or goodwill accommodation with American Honda.
????
So the natural question is, how do you handle customers who for whatever reason are not under such an arrangement?
This particular dealership has an arrangement with a junkyard to get units from them. The junkyard "warrants" them for life (or, as we all know, just keeps throwing units at the customer as the old ones die--but no doubt the customer ends up paying labor, right?).
I didn't pursue this with the service writer. I'll talk with the service manager this week to clarify. I mean, this sounds low rent sleazy.
Interesting side note: The transmission I'm getting as part of my goodwill arrangement is sufficiently different from the grenaded factory unit that it needs a different control program. Since my control module can't be flashed, Honda requires that I get a new computer with this new transmission--hence the high cost of the overall job. Honda's TSBs flesh this out; this is so important to Honda that years ago, after they had already replaced a bunch of transmissions and later discovered the need for the new control program, they went back and GAVE the already-repaired customers brand new computers for free.
Of course, now I have to PAY for the computer...
Anyway, this puts the idea of taking it to AAMCO into a whole new light. I don't know the TRUE importance of the new control program; would a third-party-rebuilt unit similarly self-destruct a few years down the road because neither the inherent design nor the control computer was taken care of?
Inquiring minds and all that.
For reference, Honda's 50% accommodation leaves me holding the bag for $2218 plus tax.
In my mind, that's just retroactively raising the price of the van $2218. And to think that when I bought it, it was the most expensive car this dealership had ever sold. Apparently, that wasn't good enough.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/19/2010 9:14 AM, Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:

[snip]
If true, it's more than "sounds sleazy" it is beneath sleazy. In fact you'd have to dig a hole in order to stand on top of that policy.
Let us know what comes from your "chat" (oh, to be a fly on THAT wall) with the service manager.
FWIW, I gotta think that there is some federal trade regulation that requires the automakers to produce and maintain a supply of component parts for their vehicles and that the time frame for that would be more than 7 - 8 years. I thought about Magnuson Moss Act but didn't see anything relevant to it there.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I cannot find anything that suggest there is a US Federal law that requires manufacturers to provide spare parts for a specified period. I would love to hear of one. Where I work we try to maintian spares for the marketing life of a new product plus 7 years, but in many cases this is impossible because we depend on componets from other suppliers that are discontinued.
Ed
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There isn't one anymore. There WAS one at one time, which was repealed around the late-60s or so.
--
Tegger

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

You might want to contact your local states attourney general office and see what they say about it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Uh, why? The orignal law was federal, not state.
--
Tegger

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 08/19/2010 07:14 AM, Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:

at this stage elmo, this might be a local decision rather than corporate. i know i will dump problem customers once they reach a certain "pita" point. and you're almost certainly pressing their buttons big time.
moving forward, i think your best bet is corporate - have you called honda usa's customer care?
on the subject of dumped pita customers, one of my exes bullied lexus corporate so hard and so long, they gave him a full refund on a vehicle he'd had "problems" with [basically, he just decided he didn't like it]. that was three years of free driving for the price of a bunch of emails and hollow threats he couldn't possibly execute.
--
nomina rutrum rutrum

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
jim beam wrote:

The old saying, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease," sure rings true.
In EVERY circumstance where I had a beef and could not get a satisfactory resolution, I did not hesitate to escalate.
One thing for sure, Elmo's situation is another nail in the coffin of me ever upgrading to more modern transportation...
JT
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
.

Here's another one:
I'm a moderator on a Yahoo Toyota group. Right now we've got a lady who's being told her 2003 RAV4 needs a new cat and FOUR new oxygen sensors (two of which are actually pricey A/F sensors).
It seems that emissions regulations force Toyota to split the cat into two, one for each pair of the four cylinders. The cats are built into the exhaust manifold in order to keep them as hot as the EPA requires.
The total price for the fix? $2,000 plus tax.
My 'Teg may be burning oil now, but I might just drop in another engine rather than submit to such nonsense.
--
Tegger

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

How many RAV4s require the same repair as your example?
I just had my '89 Legend towed away. Don't even try to tell me that systems on that generation vehicle are anywhere near as reliable as the current crop. You need to go back to 1960s cars for mechanically simple.
Elmo probably knew about the weak Honda trans when he bought the Odyssey. He should have brought the car into the dealership for an annual routine trans service so when it failed Honda would have a service history.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Pretty much all of them past about 150K miles, give or take. That's about as long as any of them go now, before the dreaded P0420 DTC, Hondas included.

Oh, they were. Given proper maintenance, they were just about bullet-proof. The problem was, many were not given proper maintenance. That's why the feds eventually imposed OBD-II.
Imagine how simple and reliable the 1991 system could be now, if automakers had had 19 years to perfect it, and if EPA engineers weren't so hell-bent on giving reasons why they should continue to suck from that juicy federal teat.

But quite a lot less durable and reliable. By 1991, they'd hit the motherlode for reliability, durability, and low emissions. But the federal meddlers couldn't leave well-enough alone.
--
Tegger

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Make mine a 4 cylinder manual transmission Honda. They haven't figured out yet how to screw that one up.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 08/20/2010 06:09 PM, Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:

i don't know - the input shaft bearing [nearest the flywheel] on the cable operated ef civic manual transmission's isn't a paragon of reliability. they seem to have fixed it on later models though.
--
nomina rutrum rutrum

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 08/20/2010 05:50 PM, Tegger wrote:

honda's of that generation are great - later 80's/early 90's was their finest hour. great mechanicals, great ergonomics, they really were at the top of their game.

in terms of achieving goals, the technical challenge since the period above is that of life limitation, not getting it to work well or "improvement". with bean counters setting the engineering agendas, it's all about getting stuff to last for a design period, but then having it fail. light bulb manufacturers figured this out decades ago - that's why things like domestic tungsten filament bulbs only last 800 or 1000 hours - it's what they're designed for. apply the same principles to cars, and you have a more predictable revenue stream. or so they think. truth is though, designing in failure costs a lot more and takes a heck of a lot more in r&d and lead time for testing than just making it to work reliably. when the bean counters do their math, they'll model increased sales decreased lifespans create, but it seems they don't factor in reputation damage or losing customer loyalty.

mechanically, that's pretty much correct, some engine improvements aside. but i'm not sure that emissions regs are as you say. fact is, manufacturers like honda have always been way ahead of any regs on economy and emissions, and will probably continue to be so.
fromt he political perspective though, when we have regulators who mandate emissions and economy targets for manufacturers, but then waive those requirements if a honking great gas guzzler has a few different o-rings in it so that it qualifies as "flex fuel" and is thus exempt from c.a.f.e., you /know/ that the regs are a secondary concern.

--
nomina rutrum rutrum

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Can't agree. I've got a LONG list of repairs the car needed not to mention the inadequate cooling system when the A/C was working in very hot temps. The car was far from bullet proof; although the engine/ manual trans. required no work over 20+ years. I replaced/repaired CV joints, brake calipers (which seized), brake master cylinder, EGR, alternator, O2 sensors, radio, headlight switch, master/slave clutch cylinders and a whole bunch more. I owned a Toyota Sienna for 12 years, 250K miles, all overlapping the Legend. The Sienna needed O2 sensors and a sliding door latch other than routine maintenance items. None of the crap that failed on the Legend. Not to mention A/C that blew frosty air even on the hottest day.

Horseshit
Honda brakes still suck. True, Honda shitboxes of that era got good mpg but they were flimsy and torqueless. My '87 Integra crushed like a soda can when it was rear ended on the Washington beltway.

But so easy and cheap to fix.

Nope. I had a '66 Chevy that was nearly as reliable as my '98 Sienna. It need more repair work but was very reliable over 180K miles.

So I think you need to look beyond Honda 'cause Honda peaked in the early '90s and that has nothing to do with the EPA.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In article

Elmo knew the 4 speeds were weak. This was a new model transmission, the 5 speed.
Every bit of service done to the van was done at this one dealership. There was no dearth of service history. And the transmission was maintained ACCORDING TO HONDA'S SPECIFICATIONS. This much was acknowledged by the dealership.
According to Honda in their Service News, in an article where they warn against transmission flushes:

ServiceNews, Feb 2006, p. 4.
Looks like Honda lied, then chose to make the customer pay for it.
I used to tell great stories about how Honda took care of their customers when Honda screwed up. While I will continue to tell those stories, I will also tell THIS story for the rest of my life--and frame it as how Honda screwed up big time and lost a customer.
I should have paid, at the most, the 12 hours of labor that this took, and Honda should have AT LEAST picked up the entire cost of the transmission itself. Instead, I paid $2218--and Honda considers that a GENEROUS goodwill gesture.
This is a perfect example of penny wise, pound foolish.
Will I ever own a Honda anymore? Who knows. But American Honda Motor Manufacturing did a superb job of taking my automatic response to spending $30K--"shoot, that's a LOT of money, better buy a Honda"--and turning it into, "shoot, that's a LOT of money, why risk it on a Honda?".
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
xample.com:

I'm not sure how this is a lie. That's the no-flush mention. It does NOT prohibit drain-and-fill, which all any AT needs.

You won't have a lot better luck with any other make, frankly. Federal government regulations now impose such horrendous costs on automakers that they're all dumbing-down their cars and their after-sales service. Honda remains one of the better ones.
--
Tegger

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Read it again: "designed to give thousands of miles of trouble-free service if you follow the maintenance schedule to the letter."
I did. And what I got was 73K miles. Maybe that's what Honda considers "thousands of miles of trouble-free service".
My tech scolded me for not changing the fluid more often--he does it every 15K for his own vehicle. Really? That's not what Honda documented for the maintenance schedule. Well, had Honda sent me a letter telling me to ignore my owner's manual and do it a different way, I would have.

You know, I've been thinking about that. I think you're right. That means that Honda has completely upended my thinking on how to spend my transportation dollar. Buying a Honda new and running it into the ground is now an obviously expensive task, possibly just as expensive as just leasing new every three years. If that's the answer, then it won't be Honda--it'll be something else. I say that simply because Honda is always, always, always behind the times in feature sets. If I'm going to lease something, I'll get the one with the fancier gadgets--things that Honda won't have for five more years.
Either that, or I'll just start buying Bluesmobiles for my wife to drive the kids around town in. Easy to fix, and who cars if she bumps into something. When we want to go on a trip, we'll rent a van.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Screw 'em. They pressed my buttons the moment the tranny started failing on a gently used original owner 2002 Honda that went out the door for $30K.
If this is the best they can do...
I didn't call the Honda customer service line, on advice of many people who should be knowledgeable who all advised that 50% was the limit. Plus, I just wanted to move on.
I'm sure glad I didn't settle for the 25%, though. It's all about knowing where that line is. I *think* 50% is the line today, without a HUGE amount of hassle.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/19/2010 6:48 PM, Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:

Dec 02 I bought a new 03 Accord EX-L V6 from dealer A.
Jul 07 I bought new 07 Accord EX-L V6, this time from dealer B.
May 08 the 03 Accord transmission went out at 85,300 miles. I brought it to dealer B. Next day they called and said the trans was shot, did I want them to fix it and did I want them to call Honda and see if they could do anything for me, since I was an established Honda customer. I said sure. Next call was that they could put in a factory rebuilt, 36,000 3 year warranty, and split the cost 50-50 (about 1550. to me). I said go. Two days later he called and said it was done. Total out the door cost to me was $1492.14 (less than the estimate - and they gave me a free oil change since it was due - note dealer B had never seen or serviced this car before)
I don't know if an 02 Odyssey is a much more expensive trans than an 03 Accord, or if the time/difficulty to change it is so much greater to account for the difference between my 50% (1492.14 including tax) and your 50% ($2218 plus tax)
I bought the vehicle knowing it had a 36,000 mile, 36 month warranty. I was quite pleased with the adjustment I got, realizing I was 49,300 miles and 41 months over the warranty. (More than double both time and miles).
In your case you are 37,000 miles and 60 months past the warranty. For how many miles and how many months should/can any manufacturer stand ready to do multi-thousand dollar repairs on every unit it has ever built?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.