(See the beginning of my transmission problem here)

I am happy to report that American Honda has agreed to pay for the part for a new transmission, providing I pay for the labor.

I am satisfied with this arrangement. I think that’s fair. Though the labor is a little expensive (the dealer said it would be about $800), it’s better than paying $3000 for the entire thing.

Here is what happened:

I took my car into the Diamond Bar Honda dealer at 7:30am. The service person Alan was very helpful, very nice, very efficient, and offered to have my car washed. It certainly needs a wash, and they are suppose to give a complimentary car wash. The last time I was there several years ago, they said they would wash my car and didn’t. It’s not a big deal, but I told Alan that they shouldn’t offer to wash it unless they are really going to do it. He says agrees, and will make sure it’s washed.

Then at about 10:30am, Alan called me to tell me that Wayne at American Honda offered to give me the transmission providing I pay for the labor. I accepted the offer and now my car is at Honda for the next several days.

In addition, Alan sold me on replacing the transmission fluid gaskets because it was leaking. Another $250.

It’s always like that when you go to the mechanic. It’s never just one thing. In my next life, I’m going to take auto mechanics in high school.

My mechanic at Fuji Auto said he was sure Honda will not cover my transmission on an expired warranty. He is wrong. In a capitalistic society, companies will often times bend backwards for the customer, especially if you scream loud enough (not literally).

Also in a capitalistic society, you should commend the good service of an employee and the company. It encourages them to do more in the future, and it helps that employee to have it in his file. I called Wayne to thank him, and when this is done, I will write a letter of commendation to Wayne, cc his supervisor.

23 Responses to “Honda Odyssey transmission approved”

  1. Washington Says:

    How many miles did you have?

  2. Washington Says:

    I read your previous entry: 129000.
    I have 127,000 on a 2000 van and want to get prepared to haggle.


  3. Joyful Says:

    Washington: Good luck.

  4. Carlos Gonzalez Says:

    My wife’s 2004 Honda Odyssey’s transmission also went out. Our case manager said he wanted the 60K and 85K service receipts showing that the transmission was serviced at the recommended times. Were you asked and were you able to produce yours? I could not find mine so I’m out of luck. My wife has 94K miles on the vehicle and its not even 4 years old.

  5. Joyful Says:

    Carlos: I generally did my service at the dealer, so they had my records. I don’t think I did any service on the transmission. Your Odyssey should be under warranty. You should definitely fight this one. Call that number on my post.

  6. Carlos Says:

    My experience was horrible and I finally gave up. Shame on American Honda and Clark Knapp Honda in McAllen Texas for not standing by their product. I, like you, called the 800 number two and a half weeks ago and was assigned Ron as case manager. He left me a voicemail mssg and it took five messages to him from me over a period of a couple of days to finally get a response. When we finally did speak on a Wednesday, all he was interested in was my transmission service records but he wouldn’t be able to get to my case until Friday because he had Thursday off. By the next day I had all the service records and they were all in order but I did not have any transmission service records at 60K and 85K miles. I again attempted to make contact with him but he never answered his phone and only after five mssgs does he call. Well lucky me, I missed it so he left me a voicemail mssg late on Friday afternoon probably just before he went home for the long weekend. I called first thing Monday only to find out he was off again for Columbus Day. I did try to call him again on Tuesday morning but was only able to leave a voicemail mssg to which he eventually responded at the end of the workday. By that time the General Sales Manager of Clark Knapp Honda (who drives a Toyota) convinced me that all I was probably going to get was 15% off of a $2,800 – 3,200 bill. So I’ve since taken my vehicle to AAMCO Transmissions to get repaired. It’ll run about $2K and I’ll get a 3 year / 30K mile warranty. I doubt I’ll ever buy Honda again. Sorry for my sour grapes. I’m glad you at least had a good experience.

  7. alisaom Says:

    I don’t have my service records will this pose a problem when I file my complaint?

  8. Joyful Says:

    alisamon: Even if you don’t have records, just keep complaining and calling. Be nice but be persistent. As for the supervisor. Then ask for a fax number and send a letter of complaint addressed to the supervisor.

  9. alisaom Says:

    Thank you Joyful! I did call have have a case #. However I went to my own mechanic. Should I have gone to a honda dealership first to be diagnosed before making the complaint?

  10. alisaom Says:

    I went back and read your blog and believe that I will be asked to get a diagnostic from a Honda Dealer. I purchased my honda as a pre-owned vehicle from a Honda Dealership. I did not receive a recall notice and should’ve been informed of the recall but was not. There is no policy that requires the dealership to notify the customer when they purchase the pre-owned vehicle which is ridiculous. I will keep you posted and hopefully Honda can cover at least the cost of the transmission. Thanks again for maintaining this blog for honda owners.

  11. Mike Says:

    My transmission failed as well. 3 transmissions at 113K miles is not typical. Service rep said too bad. DO NOT BUY AN ODYSSEY

  12. Linda Worland Says:

    When we purchased our 2001 odyssey we signed papers and went home with our old car. That should have been our first clue. Whithin one year we were having our transmission replaced. On this day, June 3, 2009, we have our 6th transmission on order. After every tranny was replaced, I would hear,”The problem has been taken care of.” Nine years later and we are still having the same issues. How long should we put up with this. Our patience is on overload. We are DONE with honda, no. more! Toyota here I come.

  13. Honda Odyssey transmission problem Says:

    […] Update: Honda covered the transmission replacement, I paid the labor. See my post about that experience here. […]

  14. Albert Yang Says:

    My 2002 Honda Odyssey got the original (1st) transmission faile yesterday at 157,800 miles, I know compared with other owners, I might be lucky to have it ran with so high milleages. However, I still don’t happy with it because I always did all the recommended maintenance from the dealer. And I am the only one owner with this van.

    This was really a dangerous situation that I have 4 kids with me on the highway, and the car suddently slow down & banging. The gear sticked on low speed and could not goes to higher gear automatically. The Engine speed went very high. After I pulled the car off-road, I found I could not even engage the Reverse gear….I finally need to have some one to pick up my kids, and have tow truck to tow it back to my home.

    Can anyone with this kind of mileages still get some reimbursement from Honda? Would you please share the experience how did you make the claim?
    I really need the help. Many thanks in advance.

  15. Mike Says:

    Albert, you did get a lot more miles than me (81K on my first transmission and only 113K on my second). I have zero luck in getting any $$ out of Honda on my second transmission. On the first, they did pay for it but only because Honda extended my original warranty because of the class action suit brought against Honda. I am not sure if you would qualify.

    Only getting 31k miles on transmission #2 for me was disheartening. What was worse was the total lack of customer service on Honda’s side. I have talked to many different customer service reps there, sent in numerous letters and so on. All denied. Not even a willingness to meet me part way on repair costs. There is a definite design and engineering flaw on the the Odyssey that Honda will not own up to. For that, I say forget about Honda for future purchases and I will let anyone else I can tell know this.

    I used to be a Honda fan but no more.

  16. Joyful Says:

    Albert, it’s worth a try to bug Honda about it.
    Here’s my post on my experience including the phone number I called

    Mike, you’d think Honda would have more sense. What’s a few hundred to satisfy a customer. Really unwise business decision.

  17. Sherri Says:

    The problem is that it’s not just ‘a few hundred’ when you mulitiply that by the thousands of folks that have had/will have tranny problems. Keeping in mind that the engine is a Honda, so likely has lots of life in it, coupled with a transmission that is faulty, and needing replacement 2-3 times every 150-200k miles, this equals disaster for Honda. They have installed hundreds of thousands of faulty trannys in these vehicles, both in the new vehicles and in those that have a ‘remanufactured Honda’ transmission replaced due to the faulty original one. At this point, Honda has learned a hard and costly lesson and are trying (I’m sure) to minimize their expenses by denying or offering only a percentage of coverage for replacement transmissions. If their goal was to win customers and keep customers, they would replace these transmissions 100% free of charge with any reasonable proof of maintainence. Right now, it seems their goal is to minimize expenditures, not to keep customers satisfied. Hopefully (for them) their other vehicles have enough of a loyal following that it won’t come back to bite them.

  18. Joyful Says:

    Sherri, you are right. And apparently they do have a loyal following. My sister for one. I told her of my bad experience with my Odyssey, but she still bought an Accord just last month.

  19. Honda Odyssey transmission response Says:

    […] See update here – Transmission repair approved! […]

  20. Arthur Says:

    I purchased a 2000 honda Odyssey from a Toyota car lot in Indiana. It has less than 100k and they did not inform me that there was a recall on this honda, I even asked them before we purchased it and they told us no. This was two years ago in 2007. I took it in for regular maintnance and no one ever informed me that there was a recall. I just call honda service to see what they would do and the lady told me that I now have to many mile on my Honda and that there is nothing that they can do. I told her that I was going to purchase a Toyota next time and she laught at me, that made matter worse. I am going to let everyone know not to buy a honda odyssey and I know alot of people. I now have another mission and that is to see honda sale decrease big time. I am also a speaker. I go into schools and other places to speak to kids and I will let everyone know that Honda Odyssey is junk.

  21. DMacL Says:

    Have a 2001 Accord with only 56K on it. Tranny just went – 6 months out of the extended trans warranty. Quoted $3400 from the dealer for the repair (along with $750 for the timing belt, $200 for the bushings/sway bar etc.). Called American Honda and they are reviewing. Asked me to start thinking about “how much I would like them to pay.” I had no idea I would be asked this (figiured it would be 100% or 0%) so I said I had to think about it. Meanwhile, they will call the dealer and speak to them. My 3rd Honda (2nd from the same dealer). That may help me as well. I may come in at $500 and see what they say.

  22. Sandeep Says:

    I had my Honda Odyssey 2004 transmission fail in the middle of the road. I was with my 2 kids and wife on a cold wintery night. Luckily I was able to pull it to the side road and then push the car to a parking lot. I can’t imagine what would have happened if my wife was driving it with my kids. I’m very angry with Honda quality.

  23. Roy Says:

    IMPORTANT! WARNING! I want to let you all know about my experience with Honda. My 2002 Honda Odyssey had a transmission problem at 103,000 miles. This automatic transmission problem is well known by Honda and all over the internet. The gear would get stuck and destroyed your transmission.
    According to Edmunds.com’s recent analysis of complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), consumers cited transmission-related problems with 2001 through 2004 Odysseys more than five times as often as they did for the Toyota Sienna or the Chrysler Group’s Caravan, Grand Caravan and Town and Country minivans during the same model years.
    Please go to http://www.squidoo.com/hondaodysseytransmissionfailure

    I contacted Honda Corporation.
    Case# N012013-08060-1869
    Case Manager: Caroline (8000-999-1009 ext. 117739)

    Honda Corp. was willing to give me $375 in dealer credit. Local Honda dealer was going to charge me $4700 to fix it, but AAMCO would charge me $2592, so I went with AAMCO, but a year later the transmission went bad again, and I paid another $2000 to rebuild the transmission at AAMCO. I asked Honda for $1296 to split the difference for the first repair, but they would not do anything for except offering me that $375. Of course I rejected the offer.
    This is David versus Goliath. Honda would not listen customer like you and me.
    I would strongly recommend for all of you, DO NOT BUY ANY HONDA PRODUCT WITH AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION!
    I’m so so disappointed with HONDA!