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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to decide whether or not to throw a fit about this.

We bought a 2016 CPO Odyssey SE from a dealer in our area (they were not close--35 miles away) a month ago. I took the car overnight to test drive and took it to our local mechanic to check out. I was concerned because it seemed like the vehicle was lurching at lower speeds when shifting (like it was catching late). My father is a mechanic and noticed it, too. It wasn't horribly noticeable, but gave me pause. It checked out fine at the mechanic and I found multiple posts on here describing similar issues that were resolved with a transmission software update. We otherwise liked the car, so we bought it.

I took the car to our local dealer to have the transmission issue checked out and a rear seatbelt that didn't work repaired. They just called and told me "the transmission is fine, but did need a software update, that isn't covered under your warranty, $140 please!" I got upset, the rep escalated, and they gave it to me for free. I just looked at the warranty booklet in detail and "reprogramming; updates" are among some of the "Maintenance procedures" listed as not covered under the 1 year PowerTrain warranty. My argument is that I was sold a CPO car a month ago that had this issue to begin with, and the update was the fix so why should I have to pay for a fix on a car that was supposed to be certified one month ago?

I cannot fault the local dealer so much, although the rep hung up on me after saying, "We'll do this one for free, the car is ready, CLICK," but I'm kind of annoyed with the original dealer. I feel like they did not complete due diligence in selling me a CPO car--a lot of signs point to someone literally just checking boxes without having actually checked anything out:
  • When I took the car to my mechanic, they noted the filter and cabin air filters were dirty, yet they were marked good on the CPO checklist. I made the dealership replace these before we completed the purchase
  • Upon reviewing the CPO checklist as we were signing the purchase papers, I noticed the car listed was an Accord, not an Odyssey. The salesperson checked and said the VIN matched (it does), but that gave me pause and it could have been a nightmare after the fact. They crossed out "Accord" and wrote "Odyssey."
  • Also reviewing the checklist, I noticed I was supposed to have floormats with the car. The salesperson had simply told me there weren't included. When I pointed out they were supposed to be according to the checklist, they promised to order me some. I asked that they be shipped to a dealer closer to me as I was taking the car that day and wasn't driving 70 miles round trip to get floormats. They agreed. This turned into a weeklong he-said-she-said battle where the floormats were shipped to them and I was told it was "against policy" to ship them to me. I eventually won that battle and had them shipped, but at this point, I was annoyed.
I'm hoping this was the last issue--we will see when I go pick up the car in an hour. They claim the rear middle seatbelt is working fine, but I literally couldn't get it to connect this morning when I dropped it off.

Should I let it go, or complain to the original dealership/Honda?
 

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Congratulations on the new ride!

I'd say that it is the original dealer who sold you the van who messed up and the local dealer cleaned up the mess at their own cost. When you go to pick up your Ody from the local dealer, take a dozen donuts or some other treat for the service staff there because they took good care of you (maybe with the exception of a curt end to your phone call).

I think you did a very smart thing to get the van checked out by another mechanic during your overnight test drive, but I also think you should have held the selling dealer's feet to the fire to have the problem you identified addressed before signing on the dotted line. One would think that their service department would have been able (though less motivated) to identify the same problem and implement the same solution. You're probably right to suspect that the CPO inspection might not have been as thorough as it should have been.

Most dealers are independent businesses. Your local dealer ate the cost of doing the software update without getting the benefit of the premium price a CPO vehicle commands on the sales side of things. They're looking to build some goodwill with you so that you'll bring your Ody back to them next time you need service. I hope you'll take that into consideration.

If I were you, I would probably let bygones be bygones here and remember all of this when it comes time to service or buy again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I don't have a huge beef with the local dealer...although they did the update and intended to charge me without calling to authorize this. I made it very clear when I dropped it off that I had just bought the car, it was CPO, and I was expecting things to be covered under the warranty. They told me they would call me and let me know--they never did.

In hindsight, I probably should have pushed the issue with the dealer we bought it from, but I had just had a mechanic say "this is just how Hondas drive" and a warranty that was supposed to cover everything for 1 year/12k miles. Otherwise, the car was a good deal, we had 2 days to make the deal due to unrelated circumstances, and I was sitting in a dealer an hour away from home with 3 children at dinnertime...it didn't seem like *that* much to assume if there was an actual transmission issue, we could deal with it under warranty on our own time.

I guess that is my real question--if a software update like this is released that fixes an obvious issue, is it really the expectation that I should pay out of pocket for it, especially on a CPO vehicle?

I'm coming from a situation where we sold a paid-for VW Routan with more features (but endless issues) and bought the "reliable, CPO Honda" to stop the money hemorrhage. So a month in, I kind of have a bad taste in my mouth over this. Early on, my VW van had some significant issues that required reprogramming and once it was established the car was under warranty, they were fixed, no questions asked.
 

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I'm glad that the software update resulted in such a positive change. That's how those kinds of things are supposed to end up.

On further reflection, I'm not sure why the standard power train (or even the bumper-to-bumper warranty) didn't immediately cover the cost of the software update. A 2016 model shouldn't have aged out of those warranties yet. In the end, maybe those warranties did cover the cost. It's possible that the initial charge was an error that was caught a moment too late (ie after the phone call to you).

I'll admit I'm not familiar with the fine print of a CPO warranty; does it override or replace any aspects of the factory warranties?

It's too bad that you've had to endure this aggravation so early in your Ody ownership experience, but you have probably not bought into another money pit. All this has cost you time and energy, but no money. Try to keep that in mind.

If I can offer you a nickel's worth of free advice, stay on top of the transmission maintenance. Change the fluid more frequently than Honda officially recommends; it's necessary and cheap insurance. And I would urge you to install a VCM suppression device (like a VCMuzzler or MaxMuzzler). VCM has a way of being more trouble than it's worth sometimes. These two things address the biggest weak points in the gen 4 Odyssey.
 

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Good information. The software fix I assume the dealer would know what we are talking about. But the VCM we would have to take it to an independent repair shop to have it installed (or DIY)?
 

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Good information. The software fix I assume the dealer would know what we are talking about. But the VCM we would have to take it to an independent repair shop to have it installed (or DIY)?
Installing a VCM suppression device like a VCMuzzler is absolutely a DIY job. It's a matter of unplugging one sensor, adding the Muzzler and then plugging back into the same sensor. It is not something that you would need a mechanic's help for. There are YouTube videos that show how it's done if you want to see it before you order. Forum member verbatim produces the VCMuzzler and he lives in Edmonton, so mail delivery is super easy to Calgary. If you send him a PM on this forum, he's usually pretty quick to respond.

A dealership service department will likely never openly acknowledge that they know about VCM suppression and why it's a good idea. That would not look good in front of Honda corporate.
 
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