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Old 8th January 2012, 23:25   #1
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Default Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?

I have a 11 month old Honda Aviator DLX. So far the ownership had been largely trouble free.

Recently, I have noticed that rusting has started near the footboard on both left and right sides!
I could not believe it is happening to a just 11 month old scooter from a company which has a huge reputation and penchant for quality which is summed up by it’s tagline “I Enjoy the Quality”!!!

Some pictures for your reference –
Left Footboard:
Pic1
Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?-footboard-left-1.jpg

Pic2
Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?-footboard-left-3.jpg

Pic3
Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?-footboard-left-4.jpg

If you carefully notice, the point where rust will show up eventually is a straight line mark left by the plastic panel on the footboard.
(Sorry for the crappy picture. It has been clicked by my mobile while panels were being removed by Honda Service Center)

Pic4 – Rust in all glory
Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?-footboard-left-5.jpg


Right Footboard:
Pic1
Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?-footboard-right-1.jpg

Pic2
Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?-footboard-right-2.jpg

Pic3
Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?-footboard-right-3.jpg

Footboard Joint:
Pic1
Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?-footboard-joint.jpg

Chassis:
Pic1
Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?-chassis-1.jpg


One thing that is common to all these pictures is that rust is at the stress/contact points where plastic panel meets the chassis/other metal panels and not at the edge of metal panels. So, this issue being caused by shoes scrapping the footboard edges is also ruled out. I am also very particular about my shoes not touching the edge of footboard panels

Pressure on this plastic panel is bound to create some friction between this plastic panel edges and the footboard metal panels/chassis. This will eventually cause the paint on metal panel to be scrubbed away. This is what has happened on my Aviator.

I have also noticed similar rust appearing on my neighbor’s 6 months old Aviator as well!

Is this a design fault on Aviator?

As compared to Aviator, Activa does not have a plastic panel covering the footboard, but only has a simple rubber mat covering the footboard. Simple and effective.

Has anyone else noticed similar kind of issue on their Aviator?

My vehicle has run just 4100 km and has never been serviced/washed outside the service station (only 4 services to date) and has been very carefully maintained.

Thanks for your inputs on this issue.

Last edited by vaasu : 8th January 2012 at 23:29.
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Old 9th January 2012, 15:37   #2
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Default Re: Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?

Just received a call from Honda customer care. They are going to repaint the footboard panels.

My only question was that if this issue reappears (which will definitely happen). What will Honda do? No concrete reply on this.

The guy on the other side of the phone did not sounded very interested in discussing if it is indeed a design fault or not. His excuse - thousands of Aviator are on the road, none has complained before about this issue. I told him to bring any Aviator 1-2 years old and I will show him the problem.
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Old 9th January 2012, 18:30   #3
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Default Re: Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?

One question to you Vaasu - Did you complain with HMSI or you got a call from HMSI even without reporting it?
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Old 9th January 2012, 19:03   #4
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Default Re: Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
One question to you Vaasu - Did you complain with HMSI or you got a call from HMSI even without reporting it?
I first reported this issue to HMSI (sent an email with snaps of the rust), who directed me to the dealer. I talked to the dealer yesterday, who clicked some snaps and forwarded it to HMSI.

A follow up call was received from HMSI today.


Thanks.
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Old 10th January 2012, 09:29   #5
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Default Re: Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?

Sent a follow up email to HMSI customer care asking them to confirm the following -
1. What according to them caused this rusting issue?
2. What will HMSI do in case this rust re-appears in next couple of months?

I am not very keen on re-painting the panels and would not go ahead with it unless I receive some concrete answers to these queries from HMSI.

I also happened to check couple of motorcycles which were being unloaded from the truck at the HMSI dealership and noticed chassis joints welding have started showing premature rust! It looked like as if enough paint was not sprayed on the joints?
Then, I checked it on Unicorn, Stunner, Shine, Twister motorcycles on display at the dealership and all the same issue at similar spots on the chassis.

It looks like HMSI has started cutting costs somewhere.....

Thanks.
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Old 10th January 2012, 10:39   #6
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Default Re: Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vaasu View Post
Sent a follow up email to HMSI customer care asking them to confirm the following -
1. What according to them caused this rusting issue?
2. What will HMSI do in case this rust re-appears in next couple of months?

I am not very keen on re-painting the panels and would not go ahead with it unless I receive some concrete answers to these queries from HMSI.

I also happened to check couple of motorcycles which were being unloaded from the truck at the HMSI dealership and noticed chassis joints welding have started showing premature rust! It looked like as if enough paint was not sprayed on the joints?
Then, I checked it on Unicorn, Stunner, Shine, Twister motorcycles on display at the dealership and all the same issue at similar spots on the chassis.

It looks like HMSI has started cutting costs somewhere.....

Thanks.
Completely agree with your stand on this . I have one of the earliest Aviators and within a few months the bike had corrosion all over it. Then came the Mumbai monsoon and within 6 months the bike looked like it was years old. I did not take the matter up with Honda but if I had my stand would be the same as yours. What is the point of HMSI repainting without ascertaining the cause. And HMSI's response of receiving no complaints is highly doubtful; probably thousands like me who just don't have the time to bother . Having said that, the machine is a pleasure to drive.
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Old 10th January 2012, 10:49   #7
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Default Re: Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?

there surely is Quality Check issues with honda!!

i do own a aviator too apart from a yamaha FZ!!
apart from the gem of an engine in the honda,the problems else is high!!
have been having a panel issue at the odometer since first month (misfitting of panels)
the headlight alignment varies from time to time(never sorted out even after 2 years of servicing)

and its been over 3 months since i got a replacement filter for SVC!!

@vaasu..do check the whole body for rusting issues before taking delivery!!
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Old 10th January 2012, 22:04   #8
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Default Re: Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?

Agree that the machine is pleasure to drive.
Front suspension and disk brakes were the primary reasons that I went for it instead of Activa.

I also have a 18 year old Rx100, still on original paint. For some time, it had been exposed to the elements, but still I do not see any such issues with it's paint quality.

Aviator as compared to it has been from day 1 parked in a covered parking(in office and home)!
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Old 20th March 2012, 14:48   #9
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Default Rust saga continues...

Honda did not bother to reply even after umpteen phone calls to customer care and their Lucknow office (from where I initially received the call).
So, I have still not got the panels re-painted.

I was having issues with the horn sounding weak for the last couple of days. Decided to open the front apron to adjust the horn, little knowing the nasty surprise in store for me.

Guess what?
Found new rust areas on the front apron of the scooter!

Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?-pic1.jpg

Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?-pic2.jpg

Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?-pic3.jpg



I have been so utterly frustated that I wish I could change Honda's punch line to " I DO NOT enjoy the quality".

Does anyone have any contacts with the higher ups in HMSI to whom I can escalate this issue?

Thanks.
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Old 20th March 2012, 15:06   #10
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Default Re: Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?

Rust is never a design problem. It is a manufacturing problem. If Honda has manufactured and painted those panels themselves, then it is an indication of cost cutting. If they were manufactured by a supplier, then it indicates quality problems at the supplier's place.
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Old 25th March 2012, 21:26   #11
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Default Re: Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vikram_d View Post
Rust is never a design problem. It is a manufacturing problem. If Honda has manufactured and painted those panels themselves, then it is an indication of cost cutting. If they were manufactured by a supplier, then it indicates quality problems at the supplier's place.
Agree. However, in this case it appears to be a design issue as well.
No amount of good paint can prevent the footboard plastic board from rubbing against the metal panel and eventually scrubbing off the paint from metal panel.
This issue is bound to appear even after re-painting.

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Old 26th March 2012, 10:39   #12
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Default Re: Rust saga continues...

Quote:
Originally Posted by vaasu View Post
I was having issues with the horn sounding weak for the last couple of days. Decided to open the front apron to adjust the horn, little knowing the nasty surprise in store for me.

Guess what?
Found new rust areas on the front apron of the scooter!
i had exactly the same issue with the horns and a month back i planned to open the front cover just to see exactly the same scenario.
i did a DIY and changed the horn using the same clamp but there was no use as the clamp was rusted too.
so took to a local shop and got a new clamp along with new horns.
costed about 120(90 for horn and 30 for clamp +labor)
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Old 26th March 2012, 20:57   #13
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Default Re: Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?

I sent an email to Autocar India helpline (as an Autocar India subscriber) detailing the issue.

Hope this wakes HMSI from their slumber....
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Old 26th March 2012, 21:43   #14
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Default Re: Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vikram_d View Post
Rust is never a design problem. It is a manufacturing problem.

If they were manufactured by a supplier, then it indicates quality problems at the supplier's place.
If the designer did not specify anti-rust coating, then its a design problem.

Honda is ultimately responsible for any quality issue occurring at supplier.

Reminds me of when I asked the Jet airways lady why the flight is late. She replies, "We cant do anything sir, the incoming flight was late"
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Old 29th April 2012, 17:48   #15
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Default Re: Rusting on 11 month old Aviator: Design fault?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vaasu View Post
I sent an email to Autocar India helpline (as an Autocar India subscriber) detailing the issue.

Hope this wakes HMSI from their slumber....
It has been more than a month and have not received even an acknowledgement that issue has been raised with HMSI.
My two reminders to Autocar have gone unanswered.

Was wondering if Autocar usually takes more than a month to respond to queries.....

To me as a subscriber of Autocar, it is simply not acceptable.
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