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Old 17th January 2007, 03:56   #1
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Default My experience with a Honda dealer at Kansas City

(Mods, I could not fit this under any other forum. Please do the needful if deemed necessary.)

It was in September 2006 that I started looking out for a used car here in the US and finally after a great deal of hunting managed to stumble on a 1999 Honda Civic which has a clean title and history and had clocked close to 70k miles. I bought the car from a used car dealer and was happy that I was finally able to get a decent car.

It was two weeks after purchase and I noticed this problem wherein the front seat belts were sluggish in retracting back to their original position once unbuckled. I checked with the owner’s manual which said that Honda offered a lifetime warranty on seat belts. I exclaimed with joy and fixed up an appointment with the authorized Honda dealer near my place. Also, I had to get my vehicle pass the Missouri State Inspection as I had bought it from the state of Kansas. This inspection is mandatory for any vehicle to be titled in the State of Missouri and most service stations offer this service. I took the car to the service centre mainly to get this inspection done and in course of my conversation I also referred to the problem of the slackened seat belt. The service advisor promised to take a look into that. I was asked to pick up the car in two hours time. When I came back to pick up the car on my way home, I was simply impressed to note that they had indeed agreed to replace the belts on warranty. What’s more, I was told that they had also found out that the exhaust manifold of my car had developed a crack while doing the safety inspection. The best part comes here. It was replaced absolutely free of cost as my vehicle was less than 8 years old had covered less that 80K miles. I was astounded to note that the warranty extends to 8 years. This could have cost me a minimum of $700 otherwise. About the seat belts I was told that an order was placed and I would get my replacement within a week. I drove home delighted not knowing what was in store the next day. The next day at about 10 AM I got a call from the dealership saying that the seat belts had arrived and they asked me if I could come in the same day for getting them on my car. I was speechless and more than happy to schedule an appointment the same day. I was later told that the seat belts were ordered to be shipped overnight as it was a question of safety that could not be made to wait for a week. Well, how many of us have had, (if not similar at least close) experiences like this with our car dealers in India ?

Points to ponder:

  • The dealer need not have bothered to check whether my car was still under the 8 year warranty. More so considering the fact it is a used car and I had bought it only a few days back. In India I have read several user manuals which say that the warranty is applicable only to the first owner
  • How many of our car companies offer life time warranty ? (Correct me if am wrong)
  • The dealer could have taken his own sweet time in getting me a replacement for the seat belts. On the contrary it was perceived as a matter of safety.
The best part is no one at the dealership spoke of this as a great thing and just treated me like a normal customer and the issue as one of those normal things that happen everyday.

My intention in narrating the above experience is not to have a dig at the Indian car dealers or car companies but to throw light on how a customer and his safety is valued here. Will a day like this dawn upon the Indian car owners ?

Last edited by rr_zen : 17th January 2007 at 04:00. Reason: Problem with font
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Old 17th January 2007, 03:59   #2
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Yes, in America, the consumer is king. More so with the Japs, who want to be perceived as more caring and helpful than the (not so) Big Three.

Hopefully we'll see something like this one day. Atleast now we have choices. No more white Ambassador or white Fiat dilemma.
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Old 17th January 2007, 04:02   #3
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Agreed. But its sad to note that the Honda dealerships are taking the customer for a ride by way of exorbitant charges and shoddy service. Not only Honda but other dealers like Ford etc.Why this discrepancy ?
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Old 17th January 2007, 04:26   #4
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hey thats good to know...india only MB and above give you this kind of service and only sometimes..

anyhow its a long way to go, let their be more compeition and education across the board and you will see better service, there are horrible dealers in the US as well..

btw nice to see someone from my old city..went to UMKC for my bachelors

Last edited by 1Day : 17th January 2007 at 04:27.
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Old 17th January 2007, 04:36   #5
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Default Not all dealers are that nice in US!

It is good see you had an excellent experience @ Honda dealer but that is not really not the case all the time. Especiaaly in the bigger cities car dealers and used car sales people do take people for a ride. There are a number known and documented cases exist.

cheers:

Aarpee.
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Old 17th January 2007, 21:05   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aarpee View Post
It is good see you had an excellent experience @ Honda dealer but that is not really not the case all the time. Especiaaly in the bigger cities car dealers and used car sales people do take people for a ride. There are a number known and documented cases exist.

cheers:

Aarpee.
I never said all dealers are good in the US. I too know for a fact that there are pretty many cases like what you have stated. The point that I am trying to drive home is that whether even in the wildest of your dreams will you ever get such a service in India and am sure its still a far cry from what we are being offered as customers
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