I am documenting this for reference.
I have a 1999 Honda Odyssey, bought brand new from the dealer, Rock Honda it was. I was on a waiting list and waited a couple of months to get this van. It was purported to be the best van, efficient engine, and we trusted Honda as a maker of reliable cars.
We were wrong.
In 2003 with 45,000 miles on the van, the transmission went bad. At that time, Honda had not yet realize the extent of their transmission problem and had not extended their warranty. With 45,000 miles, the warranty on my transmission was expired.
A car with 45,000 miles requiring a new transmission was unheard of!
Diamond Bar Honda dealer says, sorry, your warranty is expired. You have to pay about $3000 for a new transmission. The dealer was no help at all. They supposedly made a call to Honda to ask about the warranty. Came back and gave me the same story: the warranty expired on the transmission.
I called myself to complain to Honda Customer Relations (1-800-999-1009 is their current number). After reviewing it with a case manager, they agreed to pay for the part, and I pay the labor. The labor was $471. I give Honda credit for excellent service at that time.
After this, Honda extended their transmission warranty to 100,000 miles on all their Odysseys.
I asked Honda to extend my new transmission warranty 100,000 miles from the time of the new transmission, giving me a warranty to 145,000 miles.
They said, no.
I said, since you are willing to extend new cars to 100,000 miles, it would make sense to cover my new transmission 100,000. It is obviously a defect in design that this transmission goes out so quickly.
They said, no.
Fast forward to now, 2008. My van has 129,000 miles.
My transmission is out again!
Less than 90,000 miles later, my transmission needs to be replaced.
My mechanic (not the dealer) tried to save me money by replacing the automatic transmission lock up solenoid and thought that might help. It didn’t.
Today I called Honda and registered a complaint. Marlene answered the customer service call and assigned me a case number. A case manager is suppose to call me within 2 business days.
I’ll update after I hear from the case manager. If they are as cooperative as last time, I will give Honda a 5 star rating. If not, my next car will be a Toyota.
If you’ve had similar problems, please leave a comment.
Update: Honda covered the transmission replacement, I paid the labor. See my post about that experience here.