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Discussion Starter #1
Its been brought up over the last year or so about the problems with the wing that the dealers are not fixing the bikes under warranty. Some of the complaints are going unanswer from Honda. The extended warranty work is being less cover and coming out of the owners pocket. For me I have been lucky about my bike needing work, nothing has gone wrong. The bike has had its recalls, but nothing else wrong.
My question is ....is American Honda calling the shots on warranty work and not wanting to look bad to mother Honda for bad workmanship or anything else. That they are low balling authorized repair work or hiding it from mother Honda. The Japanese as a car company goes is the opposite direction as I have found and its against the Japanese culture to not try to deliver the best product or stand by it. Its the reason a good % of people in the US are buying the Japanese cars . To me its a American ( the fast buck type) decision doing this.
Just looking for an answer on why riders are having such problems with reqular or extended warranty repair work. I'm basis this on what I read on the board and heard from other riders. Just wondering if we should be sending our complaints to Mother Honda instead.

Dennis
 

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I think that it has to do with the sales numbers Honda is having. If you look at the 2006 projection of units sold in the US it shows that Honda has a tremendous decline in the motorcycle market (mainly due to offroad bikes).

As long as sales numbers go up all is fine. Now that Honda suddenly in a position where they do not have incremental sales they need to put a tighter hold on their money to stay profitable. Unfortunately warranty work is hitting the profit bottom line pretty hard. This is multiplied that the previous years did extremely well for them now causing a large amount of bikes on the street that are potentially needing warranty work.

This doesn't mean that Honda won't do warranty work. They will be putting a closer eye on what dealers consider warranty work.

Since the car business is doing well and increasing its sales volume it will be no issue on that side as they two seperate business units that each have its own profit/loss responsibility - they just share a common name.

It's just business,
Reiner
 

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The biggest problem that exists in these situations is that there are many people who mistake negligence and abuse for a factory defect. That is the root problem of getting items covered under warranty. There are many riders and dealers that are less than honest when filing a warranty claim with Honda. If it is a legitimate problem, Honda will not even blink an eye at covering it.

Dealers sometimes have to fight with Honda to get paid on a questionable claim. Lets say you take your bike in for warranty work. The work gets done and the dealer files the claim with Honda. Honda questions the claim, calls for the part to be shipped to them, they inspect it, come to the conclusion that abuse is the cause of failure and refuses to pay the dealer for the claim. Now the dealer gets stuck paying for the part and paying his guy to put it on. Now, how is that fair? This is the reason why there are alot of dealers who just flat out say that warranty will not cover it.

But, as far as a legitimate claim goes, you should never get grief from a service writer or manager as far as covering it. Most service managers will have a good idea as far as what they will cover and what they won't. If you do get hassled, then maybe you should find another dealership. True, it can be a pain taking time traveling to another shop. But if they give you that much grief on the issue, do you really want them to work on your pride and joy?
 

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Before we all get too misty-eyed over the Japanese culture, bear in mind that all of the rules governing that culture do not apply here in America, or in Canada, or in Europe. The Japanese will adapt somewhat to the mores of the local culture and let American Honda and the others set their own standards and conduct business based on the respective country's culture.

Bear in mind too, just as serial_thriller points out there are dealers that will fight Honda over a questionable claim, there also are dealers that will not lift a finger to help you. Or will go out of their way to cause you a problem. I am speaking of the car side of Honda and not the motorcycle side.

My Wing has had the recalls completed acurately (if slowly) and runs fine. The dealers treated me with civility if not friendliness. What little service I have needed has been handled in a competent and timley manner. That includes warranty work. Fortunately, I have not needed much in the way of warranty work.

There is a Honda automobile dealer in the Cincinnati area, Fairfield to be exact, that has a service manager you would not want to do business with. I had a problem with a 2005 Accord EX within a couple months of purchase. It was all warranty work. After two visits to the dealer and a complaint about the car to Honda, the service manager decided to have a little fun at my expense. To make a long story short, I no longer own that car and will not buy another Honda automobile. Of course, the service manager is still employed.

After 3 months of constant back and forth, I learned that American Honda supports their dealers regardless of the dealer's actions and behavior. After four Accords over the past 15 years from this dealer for my wife and I, I learned that loyalty counts for squat.

While the Japanese culture may speak of their desire to make the best product possible and to stand by it, the arrogance of Honda car dealers in purely American. As for the fabled Japanese committment to quality, the car was very poorly put together. It rattled, clunked, squeeked and creaked and was getting worse.

I would suggest you keep exploring dealers. There are good ones out there. I have found a good bike dealer that is getting my business. I know of a Honda car dealer that will not see my business.

Gregg
2002 GL 1800 Black
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Quickdraw(OH)

Going by what you said, the local dealer is the problem in your area for the car side. You said it was a 2005 Accord EX, if I'm correct that car is made in Ohio just up the road from you! So it sounds like a American problem in your case.
Wasn't looking to blame a nation for workmanship just find a answer to getting warranty work done or at least look at fairly. Like I said I have no problems with my bike or the way its been handle. Just going by other board members take on how they been treated. My original question is "should we be sending our complainst to Mother Honda instead". Let me add when all else has fail.

Dennis
 

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If you think talking directly to Mother Honda will help you, guess again. They will tell you to see your local dealer. Unfortunately if you want Mother Honda to address an issue with their product whether it is a car or a motorcycle, you will need to hire a lawyer. Unfortunately that is the American way. So if you have a legit issue then by all means contact your lawyer and get things fixed. lawyers can get more things done since they are working for you and NOT Mother Honda.

Good Luck...you are going to need it!
 

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Your Honda area rep calls the shots. I believe each region has X number of dollars allowed for warranty work per quarter. The rep might even get paid a bonus if the claims are kept below a certain number. :?

Is that a fact? Not that I know, but I was in sales long enough to know how it works. LOL.... It's comes down to the areas P&L. The "P" has to be much larger than the "L". If not, jobs are threatened or lost.

I do know the fact that the area rep is God. Whatever he says goes. Nobody within Honda that I have found will over ride his decision. :(
 

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in agreement.......

I think what has been said is probably fairly accurate. I assume that the reason that the BMW's are so expensive to maintain is the lesser number of machines sold divided into the amount taken in on recall/defect issues? I was back in Indiana this summer and found out that the big BMW dealer in Indianapolis (Revard BMW) and the one in South Bend both closed their doors. This is an indication of what can happen with such a small output of machines that cannot be offset with recall dollars? The beemers are fun machines but they get harder and harder to own with no place to go for their astronomical cost of that ownership. If the GoldWings or Hondas in general get reduced market share to levels that make recalls and repairs become very costly I would think that will even further reduce sales and one will propagate the other even further in the death spiral?

It's been amusing watching the big three American auto makers with their attempts at factory elite customs? The Prowler, the Thunderbird, and the Chevy SSR were all doomed from conception when they hit the doors in the high forties to low fifties? Who wouldn't have wanted any one of these vehicles if they could have been purchased and then driven at a reasonable cost? Ford is reeling under the mistaken idea that the pickup truck was the answer to America's transportation issues and then poof the major oil companies decided to get theirs while the gettin' was good? The consequence is dealerships full of V-8 high horsepower pickups that no one is buying?

I feel fortunate that my Wing has been a faultless performer since the day I got it. If it continues to go as such then I can offer no complaint on having it or not having to pay for other than regular upkeep? I travel 88 miles to go to the dealer that I feel the best with. The 176 mile roundtrip has so far been worth it. :D

Denny
 

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I had such a bad experience with warranty work that I don't go back to that dealer where I bought it. My Aero was not running right and was still under the extended bumper-to-bumper warranty. I took it to Arizona Honda, Tucson to get it fixed. The bill was over $200 and I was told that "you messed with the carbs so the warranty is void on this repair".

AZ Honda finally did cover the repair under warranty (what would be my motivation to mess with the carbs that are still under warranty).

My point: was this an attempt to screw me out of warranty work? I don't know but the experience pissed me off enough that I'm not ever going back. I was planning on buying my Wing there but not now.
 

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Re: in agreement.......

Denny,

I don't think that they had to close their doors due to warranty work - which they would have gotten payement for by BMW.

The problem is that BMW is pretty much forcing dealers to a certain standard in their showrooms, which also includes having a single brand presentation (in most cases) - much like HD. For the service department they also set a higher standard than Honda - all of those driving costs up for the dealer, which in essence somebody has to pay for: the customer.

Now the dealer assumes when building his showroom, service space, etc a certain number of sold units. If they don't come in - for whatever reason he's at a loss situation and will ultimately shut the operation down.

As to your statement about the american car manufacturers - I agree with that one. But what I can see is that even the Japanese manufacturers are starting to get the arrogance of the US manufacturers from the 60's/70's. The fact that Toyota avoids recalls like the plague and doesn't provide truthfull information (at least in Japan) is a bad sign of things to come.

Reiner
 

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Wingit84

You are correct that it was a dealer problem. I tell that story to make a couple of points. First, there is a perception that the Japanese car-side in general and the Honda car-side in particular are somehow better than other dealers. That Honda automotive is better than Honda motorcycles. I believe this perception is as much a matter of PR then anything else. Yes, Honda does put a pretty face on the car side but in the end, Honda car dealers, both sales and service, can be just as arrogant, petty, mean-spirited and predatory as any other manufacturer’s dealer.

The second point is if you experience a problem with a Honda car dealer, you are on your own just as you are if you experience a problem with a Honda motorcycle dealer. Honda will not lift one finger to help you or support you. Additionally, Honda customer service people, both auto and motorcycle, have no real authority. They can and do say no a lot but cannot make any decisions without consultation with management. Customer service works from a script that gives them direction in most situations. Anything beyond that goes to management for a decision.

As Red said, the Honda reps are god. That may be true but getting to one can take an act of god. Honda will do whatever they can to keep you away from them. In my case Honda customer service lied and said there weren’t any district reps only to admit 2 months later, there were and that Honda would graciously consent to let me meet with one.

I probably shouldn’t have hijacked the thread as I did. The point I wanted to make is there are good dealers and there are bad dealers. Where warranty work is concerned a good dealer can and will fight for the customer. They know how to approach Honda and stand a good chance of getting warranty work approved. We all know what a bad dealer can do. The trick is finding a good dealer.

Gregg
2002 GL1800 Black
 

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Quickdraw (OH) said:
The point I wanted to make is there are good dealers and there are bad dealers. Where warranty work is concerned a good dealer can and will fight for the customer. They know how to approach Honda and stand a good chance of getting warranty work approved. We all know what a bad dealer can do. The trick is finding a good dealer.

Gregg
2002 GL1800 Black
We have a winner! Nice post Gregg. The whole trick is knowing how to approach Honda. You (service department personnel) learn how to talk to the guys at Honda and you will be amazed at what you can get done. It may take a while, but you can get alot done. Because it does take effort, many service managers are just too lazy to lift a finger.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Quickdraw (OH),
Thanks for your opinion, and you didn't hijack the thread. Everyone gave their opinion and that was what I wanted. I do believe your right... the key is finding a good dealer.

Dennis
 
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