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Honda Accord VCM



  • sunnfunsunnfun Posts: 168
    I'm curious how high up you went? I have the email addresses of the CEO in Japan, and the North American Pres's etc...I was going to go directly to them rather than sending a USPS letter. I have been busy at work so I have not finished the letter. Plus I wanted to let some of the anger subside before I wrote it.
  • "Won't work. The issue is something you feel, not something you see."

    I could not find the magazine article or articles at this forum in reference to VCM issues. It seems to me that some sort of more Pro-Active measure needs to be taken. According to those with the issues, Honda is supposedly Stonewalling it and it is not getting anywhere? Right or wrong? At this forum I did see Sunnfun's review of his Accord.

    And a few more reviews by others which seems to give the perception that someone can HEAR it too. Strong descriptive words being used like: Surging, lurching, hunting, vibration speeds, constant shifting & changing. Then driver's reaction, like maddening, nauseous, very noticeable, very annoying, etc..

    There are also some glowing reviews of the V6 Accord sedan, but very brief. I am not sure if some of the complaints are also including the Grade Logic Control as part of the problem (where it does extreme down-shift automatically?). To me, that seems like a worse feature. Again, hard to get a sense only through the forums what is really going on. It could be people with positive reviews not as bothered, in addition, the Honda dealers saying that is how this engine design normally works and then the customers just accept it because Honda supposedly has the Image of of Infallibility. They can do No Wrong ...... customer's objectivity is maybe affected by the Honda Mystique.

    I can only think that Honda implemented this over-technological method/design , because they already had it, and as a quick fix to meet the demands of the Environmental-Greenists, and Honda can use in advertisement against competitors, e.g., "I am more Greener than You". With their VCM, I think it also meets some kind of PZEV rating (in Calif.), to further jump on Green bandwagon?? So, it seems that VCM engine is not a mechanical problem but a design idiosyncrasy that will not necessarily affect the reliability of the Accord and perhaps that is the position that Corporate Honda is presently taking.

    I still think, anyone with this issue should VIDEO it and post it online. Also, maybe one can go to Honda dealer with their video cam & test drive; telling them you want to show the test drive to your wife or significant other ;). As I said, nothing is happening just posting here, besides just letting off steam (which is understandable). It seems that, Consumerism these days has to be a more visual, interactive and In Your Face strategy.

    Again, I do not see too many complaints elsewhere about the VCM technology, however, this can be a Deal Killer for me, if it is indeed, that annoying, or perhaps can be tolerated, for the 'greater' Greener Cause. I suppose, I won't know until I go test drive them.

    P.S. For whatever it's worth, this search term seems to get a lot of hits entering all the keywords: variable cylinder management +honda +problem
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I think the folks are saying you can't record something on a video camera that is a matter of feel. I'm not sure what exactly it is that you want them to tape.

    There have been links to articles in this discussion where the reviewers mentioned the issue, as I recall. Sounds like you may have made the search larger than necessary (a max of 200 items is returned). Try using the Search This Discussion box on the gray page bar on this page. Or maybe someone else remembers where they are or something more specific to use as a search term.

    If I may make a suggestion, why don't you do exactly what you suggest in the end of your post - go take some test drives and let us know how they turn out. Take your own video camera and see if there is something you can capture with it. If so, you can post it right here on your own CarSpace page, no need for YouTube, btw.

    That would be very helpful and a bit more helpful than telling the people here what they ought to be doing for your satisfaction. ;)
  • "That would be very helpful and a bit more helpful than telling the people here what they ought to be doing"

    Hmmm .... that's kind of strong interpretation. That is not my intention, "telling the people here", and I do not believe I was doing that but merely "thinking out loud" to maybe implant ideas or try something else, because right now, it appears to be a stalemate situation with Honda. I really Feel for those making this large dollar investment in their Accords and not getting straight answers or resolution from Honda.

    Yes, you are right. I did conclude to myself, "I suppose, I won't know until I go test drive them" :D . First, I need to do some test videoing in my existing and friend's cars to see if indeed, anything can be detected by recording/documenting such as picking-up or hearing different tones/phases of engine sounds, shift point sounds, jerking motions, etc.. First time here at Edmunds. I did not know, one could post videos here. :shades:
  • oohondaoohonda Posts: 4
    I just purchased a v6 honda accord and I could not really notice the shifty feel of the engine as most described. I could however notice that I was looking for the tug or pronouced shift when I saw the ECO light come on. I bet a million dollars (which i dont have) that if that ECO indicator light did not come on and off ...this thread would not exist. Its all in your head people!
  • golfrskigolfrski Posts: 262
    This is ludicous.... you want people to take a video camera, and tape the feeling they get when the car is surging and vibrating when the VCM is in 3Cyl mode and then upload it to YouTube? LOL

    that will work as well as catching paint drying on film.... cmon already.
  • golfrskigolfrski Posts: 262
    I dont even pay attention to my "ECO" light as well as most of the others complaining... there is no doubt it probably has some placebo effect but not in my case...
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    There are 1216 posts here, and if you look back, there are 10 or fewer people complaining about VCM on Edmunds. And several of these people don't even own an Accord. Their complaint is based on test drives.


    One person claimed that his glasses get literally thrown off his face due to VCM.

    Another person described the sensation as akin to a 16 year old trying to shift gears with the car bucking all over the road.

    Those two scenarios can CERTAINLY be videotaped. Assuming they actually happened in the manner described.

    Honda has conservatively sold 20,000~30,000+ Accords with VCM in the US market alone, since September. If this were a real issue, we would be hearing about it all over the place.

    I'm not suggesting it's not a real issue in singular, isolated situations, but we simply are not hearing about this as a problem from the universe of Accord owners.

    Not yet anyway.

    Just one single video would be helpful and enlightening.
  • As PAT suggested, Tape away... there are a heck of alot more than 10 instances here and all of them are 08 accord owners for the most part only a couple simply test drove the car only, found the issues objectionable and passed on the purchase. The car has real issues.. at least the 1st gen Oct-Dec assembly line accords... I have read many posters that have tested up to 5 diff 08 V6 accords from that lot , from diff dealers etc and ALL found the same surging and vibration issues. In fact i drove another one at lunch today with my buddy and surprise, surprise.. same deal!!!!! We were actually blown away.

    I guess it boils down to the sales pitch that btw has changed radically since Oct.. as some sort of "proof in the pudding" or semi when asked about the feeling of vibration and surging the canned responses are "its normal: its a characteristic.. as opposed to prior.... must be a bad set of tires or balance or the car didn't get the NEW CAR calibration.. its all suspect to me.

    AGAIN, if your car doesnt demonstrate these behaviors, good.. move over to the forums that talk about accessories or something, if they do stay here and keep sharing the feedback for those of us in VCM hell to learn more from share etc....
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    There were at least 3 articles/reviews referenced as evidence that VCM was poorly designed. Here are the direct quotes from these articles (about VCM)...

    1. USA Today. "If you step up to the V-6 model, you'll get blazing engine performance but rougher downshifting than in the four-cylinder cars. Also, a sensitive driver can feel the V-6 go through its multicylinder transitions."

    2. Autoweek. "Driving the multi-cylinder-deactivation V6, we did detect a slight hybridlike torque-on/torque-off feel when cruising at 60 or 70 mph under slight throttle (at about 2000 to 2500 rpm). Because the green “ECO” light was illuminated, indicating that the engine was running in fuel-saving economy mode, we were no doubt picking up the engine cycling between four- and three-cylinder modes. The transition from three- or four-cylinder mode to six-cylinder operation was undetectable."

    3. Wall Street Journal. "Accord was fitted with a 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 with what Honda calls Variable Cylinder Management. This technology is designed to boost fuel economy by allowing the six-cylinder engine to run on just three or four cylinders when full power isn't needed. It works almost seamlessly, but in this case, "almost" isn't good enough. During highway driving with the cruise control on I could feel a slight vibration when the engine switched from three- to four- to six-cylinder mode, which it does often, a downright maddening behavior."

    I am sure there are others, but these were referenced right here by Edmunds users regarding VCM. Draw your own conclusions, and your mileage may vary.
  • so you agree? ;)
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Well, I agree that the Cubs will likely not win the World Series, as Sports Illustrated suggested.... =)

    As for VCM, the jury is still out. I don't feel it's a widespread design problem, but it's a significant enough change that those who are especially sensitive are annoyed by it. I really would like to see examples where people are thrown about as violently as some have suggested. If that's happening, it makes no sense that Honda is saying "this is normal." The truth is somewhere in the middle, and I think it leans toward it NOT being a chronic, widespread problem.

    What we do know is that the 2008 Accord is the most radical change that Honda has ever introduced to its bread and butter product. VCM aside, the car is much larger, is more "Buick-like", offers some unique and innovative characteristics, but is still a Honda. Honda is a unique company that sells far more motorcycles, generators, lawnmowers and other power products than it does automobiles. It even sells airplanes. At its core it's an independent minded, engine-focused company that has always preferred more efficient, economical, high revving 4 cylinder motors to 6 cylinder versions. It fought like heck before it finally offered a V6 in the Accord. More recently, it resisted for years before it agreed to offer a V8 in the Legend/RL. It still can't decide what to put in the next NSX, because it's their philosophy to think smaller (ie: more efficient) displacement rather than bigger. That's their DNA.

    What's this got to do with VCM? I guess the point is, only Honda would have the cojones to offer a technology like this on such a wide scale. It's reputation will live or die based on these daring, innovative moves. I tend to think they know what they're doing.
  • jam1000jam1000 Posts: 182
    The letter was addressed to Tetsuo Iwamura, the Chairman CEO of American Honda and a member of the Board of Directors of Honda (Japan), and was sent to the Torrance, CA address of American Honda. Going to the Chairman of Honda (Japan) wasn't going to get any more of a response. Unfortunately, I could not find any more detailed contact information for Mr. Iwamura, either through the Honda websites or through google -- Honda does a masterful job of concealing contact information for its executives, a much better job than it does with its transmission. If anyone has such information, I would be glad to hear it.
  • jam1000jam1000 Posts: 182
    "[O]nly Honda would have the cojones to offer a technology like this on such a wide scale. It's reputation will live or die based on these daring, innovative moves."

    Edsel was thought to be innovative or daring in its brief time, too. So was New Coke.

    More seriously, to respond to another one of your posts, the issue I'm more concerned about -- the harsh shifting, especially downshifting -- is unrelated to the (frequent) appearance and disappearance of the ECO light. That's one of the first things I checked for, and I noticed no correlation.
  • sunnfunsunnfun Posts: 168
    I'm going to finish the letter this weekend and email it out next week. I'll let you know how it goes and if I get any kind of movement on this.
  • Ive posted a few times before since I work at a Honda dealer in Southern California, been a month or so since I last posted and still zero issues here about VCM. Everyone here is happy with the VCM.
  • nkvnkv Posts: 20
    well said!! Your points make a lot of sense. I do agree that Honda would not jeopardize its standing in US car industry to introduce a questionable or objectionable technology like VCM just for the fun of it. They definitely have a long term plan to continually refine and improve VCM technology. However, I still feel for those who are having issues with their VCM equipped cars. This can just make one go insane when no easy solution is in the offing.
  • Lets be clear here. Nowhere has any poster ever stated "they are thrown about violently " your attempt to minimize the concerns raised while sarcastic, is weak and more humorous then anything to your position.

    The bottom-line is this, we have spoken with Honda engineers & certified Honda techs in regards to our car. They told us the "ECO" light was a debated decision as they risked the placebo effect (makes sense). Also, they described the VCM Surging as "NOT seamless NOR goes Unnoticed" so did the regional Honda folks. So whether you agree or disagree, there seems to be contradiction within Honda itself on this subject and we saw it first hand.

    At the end of the day I agree with some of the other posters here that the advertising is misleading (in my opinion). While I agree some owners do not notice, others do. You cant dismiss either as more acceptable or objectionable rather a fact. Again, a fact that does not support the claim that the VCM operation is "seamless (Webster's definition: conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern), and goes Unnoticed" . In addition, many owners I have read (within this approx 1200 posts) have complained about "vibration" some slight , some excessive. What Richter scale they are using is not really that material, only that they are experiencing this outside of what we/they would feel in another vehicle both past Accords and other manufacturers. This is how we/they derive "normal" (Webster's:conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern)

    Just because Honda decided to invest their future for this particular model on VCM or other products does not in any way validate their decision. There have been other Auto makers that tried this and pulled it. In addition, changed direction on a concept or deign entirely i.e Honda's Hybrid.

    This will continue to be a hot topic and one I will participate in as the issue is "real" and needs to be addressed in the forum of public opinion.

    good times,,,,good times.... ;)
  • I doubt that, sorry, but I do.
  • Would love to get those emails addresses so I can send a letter about my car :-(
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