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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Maybe this should be a sticky?

Just the address and info to send letters to Honda of America?

Also who should we address our letters to?

I was thinking comments, letters and constructive criticism.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here is the letter I typed up and want to send to Honda. I was pretty descriptive about what happened and what I want done.

To: Honda of America

Mr. Takanobu Ito,

I want to start off by saying that my family and I have long been big supporters of Honda over the years. As a long time customer of your motorcycles when I was growing up and more recently your cars, I have been very impressed with both the quality and reliability of your products.

In 2008 we purchased a new Honda CRV from our local dealer in Couer D’Alene Idaho and were very satisfied with our purchase. However due to our growing family, we decided to sell our CRV and purchase a 2001 Honda Odyssey. Because Honda has a fantastic reputation and our past experience with Honda products and vehicles we were very confident and comfortable purchasing this vehicle.

During the purchasing process we considered many other minivan products from your competitors and found that the Honda Odyssey both drove nicer and had better handling than any of the other vehicles in this class. Our biggest concern was the reliability of the transmission in this year of vehicle. We had the van inspected by the dealer when making our purchase and they assured us everything looked good minus a few regular maintenance items that we took care of soon after purchasing the vehicle.

About 8 months after purchasing the vehicle, we started having erratic shifting issues and then at approximately 109,400 miles the check engine and TCS control lights came on. We had the codes from the computer pulled and found it was telling us P0740 which is a torque convertor pressure issue. After doing some in-depth research online and discussions with the dealer we found that it was very likely a failing transmission. My research indicated that this was a common problem and that typically the clutch packs had premature fiber disc wear and problems with the toque convertor clutch failing. The vehicle has never been used for towing and the transmission fluid has been changed on the recommended interval.

After discussing the problem with the dealer and getting a quote of around $4500.00 over the phone if it was indeed the transmission I proceeded to get a second opinion. I was very disappointed in the dealer’s ability to describe to me the problems with the transmission and what was typically the problem, especially since they seemed very familiar with this issue. I then contacted a transmission shop I had used in the past and had a good ongoing relationship with. This shop was very forthcoming with the problems with the Odyssey transmissions and they commented that they had rebuilt several of them with excellent success in improving the reliability and longevity of the units. Their comment was the code I was experiencing was typically an indication of degradation of the clutch pack material and premature failure of the torque convertor clutch. They quoted me a considerably lower price to rebuild, install and warranty the transmission of $3100.00 plus the recommendation of installing an auxiliary cooler for $200 to keep fluid temperatures low to lengthen transmission clutch pack and torque converter life.

Due to the price difference and having to pay for the repair out of pocket, the more in-depth knowledge the transmission shop had of the issues that were typical of this transmission, along with the alternate transmission shop offering us a vehicle for the week of the repair we opted to have the transmission repaired outside of the dealer. We also couldn't afford to wait for a reply as this is my wife's only vehicle and we have 4 children.

I realize that this is an older Honda Odyssey that is out of the extended warranty offered for the transmission issues, however we did have the dealer inspect the vehicle before we purchased it.
Here is what we would like Honda of America to do for us:

1) Pay for at least a portion of the cost of the transmission repair. I have included repair records, an itemized bill of the transmission repair, pictures of the clutch pack failure in the transmission, a copy of the dealer inspection report from the vehicle purchase, and a VIN Number of our Odyssey.

2) Have a discussion with the dealer about the cost of replacing transmissions on this year of vehicle. Since this is a known issue I believe the dealer should be at least competitive with other transmission shops.

As long time Honda owners and loyal customers, this course of action by Honda would do a great deal in restoring our confidence in Honda vehicles and reinforce our decision to purchase a Honda despite the history of transmission issues for this year.

We realize that all manufacturers have issues to resolve on their vehicles from time to time, but it is their commitment to solving the issues and how they treat their customers that maintains loyal customers. Your attention to this issue will go a long way in maintaining our loyalty as a customer along with reinforcing our ability to recommend Honda vehicles to friends and family.

Thank you,

Thomas Monter
 

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Good luck with that! :)

As much as I agree with you that Honda blew it big-time with this transmission (my 2001 was already on its third Honda-supplied transmission at 107K miles when I bought it), convincing them that they should pay for a repair on an 8-year-old vehicle with over 100K miles that you purchased used, is going to be a non-starter.

If you were the original owner of the van, you would have a shot at some goodwill. I bought my 2001 from the original owners, and both of the replacement transmissions were provided under warranty to them. Now if I had bought it before the 2nd transmission failed? Forget it, no way that Honda would have paid for that.

Thanks to this forum, I was specifically shopping for a used Ody that had just had the transmission replaced, and I jumped on it when I found one. And I got a good deal on the van, so if worst-case the current transmission dumps, I will not be happy about it but will pay the $$$ to replace it and move on with my life.
 

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I would file a complaint with the NTHSA like this website recommends. Like the website states if enough people do this it will at least get their attention. The government might jump on Honda like they recently did with Toyota. Just a thought on another way to help all Honda Odyssey owners. The stats they give from Edmunds.com is an eye opener.

Honda Odyssey Transmission Failure
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
redmondjp said:
Good luck with that! :)

As much as I agree with you that Honda blew it big-time with this transmission (my 2001 was already on its third Honda-supplied transmission at 107K miles when I bought it), convincing them that they should pay for a repair on an 8-year-old vehicle with over 100K miles that you purchased used, is going to be a non-starter.

If you were the original owner of the van, you would have a shot at some goodwill. I bought my 2001 from the original owners, and both of the replacement transmissions were provided under warranty to them. Now if I had bought it before the 2nd transmission failed? Forget it, no way that Honda would have paid for that.

Thanks to this forum, I was specifically shopping for a used Ody that had just had the transmission replaced, and I jumped on it when I found one. And I got a good deal on the van, so if worst-case the current transmission dumps, I will not be happy about it but will pay the $$$ to replace it and move on with my life.
As someone who will be in the market for another car in the next 2-3 years for myself, I must say Honda better be a little accommodating on this issue. Just because it's an older vehicle doesn't mean my expectations of quality are any less.

If they refuse to do anything I will say that our next car or van will not be a Honda but likely a Toyota.

When a company screws up this big as a customer I expect them to step up. When they don't they lose me as a customer. It's that simple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
rpedersen said:
I would still file a complaint with the NTHSA there is still a safety concern here.
I disagree. The transmission failures generally are not safety hazards except in extremely rare circumstances. These do give fair warning of the failure if the owner pays attention.

Plus I'm not a fan of getting the government involved in an issue they have no business being involved in.
 

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Honda paying for the bill from a non-honda trans shop will never happen. It is a used vehicle pushing 10 years old and 120k miles, as far as they are concerned it is well past being there "goodwill" responsibilty.

You should have stuck with the 08 CRV if you wanted honda to pay for your repairs. But you decided to down grade to a much older vehicle with a know transmission problem, and that was your choice.

But your van with a new trans from a decent shop should give you another 120k miles of trouble free shifting.
 

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i'm pretty much in the same boat. i wouldn't be surprised if honda told me to pound sand when the tranny on my 03 goes. even though i have owned 3 other honda's and still own a CRV i'm the second owner on the Ody and it has almost 75,000 miles on it.

you never know, i might get lucky but i knew about the tranny issues and bought the van because a dealership was selling it for $3K cheaper than others in the area. so i figured i got a discount to pay for a replacement tranny. :stupid:

i've had the van 3 years now and it has been problem free. just waiting for tranny to die!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ody-tech said:
Honda paying for the bill from a non-honda trans shop will never happen. It is a used vehicle pushing 10 years old and 120k miles, as far as they are concerned it is well past being there "goodwill" responsibilty.

You should have stuck with the 08 CRV if you wanted honda to pay for your repairs. But you decided to down grade to a much older vehicle with a know transmission problem, and that was your choice.

But your van with a new trans from a decent shop should give you another 120k miles of trouble free shifting.
Yes it was my choice, however it doesn't excuse Honda's lack of attention to fixing the problem. This problem should have been an obvious recall.

Like I said if this is how Honda does business, they will get no more from me after this vehicle.

If I wanted un-unreliable Van I could have purchased a Chrysler at half the price.

We shall see what they say.
 

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You're missing the point.

Its hard enough to get Honda to pay if you take it to a dealer at that miles if you bought used. Since you got work done at a non-Honda place, if I were you, I wouldn't even bother with the letter and all. There is no way they're going to help out since the work's already done and it was not done at a dealership.

With the tranny issues, Honda is very strict about keeping it hush hush and once you go out of their dealer network and the work's done, its no longer hush hush and not in their interest.

I'd just kiss that letter good buy and enjoy the ride and I am one of those who actually lucked out with Honda.
 

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tmonter said:
As someone who will be in the market for another car in the next 2-3 years for myself, I must say Honda better be a little accommodating on this issue. Just because it's an older vehicle doesn't mean my expectations of quality are any less.

If they refuse to do anything I will say that our next car or van will not be a Honda but likely a Toyota.

When a company screws up this big as a customer I expect them to step up. When they don't they lose me as a customer. It's that simple.
Toyota?
TOYOTA? Really???

With the runaway accelerators of Toyotas I'm not quite sure you have a valid point saying your 10-year old Odyssey's transmission issue and its third-party repair puts Honda below Toyota in quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Steve P said:
Toyota?
TOYOTA? Really???

With the runaway accelerators of Toyotas I'm not quite sure you have a valid point saying your 10-year old Odyssey's transmission issue and its third-party repair puts Honda below Toyota in quality.
Yes it is. Toyota's problem was due to lean manufacturing practices and the same part being used across most models. However they have about 500 reported incidents of stuck throttle over 7 million vehicles.

That's 0.0007%

Hardly the 80%+ failure rates on Odyssey Transmissions over 100k miles.

I have to wonder why people are trying to convince me not to send the letter? Should we not let Honda know our displeasure?

Should we not let them know we can and will vote with our dollar?

When the Sienna can regularly go 200k+ on the original transmission with no issues Honda needs to step up and make it right.

All I can say is if Honda doesn't do something for me in 3-4 years when we buy a new van it won't be a Honda.
 

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I don't think we're discouraging you from writing. All we are saying is that you won't see a dime for this issue as the work's already done and Honda has no incentive to pay up now. So, send in the letter but don't pin your hopes on any outcome. If they do roll over and pay up, consider yourself luckier than most and that day, play the powerball.

I too am of the opinion of not giving them future business and odds are very very high that I won't be buying another Honda and they actually paid for my transmission.

Also, the failure rate though is high, is not 80% like you say. Its lower than that to some number between 30 % and 50 % but the official numbers have never been released by Honda.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
dvpatel said:
I don't think we're discouraging you from writing. All we are saying is that you won't see a dime for this issue as the work's already done and Honda has no incentive to pay up now. So, send in the letter but don't pin your hopes on any outcome. If they do roll over and pay up, consider yourself luckier than most and that day, play the powerball.

I too am of the opinion of not giving them future business and odds are very very high that I won't be buying another Honda and they actually paid for my transmission.

Also, the failure rate though is high, is not 80% like you say. Its lower than that to some number between 30 % and 50 % but the official numbers have never been released by Honda.
Well since I recently have been interested in this issue when I see people with an Odyssey in the parking lot and such I ask them if they've had the transmission replaced yet and most people I've asked have said yes.

Certainly not scientific, but certainly not encouraging either.

I have to wonder if the failures are a lot higher than they are leading on.

I also wonder if there are substantially lower failures on Odyssey's that had the tow-prep package installed at purchase.

It's frustrating to me because I came from Subaru and Toyota (Still own the Toyota, 156k miles) ownership prior to the two Hondas we have owned and never had an issue transmission wise up until now. Hell my 1984 Dodge Pickup still has the original A727 transmission and it has 175k miles on it.

Regardless does anyone have the mailing address of Honda to send this letter to? I just want to ensure it gets to the right location.
 
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