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Discussion Starter #1
Honda roof rack crossbars may be unsafe if used with cargo boxes.
Have talked to Thule and Yakima and both said the Honda crossbars are not acceptable for cargo boxes. The reason given was not their weight capacity, but that they cannot stand much lift force. Both Yakima and Thule said they would not warrant their boxes or be liable for damages to your vehicle or others following it, should the crossbars separate from the siderails. Neither will Honda.
I called Honda Customer Service today,(new number 1-800-999-1009) and they verified what Yakima and Thule said. When I asked what Honda was doing about the problem, they said "nothing". I asked if there wasn't implied fitness for this type of use, as that is what so many of the racks are used for, they said NO!. "The crossbars have a purpose, but cargo boxes was not one of them". When I asked what they accepted use for the crossbars was, they could not give me an answer. They said that we should install the attachments made by the box manufacturer.
I also mentioned that there was no warning of the crossbars limitations on the installation instructions or owners manuals but recieved the "they have a purpose" reply again. I guess decoration and wallet lightening are the purposes. I told them I would be contacting the NHTSA and informing them of this potential hazard. They said "go ahead". (I did).
So much for Honda Customer Service and Japanese engineering.

Regards
AL


Added in Edit 7-21:
Here is the number for the Thule Technical Service: 800-238-2388 Check it out. I did not write down the name of the rep, but it was a lady. I did not write down the Yakima number.

[This message has been edited by albaby (edited 07-21-2001).]

[This message has been edited by albaby (edited 07-23-2001).]
 

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Interesting post. This is one of the main reasons I bought the crossbars as well. Let us know what you find out. Has any other odyclub members attached cargo boxes on their racks? Did they note any problems? Thanks in advance for your information.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you bought the x bars to install a cargo box and feel you've been ripped off by being sold an item that is unsafe and unsuitable, write the NHTSA.
Here is the letter I sent to the NHTSA.

The roof rack crossbars sold by Honda for this vehicle are not acceptable for use with cargo boxes. This is what many people attach to them. There is no warning on the installation instructions or owners manual warning against use for this purpose. Honda admitted the crossbars might not withstand lift forces from the box and the crossbars could separate from the side rails and damage the vehicle or vehicles following it. Honda said they would offer no remedy, warning or solutions. Some of the major cargo box manufacturers are aware of the crossbars shortcomings and will not warrant their boxes or accept liability for damages caused by the separation of the crossbars, however, this is not always divulged by the salepersons and would most likely not be known if buying a used box. Please make Honda send a waring to all purchasers of the crossbars and include the warning in their owners manuals, advertising litereature and installation/use instructions. Thank You.
 

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albaby,

Thanks so much for the information and making the point of writing the letter. I read your post yesterday and was near the point of ordering the crossbars. I will definitely wait until there is more or will just suck up the cost and go with the Yakima set up.

Even though I haven't purchased the bars yet, I will attempt to send a similar letter stating that I read this information and am extremely surprised that the bars cannot be used for this purpose.

Thanks again,

Jeff

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Jeff

'01 SS EX
Cassette, Video System, Fog Lights, Splash Guards

See photos at:
http://www.fototime.com/inv/B5EC5C7BC6CFA07
 

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I added this thread as a "Safety Alert" on the News page. I'll find a better way to display it on the site at a later date. We'll make a note of it in the Tech section as well.

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Jim
'01 GG EX w/stuff
'93 Nissan Sentra SE-R with more stuff
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Jeff, the Yakima/Thule setups sound like the way to go! The only concern I had was the increased height they may cause, and if it would cause box access problems. Let us know what you find out, should you go that route.
Let us know if they attach to our rails or you have to get a whole different setup. I will also see what other options may be available, however, I don't have too many dealers here to choose from.
Regards
Al
 

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Thank for the info. You did good. Let us know how NHTSA decide to deal with Honda. I just installed my Honda crossbar on my EX Odyssey and I plan to install the cargo box. I want my money back if the bar is endanger to my van and endanger public safety. Again, thank.
 

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i have a cargo box that i use on my lx with a honda roof rack and cross rails. i have not had any problems after about six trips. in fact, i can not even hear wind noise coming from the box or roof rails.
i must say, i am now concerned about separation from my van.


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2000 lx,fern grey,remote starter, single disc cd player,roof rack with cross rails, bra, hidden hitch,csa 5 spoke alloy wheels,15% film over oem privacy glass and artic alpine tires on the oem steel wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Fordsdad- My post was not meant to alarm but to inform. Please call the numbers I listed and let us know what you think.
What snaps my carrot is that if the scrawny screws are the problem, maybe a redesign of the endcaps so they also slip under the part that slides along the rail, and the screws would fasten to that, vs the sliding mount, would be a solution. Or maybe beefier screws and rail sliders. I don't think the rails themselves are the problem, because (I think) the box makers mounts attach to the factory rails. Not sure though. Will attempt to find out.
To identify a problem, and then not attempt to correct it is unsat. in my book.
The worst part is that Honda will not accept liability for failure of their product, even though it was installed properly, not overloaded, not operated in disregard of any warnings, and used in the mannner implied by its functional purpose.
Another question might be- what other common uses do these racks have that might cause them to fail, that we don't know about. Mind you, I said common uses, just like luggage boxes.

Regards
Al

[This message has been edited by albaby (edited 07-22-2001).]

[This message has been edited by albaby (edited 07-23-2001).]
 

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I have owned the Thule rack system through several cars and bought the feet to attach to the EX roof rack. The feet do attach onto the factory rack and will slide to any position within the front and back bar areas. Considerable wind noise with only the bars attached. No noise whatsoever with the Thule weekender cargo box attached. So far I have been leaving bars on, if noise bothers me too much I will remove and install as needed.

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Homeric. I called Thule today and they said their 415 foot and crossbars will add about 2-1/2 inches of height over the H cross bar. Sound about right?

Al
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by homeric:
I have owned the Thule rack system through several cars and bought the feet to attach to the EX roof rack. The feet do attach onto the factory rack and will slide to any position within the front and back bar areas. Considerable wind noise with only the bars attached. No noise whatsoever with the Thule weekender cargo box attached. So far I have been leaving bars on, if noise bothers me too much I will remove and install as needed.

</font>


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'01 SS EX: fenderwell trim, rear mud flaps, door guards, cargo mat, cargo tray, Honda 6 disc CD-changer, Honda cassette player, OEM subwoofer, Honda front speaker upgrade, Honda emergency repair bag, WeatherTech air deflector and wind shields, Thule roofrack system.
 

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I have the big Thule 601 box using the Thule 752 rail adapter setup. 2 1/2 inches sounds a little small for this - would guess at least 3 inches but this is a bigger box than the Weekender.

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thules web site lists the MSRP for their setups. You have to get the towers (footposts) and crossbar to make it work. For the model 415 rail footposts, MSRP=$110
for the 50 in. crossbars, MSRP=42.00

Regards
Al
 

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I have an LX and just installed the LX roof rack last night for the purpose of using a cargo box and then today I find that it may be unsafe! I understand that the LX roof rack from Honda is different than the factory installed EX roof rack. Do these posts refer to the safety of the crossbars of the LX or EX racks or both? What is the difference between the LX and EX racks other than the fact that you need to buy the crossbars separately for the EX rack? I read elsewhere on this forum that Yakima makes the LX rack--does this mean that it is sturdier than the EX rack?


[This message has been edited by zenith (edited 07-27-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I can only speak for the EX. The rails may be the same for both of them. I don't know why there would be any difference. The rails that run lengthwise are apparently OK. Both Yakima and Thule attach their posts to them. Honda did not seem to have a problem with this as they suggested I get aftermarket equipment and attach it to my rails. The problem I posted was about the Honda crossbars that run widthwise from rail to rail.

Regards
Al
 

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albaby,

It looks like your conversations with Honda, Yakima, and Thule were concerning the EX rack and crossbars.

Last night I saw an EX in a store parking lot. I've never seen an EX with crossbars up close so I took a look. The EX rack (siderails and crossbars) is totally different from the LX rack that I just installed on my van. Why does Honda sell a different rack for the LX vs. the EX? The LX siderails are "thicker", or heavier looking, and the LX crossbars are definately sturdier looking--a flattened oval, about three inches wide. The LX crossbars fit into the side of the siderails in a mechanism that that allows them to slide forward and backward in a channel. The EX crossbars appear to be attached to the top and side of the siderails. I couldn't see how they slide without getting too close and alarming the owner if he/she came out and saw me poking around his/her van!

If I had a digital camera, I'd take pictures of the LX rack up close and share them with everyone.

As I stated above, the LX rack "looks" sturdier than the EX rack, but is it safe for a cargo box? I don't know. I'll have to call Honda and get their take on it as you did for the EX rack. I'm not sure that Yakima or Thule will understand that Honda provides two racks, one that is factory installed and one to be installed later. They probably just go by the factory installed EX rack and will not be able to confirm their support for the LX rack. I'll call them as well to see what they have to say.

I'll let you know what I find.

[This message has been edited by zenith (edited 07-30-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Zenith-your description of the LX setup fits my EX to a "T". Please let us know what Honda says.

Thanks
AL
 

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Here are some pictures of the LX rack crossbars. I've only used them to carry surfboards, but I also have a cargo carrier that I had hoped to use it for. I hope these crossbars are sturdier than what some have described for the EX. They are almost fully adjustable in an anterior (front) to posterior (rear) direction by several feet along the rails. The crossbars latch in to the rails with a seemingly plastic part, but it appears that it encases the outside part of the metal crossbar. They adjust with a screw that goes into the inside rail groove, which measures about 3/8 of an inch. The crossbars are approximately 1/2 inch thick and about 1.5 inches wide (viewing from the top). I had it dealer installed, and haven't taken it apart to see the internal components. I will try and have the moderator post them in the gallery under jamescanine. Hopefully they will be larger in size there. I'm not sure why they are so small when I posted them here.

LX crossbar inside closeup view


LX crossbar top view


LX Front view



LX crossbar closeup



I hope this provides a little more information.



[This message has been edited by jamescanine (edited 07-29-2001).]
 
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