The engine malfunction light illuminated on our 02 Odyssey at 103,600 miles. $99 later the dealer told us that the computer code was P0730 and we needed to have the transmission replaced for the paltry sum of $3,700.

As you might imagine that made me think some pretty nasty thoughts about Honda. I would expect a Honda transmission to last far longer than 103,000 miles. Repairs maybe but not a complete replacement! Fortunately I did some searches on this site while waiting for my blood pressure to return to normal. I found a number of posts indicating that Honda knew about this problem and they were replacing the transmissions for less than full price if they were pushed hard enough.

So I took that info to my Honda service rep and told him that I expected nothing less than a complete replacement at Honda's expense. He politely groveled a bit and then asked how much money I had spent with their dealership. Basically he told me that if I had spent enough money with them that they would ask the district office if Honda would pay for the transmission (kind of like bribery if you think about it).

Within an hour he called me and said that Honda would cover the cost of the parts if I would pay for the labor cost of $732. I decided that I probably wouldn't get a better offer without spending a year or two in legal battles.

It took a few days to get the transmission shipped to the dealer and they promptly replaced it when it arrived. So for $732 I got a remanufactured transmission with a 3 yr/36K mile warranty.

The whole affair left me with a very slimy feeling. Instead of just doing the standup thing and replacing the defective transmission Honda made me prove how much business I have done with them. Then they wouldn't give me a warranty unless I paid for the labor. I guess they don't believe enough in the quality of their products to give the minimal warranty without charging the customer.

This is my third Honda and I have been very happy with the Odyssey. Now I am not so sure that I have all that much faith in the Honda organization.