So the current 4 cylinder Hondas now join the 6 cylinder models, the
ones built between 1997 and mid-2004, as having transmission that are as
weak and unreliable as a baby gerbil.
What caught my eye was this: that rather than fix the mechanical
problem of the bad/weak bearing (THAT would cost REAL MONEY!), American
Honda will instead--get this--alter the software that controls the
This caught my eye because when I had to REPLACE the tranny in my 02
Odyssey, the only way Honda would do it was if they ALSO replaced the
ECU. Apparently, the older ECUs couldn't be reprogrammed, and Honda
"fixed" some of the code on those 5 speed trannies to try to prevent?
delay? the onset of the inevitable problems. Apparently, what I got in
my replacement $4500 tranny was the same design with the same design
faults, with altered control code to make it behave a little differently
to try to avoid the conditions that precipitated the failure.
Apparently, 73K miles over 9 years of my wife driving little kids around
town is just too much for the Honda transmission, and maybe having the
computer control it differently will help it along.
Anyway, the changing of the code in the current recall caught my eye
ALSO because last year, Honda hybrid owners discovered that their
traction battery packs were going bad VERY quickly. Of course, this is
an emissions part--so Honda is obligated to replace those that fail over
a period of time that's much longer than their standard 36 month
And that costs REAL MONEY.
So what does Honda do? They RECALL their hybrids, every SINGLE ONE of
them, to do--what? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? That's right, CHANGE THE
ENGINE CONTROL CODE. And what would that POSSIBLY do to a hybrid?
Yep. It puts less of a load on the battery, so that it WON'T FAIL
DURING THE EMISSIONS WARRANTY PERIOD. And if it DOESN'T FAIL, then
Honda WON'T INCUR THE EXPENSE OF REPLACING IT.
Great idea, right? Absolutely--if you're Honda. Stop and think now,
what does that battery mean to a hybrid drivetrain? That's right,
MOTIVE POWER. And suddenly Honda is programming your system not to use
the battery so much, to try to limp it along? But...but...I still need
motive power, don't I?
Yes, you do. And do you know where that motive power, that USED to be
provided by the battery/motor system, will now come from?
Yep. YOUR GAS TANK. Which YOU pay to fill.
Suddenly, Civic Hybrid owners weren't seeing the 40-42mpg that they used
to have. Suddenly, right after the car came back from the dealer,
they're seeing....32mpg. Really? They could have bought a Civic LX and
gotten THAT mileage. But they paid a few thousand more for the
Hybrid--but now they're not getting any benefit from the hybrid drive
All because Honda has decided that, instead of fixing the underlying
problem, they'd rather band-aid the issue and pass the problem along to
the owner's wallet. On an ongoing basis, no less. (At least my
transmission fix, while expensive, wasn't a monthly fee!)
This puts the current transmission recall into perspective. If Honda
can address something purely inside code, with no parts replacement,
they will--even if it means putting a burden onto the owner. As long as
the burden stays AWAY from Honda, that's all that matters.
Honda price, Chrysler experience.
And now the owners of the cars under recall will have transmissions that
behave markedly differently, and which can't rock them out of the snow
when necessary. Because that might expose Honda's shitty design and
manufacturing practices, and cost Honda money.
Fuck Honda. They can eat shit and die.