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  1. Sarcky
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    Never buying another Honda


    So in January of 2012 (18 months ago) I bought a brand new 2012 Honda Civic from Conicelli Honda in Conshohocken PA. My brother bought one about 6 months later (one year ago). Over the first year or so of ownership I noticed a few things wrong with it, but they didn't seem major. Notably, it got terrible mileage for a Civic and the transmission was a bit weird.

    I took the car into the dealership a number of times, each time they "took a quick look" and declared the car perfectly fine. It eventually got to the point where the car would get no more than 21mpg under normal conditions, even though I made sure to fill the tires, empty the trunk, and get the oil changed regularly. The car is rated at 32mpg in the city, so this is roughly 2/3 of what they claim it will get, and doesn't take into account the fact that I also take it on the highway to get to my girlfriend's house. By my estimation, if the car was working the way they said it should, I should be getting anywhere from 30 to 38mpg.

    I finally brought it back to the dealership and demanded that they do something to fix the mileage problem. They gave me a loaner car for the day and took my car in.

    At the end of the day I came back for my verdict: The maintenance manager said there's nothing wrong with the car and he got 38mpg. He declared I was "driving it wrong" and didn't understand how to read the on-board computer. Here's the on-board computer in case you guys need to see what's so difficult about it:



    So as you can see this is super confusing. I went into the trip computer (what you're seeing there) to show them that the mileage was historically terrible, and the trip computer was reading all zeroes. I asked where the data was and they said they wiped the on-board computer "to clear this issue up." Which means they destroyed the evidence that the vehicle was having problems.

    I wrote a letter to Honda Corporate about this, laying out the facts of the case and including multiple pictures like the above along with my Google Latitude tracker for the days in question showing a normal traffic pattern through highways and suburbs.

    After 2 weeks, someone from Honda calls me from a blocked number and leaves a voicemail. I return his call four times over the next week, the fourth call informing me that he's on vacation for a week.

    3.5 weeks after sending my letter, I finally get in touch with this guy. I wrote down a snippet of our conversation (which I have recorded) that I thought you guys may enjoy:

    Walter [Honda rep]: What do you want me to do about this?

    Me: I want you to tell me how I can get my car fixed.

    Walter: Well I talked to the dealer.

    Me: ...

    Walter: ...

    Me: ...AND?

    Walter: And what?

    Me: Did you say you talked to the dealer?

    Walter: Yes.

    Me: AND WHAT DID THEY SAY?

    Walter: They said the car gets great mileage and there's nothing wrong with it.

    Me: Yes I know that's what they say. They told me that as well.

    Walter: You can take the car into another dealership if you want.

    Me: You want me to pay out of pocket on the off chance that another local Honda dealership is willing to throw a nearby dealership under the bus by putting contradictory information in writing?

    Walter: That's your only option at this point.

    Me: I have pictures of the trip computer which-

    Walter: Now I'm not saying you're a liar sir.

    Me: Then why say that word? Why bring the word "liar" into the conversation if you're not say-

    Walter: I'm not saying you're a liar sir, but the dealership disagrees.

    Me: The dealership deleted all evidence of the fuel economy from the vehicle before they gave it back to me, and refuses to give me the actual computer printout that proves anything about fuel economy.

    Walter: Well what would you like me to do without evidence?

    Me: I have photographic proo-

    Walter: I'm not saying you're a liar sir.

    Me: Stop interrupting me. I have phot-

    Walter: I'm not saying you're a liar sir.

    Me: What did I JUST SAY TO YOU? STOP INTERRUPTING ME. Now, for the last time, I do have proof, I have-

    Walter: The dealership disagrees.

    Me: Get your manager on the phone, now.

    Walter: Supervisors and managers do not take calls, they only provide calls back.

    Me: Then have them call me back today.

    Walter: They only provide a call back within 24 hours, so you'll get it on the next business day.

    Me: 24 hours or next business day?

    Walter: That's correct.

    Me: That was an OR question. Today is Friday. Are you saying 24 hours or the next business day?

    Walter: Well we're on the West coast.

    Me: IT'S FRIDAY WHERE YOU ARE AS WELL

    Walter: 24 hours or the next business day, thank you for calling Honda.
    I hung up the phone, got in the car, and drove to a Mazda dealership. Honda has lost a lifetime customer.

    This weekend I went to visit my family and my brother arrived covered in sweat. His A/C doesn't work, and the dealership told him he wasn't "letting it warm up enough." He drove 4 hours in a 90 degree rainstorm in June without air conditioning.

    The dealership I bought the car from keeps sending me spam emails offering me overpriced oil changes, unnecessary insurance, etc. I've unsubscribed a dozen times. It seems that I'll never be free of their incompetence, so I've made it a bit of a personal goal to cost them business by telling my story.
    Last edited by ManiacDan; December 12th, 2013 at 09:21 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Of course it doesn't help that Dan leaves the car in first gear when blasting down the freeway.

    You should make some posts on Honda forums, see if others are having the same issues and maybe get a group together. Put some pressure on Honda.
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  4. #3
  5. Lounge Troll
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    That's why I like Fords. My 2007 Ford Focus has only had a few minor things that are typical of high mileage cars (132,000 miles). I had the sway bar links replaced and beyond that, it's been regular maintenance. My 1969 Mercury Cougar Eliminator runs a bit hot so I need to do some work on it but other than that it's solid as heck.

    Comments on this post

    • medialint agrees
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  6. #4
  7. Sarcky
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    Oddly, Fords are moving up through the rankings. The Escape is actually the highest ranked small SUV by consumer reports.

    It still gets a 2/5 for reliability, of course. It's an American car, not magic.

    My criteria for the new car was a body style which had been around a few years, reliability higher than 3.5/5, and enough room to fit my whole family. The list started at the Toyota Rav4, the Nissan Rogue, and the Mazda CX-5. The Toyota is cheap feeling, the Nissan's interior was designed for a species with a different number of arms, and I ended up in the CX-5.
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  8. #5
  9. Lounge Troll
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    Well my next car is most likely going to be a Mustang with a V8 in it. I like the body styles of that and I like the power it provides. I just need to wait for this pesky DUI to not be counted against me on my insurance. That's a few more years. I have 2 things going against me for collector car insurance for the Cougar. I am under 25 (24 currently) and also all alcohol related offenses need to be 5 years out. I got the DUI right after turning 21 so I'll need to wait another 2 years. The Focus will make due for the time being. It will be nice to have a car with some major power eventually (the Cougar has a 351 4V in it and cranks 300hp but the gearing makes it crank some high R's on the top end).
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  10. #6
  11. Sarcky
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    You should probably not buy such a powerful car if you have a history of drunk driving.
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  13. Lounge Troll
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    Originally Posted by ManiacDan
    You should probably not buy such a powerful car if you have a history of drunk driving.
    I have Progressive so they only look at tickets for 3 years. A lot of other insurance companies look at tickets for 5 years. The Focus has a few more years of life (I do a lot of roadtripping and easily put on 20-25,000 miles a year).

    The Cougar is already powerful enough and the premiums aren't terrible overall. Also, after the first offense, I take the cab, walk or find alternative ways of getting around. The last thing I want to do is spend at least 5 days in the clink for a second offense. 12 hours on a sobriety hold was enough for me.

    I love powerful cars and will eventually own a Mustang for a daily driver. The crazy thing is I bet with all the new regulations pushing innovation, in a few years a V8 Mustang will get the same gas mileage as my Focus.
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    I tell you my wife has a 2000 Toyota 4 Runner SUV and that car is awesome, I drive a 2009 Toyota Rav 4 and I am extremely pleased with it as well. Now this year my 17 yr old is getting his license and we will let him drive my wife's car and purchase a new vehicle for her. Most likely another Toyota SUV type.
  16. #9
  17. Sarcky
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    I drove the Rav4 for a while and read the Car&Driver review of it. I agree with them. It's a bit cheaply made on the inside, it feels like a low-budget car. Lots of fake stitching and plastic molding and whatnot. The Mazda interior feels a lot more well done, plus the controls are more ergonomic and convenient. The Rav4 was annoying to drive and operate the audio controls.
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  18. #10
  19. Mad Scientist
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    My Ford's about to die on me - a 2008 TDci. I've had numerous problems with it since I've had it. I'm not going to go into details, but the empathy is what brought me to this thread.

    So, what does Vauxhall call themselves in the US? I had an Astra (UK's closest rival to the Honda Civic) and that was a dream for me and my budget at the time. It was a lease so I had to give it back. Now that I have a family I'm looking at the Astra Estate or VW Passat Estate

    When I'm rich and the family is old enough not to need a permanent residence in my car: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=as...=lnms&tbm=isch
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  21. Type Cast Exception
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    If I ever buy a Honda it will be something like a CR125. Cars I've always gone Ford and if I was to buy a street bike I'd go American.

    I have an issue with the service I got done at a Ford dealer recently but the cars themselves have always been great.
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    Well as I said I have a 2009 RAV 4 and mine is the high end one and I have no bad feelings like you. You must have driven the low end model with none of the upgrades at all. I keep my car clean and good shape inside and out and there is nothing cheap about my vehicle at all. I also like the fact that this SUV sits lower to the ground more like a car, but higher than a car too. Well to each there own and you get what you pay for. I like the RAV 4 very much and will purchase another one here in a few months, but then I will get many of the upgrades and I could care less about the Voice controls, as I have no problems with changing the channels or dialing my self.




    Originally Posted by ManiacDan
    I drove the Rav4 for a while and read the Car&Driver review of it. I agree with them. It's a bit cheaply made on the inside, it feels like a low-budget car. Lots of fake stitching and plastic molding and whatnot. The Mazda interior feels a lot more well done, plus the controls are more ergonomic and convenient. The Rav4 was annoying to drive and operate the audio controls.
  24. #13
  25. Sarcky
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    The older Rav4s seem to be solid off-road type vehicles, while the new ones are trying to be more luxury crossover SUVs. It's the new ones that seem cheap on the inside, with molded plastic fake stitching, weird gaps in their dashboard, etc. Plus the steering wheel controls were a pain, though not as bad as the Nissan Rogue.

    For the record, I'm LOVING my Mazda CX-5, and have never been happier that I ditched that damn Civic.

    Also for the record, Honda promised to call me 10 days ago and still hasn't. I'm thinking of writing them another letter just to say "screw you".
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    My advise on the letter is Try the approach of asking again nicely as you can attract more flys to sugar than vinagar. So would it hurt you to be the bigger man and ask again nicely for something and in your mind figure out what you might want them to do for you. I know they are the ones that need to do the real Good CS, but maybe you will get a nice person this next time and they might actually do something nice if you play real real nice and ask for their help in this matter. Give it a try, what can it hurt???


    Originally Posted by ManiacDan
    The older Rav4s seem to be solid off-road type vehicles, while the new ones are trying to be more luxury crossover SUVs. It's the new ones that seem cheap on the inside, with molded plastic fake stitching, weird gaps in their dashboard, etc. Plus the steering wheel controls were a pain, though not as bad as the Nissan Rogue.

    For the record, I'm LOVING my Mazda CX-5, and have never been happier that I ditched that damn Civic.

    Also for the record, Honda promised to call me 10 days ago and still hasn't. I'm thinking of writing them another letter just to say "screw you".
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  29. Sarcky
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    What would I be asking for? They repeatedly refused to do anything until I sold the car. They're not going to give me $5,000 cash (the balance between what I bought it for and what I sold it for) so they have nothing they can offer me. I can nicely ask until I run out of hours in the day, but the car is gone and I'll never see it again (thankfully).
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