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Old 11th August 2008, 17:32   #1
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Default Civic Manufacturing Defects!!!!

Hi All,
This is my first post on this forum and would really appreciate any help. Little background:-

A purchased a Honda Civic in Dec 2007. After 15 days, the engine started making abnormal noise (as if it were knocking). After several runarounds, Honda eventually replaced the complete engine assembly after 2.5 months. I did not want this and demanded for a replacement car. But the Service Manager assured me that all the necessary background checks had been done and there would be no further issues.

What followed has been my worst nightmare. 4 months later, the dashboard started vibrating & making noise. I took it twice to the service station where it got fixed.

1.5 weeks back, the clutch of the car started making noise. (it has only been driven for 6K). This really got me irritated and I demanded a meeting between myself, Honda MR and the Dealer. All I am asking for is a one time resolution as I have no confidence left in the car.

Ironically, a day after I picked up the car from service center; it started making a noise in the startup switch (maybe self). The service manager sent a tech to my home who could not figure out anything. He called me up the next day stating other Civics are also making the same sound. I asked him not to close the issue and visited the dealer (RR Honda Janpat). I tested a car and it did not make any noise. I made the sales manager call the service manager and inform him of the same. They again want to take the care for repair. I dont want to do this. I am tired of running around and have decided to put my foot down.

I have mailed Honda 5 times, called Honda one to one 4 times and have lost the count of people I have spoken with from RR Honda for a meeting to be arranged. But Honda just does not reply.

Keeping all this in mind, I have a few questions I need to ask:-
  • Is it time for me to take legal action? Is consume court the only option? What I mean is can a P.I.L be submitted to the High Court simultaneously questioning the manufacturing quality of the car maker? For any manufacturing unit, there are acceptable standards for fault/defect rate. I believe they are not followed in India.
  • For how long should I wait for Honda to respond to my meeting request or come up with a plan to fix car issues permanently?
  • If I do go to court, should I get my car fixed for the spark noise or should I leave it the way it is?
I really am looking forward to replies. Please Help!!!!!!!
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Old 11th August 2008, 17:49   #2
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Its beyond doubt a case of a Lemon being palmed off to the unsuspecting buyer. The closest analogy I can think of is another member's new MUV which had the same kinds of recurring problems from the beginning. And I am pretty sure that these kind of things can never be put right either.

As a consumer when you paid the full price to buy a new car you definitely have the right to expect some minimum level of comfort and assurance that comes with a new car. Any manufacturer who denies that to you should definitely be made answerable to courts of law as well as to its customers.

In your case I think an immediate recourse is a case in the consumer court. I hope you have all the communication with the dealer and the manufacturer on paper. You should also have all the bills and workorder slips with you. You need to think on those lines from now. A P.I.L. though is a more tricky thing. Its our equivalent of Class Action Lawsuit in some ways. I do not see where the Public Interest comes from in what the manufacturer will argue (most probably successfully) to be a one-off case. Nonetheless I believe you need a good lawyer look at the aspects of this very interesting case.

Do keep us posted.
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Old 11th August 2008, 19:23   #3
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I do have all the paperwork. As a matter of fact, from the 1st day I have had all my conversations done through email.

The reason why I want to file a P.I.L (or equivalent) is because I am almost certain that the car manufacturers in India do not take things anywhere close to as seriously as they would somewhere else. I have read alot of posts here and sometimes, it just seems to be that the manufacturer lets the dealer take all the brunt. From my perspective, I would love to get a hold of dealer and shout and yell at him. But deep down I know what could he possibly have done? There was no possible way for even him to find out these problems in advance.

I was informed today that there could possibly be a meeting with Honda within 48 hours. Depending on how it goes, I will take further action.

I know there are people out there who have been in a similar situation like mine. Your advice would be extremely valuable. And thanks Zappo for the 1st reply on this forum for my post
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Old 12th August 2008, 02:28   #4
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Someone in Kerala also got handed out a really bad Civic.

Here's the thread.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...vic-1-8-v.html (Peninsular Honda sells me a *new* repainted Honda Civic 1.8 V)

Hard luck man. Best of luck with your discussions. Hopefully everything should be ok soon.
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Old 12th August 2008, 06:31   #5
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Its really sad to see a Honda customer go through such a bad experience. I would strongly urge you to pursue for a new car from the dealer. The following threads are bound to inspire you with confidence for sure:

Team-BHP - The Definitive Indian Car Community
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ase-court.html (Metro Ford suck!! They totalled my Fiesta while testing EDIT: WON the case in court!!)

All the best mate ! And do keep us posted on the developments.

Last edited by rr_zen : 12th August 2008 at 06:32.
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Old 12th August 2008, 16:39   #6
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I called up Honda and spoke with a Customer Relations Manager. Not sure what to make out of that conversation.

Her first response: "Sir, as much as I understand your concern, this is a machine and machines can go bad".

I ask her "Which is the part Honda is most renowned for". She doesnt know, so I politly enquire "Engine right?" Then I ask her "Do you know what happened to my engine? It started knocking after 15 days". She says "Sir I dont know the details but can check it and get back to you."

From there on, she was adamant on me getting the startup issue checked, which I refused to do and informed her that I am tired of work arounds.

The dealership put in a note stating that they had it checked and the noise is normal. This made me upset and I called up the service center and gave them a piece of my mind. Their GM service called and he was receptive to what I was speaking about and promised me that they will get the notes updated.

Then I asked her why Honda has not responded to me for past 10 days. She says "Sir, I am sorry but I will make sure I give you an update by evening about the meeting. As a matter of fact, I was about to call you in the morning"

I said "Maam, if you were about to call me in the morning; I would like to think that you have been followingup my case; then howcome you are telling me everytime that you need to look at the history to comment on anything."

To end it, I said "I do not need a temporary fix anymore and want a meeting". To which she said she would update me by evening.

All I asked for was a meeting. I did not want to be prejudiced and did not demand for anything in advance. I thought maybe 3 mature people can sit together and work out a solution (be that a car replacement or continuing the way things are). But this is HONDA for you and me. That is what they expect us to live with. Sometimes I think that we as consumers also give in to the circumstances and compromise. If we dont change, I dont think these companies will. I am trying my best not to do so, and I hope I dont.
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Old 13th August 2008, 10:59   #7
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A meeting has been scheduled for the 20th. The dealer GM service really helped me get this scheduled. Will post again after 20th
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Old 13th August 2008, 12:34   #8
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Down_N_Out : Good luck with the meeting. Dont be rude to them. Make them understand the frustration you are going through, and put forward your points. Shouting will get you nowhere. Be diplomatic in your approach, but if they decide not to budge from their stance, let them know the route you would seek.
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Old 13th August 2008, 13:05   #9
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Sorry to hear this. The Jap vehicle manufacturers seem to be good in customer support. But this is shocking. Good that you have already scheduled the meeting with them. You know how to speak to them, right? Try persuading them to replacing the vehicle or get the whole amount back. If they do not budge, then take the legal route. Even in legal course, my best bet would be go to consumer court and not PIL. It may help you out in settling the case as soon as possible.
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Old 13th August 2008, 13:11   #10
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Originally Posted by snaronikar View Post
Sorry to hear this. The Jap vehicle manufacturers seem to be good in customer support. But this is shocking.
I, too, am shocked with this attitude. There is another thread where a Ford customer got a lemon, but finally got a replacement.Here is the link:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...cs-pg-5-a.html (Ford Fiesta 1.4D ZXi Ownership Woes. EDIT : REPLACEMENT FIESTA. Pics on Pg. 5).

Wish you all the best.
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Old 13th August 2008, 16:10   #11
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Thanks alot for the feedback guys. I will make sure that the dignity of all parties involved is maintained, irrespective of the outcome of the discussion. As a matter of fact I have been very calm (anxious at times though) throughout the last 8 months.

I wanted to have this meeting as I wanted to give Honda one last time the benefit of doubt (altough I have done this twice already) & see if they actually are as customer centric as they claim. However, if the final outcome is an irrational disagreement then my first plan of action is to go to consumer court.

Thanks again for the feedback; it is of immense value to me
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Old 13th August 2008, 18:19   #12
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wow. this is horrendous. shame to honda's bullet proof engines. Even if it were a test car, the eningne wouldn't knock. I am wondering how the hell they did a full engine replacement. If you have the engine replacement records, that alone makes a strong case. added to that, the rattling etc.
be diplomatic and in worst case, legal. these dealers, service fellows etc are trained to listen to customer crap. so won't make much difference.
probably you can document the meeting outcome too and if that too fails, take it to the court. in worst case, i think you need to get a full refund and forget the pain!
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Old 15th August 2008, 23:26   #13
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Being realistic, things can go wrong even if it is a Honda, after all its a machine, manufacturer of Honda repute would not pawn off a lemon deliberately.

Since Honda has tried to set things right by replacing the engine and other fixes, it shows they care.

But asking any company operating in India to give replacement without a agonising experience is beyond reasonable expectation.

Practical suggestion would be that a rep of Honda supervises the repairs/fixes and certifies the car free of defects.

Legal step, well less said the better as Justice delayed is justice denied. Well determined folks definitly get things their way eventually.
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Old 16th August 2008, 00:53   #14
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hi Down n Out: You may want to check out GTO's awesome thread on the steps on living with a lemon and getting it replaced!

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/owning...ighlight=lemon (ARTICLE: What to do if you are stuck with a lemon (Defective car))
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Old 16th August 2008, 03:03   #15
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Informing them in advance, record the entire meeting in video. Knowing this, they will think thrice before giving any illogical reasoning like (it happens sometimes, we will take care, dont worry, will give warranty, etc) OR in the worst case it will help you in the court.

And while doing this, get them somehow to admit that the car was faulty in the first place and the repairs, engine replacement, etc did not solve the problem. Just somehow make them admit it once and you will be all set for what you want/deserve.

About the video recording, inform them just before the meeting else you never know they just might cancel it OR say not possible. Just want you to be on the safer side.

Last edited by dipen : 16th August 2008 at 03:04.
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