Honda Accord Quality Control Issues



  • riswamiriswami Member Posts: 192
    by the comments on the paint until someone comes up with proof.

    Some facts:

    I haven't knocked the Accord.

    It took one post for a Honda owner to say something derogatory concerning Fords and American Iron. A flaming statement that they all rust!

    I discontinued my subscription to CR. However AOl carries some of their info. CR states rust is no longer a problem. This took place somewhere in the early 90s. This has been my experience with two 90s model Fords.

    Edmunds rates 97 Taurus higher in 4 of 5 catergories when compared to Accord. The biggest advantage for the Taurus is Value. Believe that has been one of my points.I don't think the Accord is worth the extra cash, especially used. Honda owners get real indignent when that is mentioned. Hey, I mentioned a fact. I really don't care what CR states because they never get into the cost difference and they rarely state the cost of ownership.

    Bottom line was if a Honda was cheaper than a Taurus and everything else was equal I'd probably own one of them verse a Taurus.

    I notice in the post about complaints that a Taurus/Sable is not mentioned.I notice more complaints for the Odyssey verse the Windstar. And I believe the Windstar sells more units. Could be wrong there; so percentage wise the Odyssey has a lot of unhappy owners.

    One more point. When you do a new car comparision in Edmunds and match the Taurus to the Accord they are classified as follows -

    Accord - Full Size

    Taurus - Premium

    What is up with that.
  • riswamiriswami Member Posts: 192
    I also subscribe to Car and Driver. I enjoy the magizine. However I disagree with you that they give glowing reviews because of advertisements.I've read many articles where they are not kind to companies that advertise. They love Bimmers and Porsche. When they do a comparo with Bimmer and Porsche agaisnt whomever I already know who will come out on top. Also, Car and Driver virtually ignored the new Taurus, they did a one page article. BMW changes the location of its badge and they have a three page article. However I still subscribe because I enjoy the information.

    I see the same thing with CR. If a Toyota and Honda are tested along with three other makes guess which model will come out on top? Why buy the magizine?

    Look at past issues of CR. New models for Honda and Toyota get a recommended buy. If it is new GM or Ford they'll say something like - can't recommend, new model.

    Now watch the new Camry get recommended. And to boot it has a brand new base engine in which CR has no data. Why aren't they consistent? I call that bias.
  • anselmo1anselmo1 Member Posts: 163
    My observations of Car and Driver magazine is they love BMW and Chrysler. It also seems that BMW and Chrysler do the most advertising in C&D as well as C & D's sister publications.

    Remember once how they raved about the Neon and what a great car it was. Thought the reviewer was on "crack" or some other type of mind altering drug.
  • lugwrenchlugwrench Member Posts: 213
    Did you ever think that maybe the Honda Accord or the Toyota Camry is a far superior car to that what it is being compared to? The GM Malibu, Ford Taurus, or Chrysler Cirrus are acceptable cars but not in the same league as the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry or the Nissan Maxima. Superority does have its merits Riswami.

    On new first year models, Consumer Reports has been listing "Promising" with an upward arrow. I have yet to see the Recommended label next to a new model. They did this when the Ford Focus came out which they rated highly.

    Maybe if Ford would build a better Taurus, maybe Consumer Reports would give it glowing reviews. Ford Taurus once was one of the top 2 selling cars in America but consumers found out that their were better alternatives such as the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Maybe that is why they are the two top selling passenger cars in North America! Car buyers found a better product and bought it.

    Ford got on track recently after it desolved its tire agreement with Firestone. It was a black mark for both manufacturers.

    There you go pal---I await your reply.
  • timadamstimadams Member Posts: 294
    I've owned two Ford Tauruses and one Honda Accord (plus a Ford Windstar and an old Honda CRX), so I feel I am qualified to chime in. The Taurus is an acceptable product, and in fact offers a good value if you buy it one or two years old for 50 to 70 percent of MSRP. Unlike the Honda, which is typically not a very good buy used.

    Regarding quality, though, they are in different classes. I realize that people can get lemons in any brand, but MY experience has been that I had absolutely NO quality problems with my CRX and the only reason I have had to return my Accord to the dealer was the fuel gauge problem.

    The Fords were a different situation. With all three, there were numerous mild to serious problems early in their lives. My Windstar left me and my family stranded on an interstate at 2,000 miles (bad fuel injectors), and then required several more trips back to the dealer for serious problems (front suspension, head gasket, some hood problem). The Tauruses were better, but still suffered from quality problems.

    Is Honda perfect? No. I'm disappointed with the paint quality, too, but I hear that same complaint from owners of other brands. I blame it on EPA rules (I may be wrong).
  • timadamstimadams Member Posts: 294
    Regarding Car & Driver, remember that they are driving and testing new cars, and as important as reliability is for all of us owners, they are not very concerned about it when they test cars. So, yes, they will give high marks to Chrysler cars because of their pretty and unique designs, regardless of their long-term reliability. And they love the way BMW's drive, no matter how expensive it is to own one. I read C&D knowing thier limitations, but overall I think it is by far the best car magazine.
  • rbruehlrbruehl Member Posts: 85
    I subscribe to both magazines and find them very informative regarding car purchases. I am very interested to see how both publications will review the new 2003 Accord when it becomes available.

    Update ----So far, my new V-6 replacement transmission has been flawless to date.
  • mikegold_1966mikegold_1966 Member Posts: 138
    According to EPA standards, American paint standards are water based but Japanese paint is oil based. This why there is a difference in paint on Japanese produced Accords as compared to American Accords.

    Ford back in the 1970's went to a water based standard before the EPA was even around. That is why you see a lot of Fords produced in the 1970's, 1980's and early 1990's with peeling paint. Ford's reason at that time was to save money in production costs.

    Fords have always had a rust problem in areas where rock salt is used on the highways. They use only a one step galvanization process. Most auto manufacturers galvanize their autos in a two step process.
  • ed_swansfegered_swansfeger Member Posts: 45
    I currently own a 1994 Honda Accord EX sedan with 98K and think it is time to trade the car in on a new model. My car hasn't given me any trouble outside of routine maintenance over the past 7 years.

    Test drove a LX V-6 sedan as well as an EX V-6 sedan. One thing that did bother me was the hesitation when the transmission is changing gears for 40 to 50 mph range. It wasn't smooth in either car. My 1994 EX when shifting is a lot smoother to the point that it isn't noticeable. The new Accords I drove had me contemplating another test drive at a different dealership.

    The features were nice and the EX V-6 had a leather interior. Both cars were more quiet than my 1994 but not by much.

    After reading the various posts over the past half hour here, I noticed there were a lot of topics posted regarding the failure rate of V-6 transmissions. There must be some validity to the posts.

    My question is, should I consider another car such as the Pontiac Bonneville or Toyota Camry? I want a V-6 that will be as trouble free as my 1994 EX.
  • elgritonelgriton Member Posts: 67
    I can't speak for the quality concerning newer generation Accords, but my '93 Accord SE has absolutely been flawless. Only routine maintenance has been required from it. I've only experience two issues with my Accord. 1. A defective antenna that stop extending fully after 5 yrs., however, it does still go up and down properly; 2. I've just been experiencing starting problem due to a main relay going bad. Has anyone else experience this problem? Seems like this is a common occurrence of my generation's Accord. Otherwise, the car and paint job still gets compliments for it's condition and new "look" shine.

    '93 Accord SE ~107K smooth & reliable miles
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    These terrible timing belts!

    Yep, they do need to be replaced at 105,000 miles!

    Big deal!

    I would much rather pay to replace a timing belt than to replace broken motor mounts, head gaskets and transmissions at 70K!

    Couldn't resist...sorry.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,253 much IS a timing belt change on an Accord, anyways?
  • accord_loveraccord_lover Member Posts: 27
    My Honda manual says that the timing belt needs to be changed at 90K or 72 months. It is also recommended that the seals and water pump be changed at the same time.

    Ed-test drive another V-6 Accord before you consider another vehicle. I wouldn't consider the Bonneville at all.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    The change interval was changed from 90K to 105K in 1997.

    Andre, I think it's around a 400.00 job for just the t-belt. It is smart to replace the water pump, front seal and drive belts while they are "in there" anyway. Just preventive maintence.

    Had a customer in last week with his 94 Accord. It had 220,000 miles on it. Looked and ran like a 40K car. Original timing belt!!

    After a discussion with me he made an appointment to get it changed this week!
  • jfavourjfavour Member Posts: 105
    I own a 2000 LX-V6 sedan and I have not (yet?) had a problem with my transmission. There are a few moments when the tranny will hesitate somewhat in normal driving, but it has never been a constant problem. It just seems like the built in logic of the electronic transmission. I love my Accord V6 and would recommend it highly. I have had no problems and I am at 31,000 miles now in the 2 years I have had it. The other cars you thought of looking at: The Toyota would be a good (very similar to Accord, especially 2002's) bet, but I am not so sure about the Pontiac. My Father-in-law has owned several Buicks over the past five years and his cars always have some interior piece fallen off or broken, and once he reaches 40-50k gets serious maintenance issues with brakes and engine. My rule is stay away from GM until they get themselves together quality wise. I have no subjective experience with the Bonneville though.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,253
    ....doesn't sound too bad, if that's all the car ends up needing over the course of 105K miles. Even you doubled that cost, to account for the water pump, seal, and belts and stuff.

    Besides, even nowadays it seems like cars with chains have an interval of about the same, 105K miles.
  • ed_swansfegered_swansfeger Member Posts: 45
    Had the opportunity to test drive the new 2002 Nissan Altima V-6 yesterday and it is really something else. 240 hp and super quiet when I test drove the car. The leather seats were very supportive and comfortable and there was a lot of room in the front and in the back seats.

    Compared to the Accord V-6, there was no comparison in regards to the insulation from road noise. The new Altima is real quiet to the point that it reminds me of a Lexus. 17 inch tires on the top of the line model I drove which had Continental Touring tires---the same that they put on the BMW.

    I think Honda and Toyota have some serious competition on their hands with the new Altima.
  • lugwrenchlugwrench Member Posts: 213
    Nissan is going all out with this model since their car sales in North American are down almost 20%. It looks nice from the outside but the interior looks cheap. I do like what Nissan did with their muffler that has a spring which releases a free flow exhaust at high speeds.

    Nissan reliability has been good but is not in the same league as Honda or Toyota.

    Ed: I would wait at least two years so Nissan can work out all the bugs. The car looks nice but it is unproven. The 180 hp 4 cylinder would be enough for me as compared to the 240 hp 6 cylinder.
  • fritz1224fritz1224 Member Posts: 398
    Need to keep in mind the price of that Altima as well. I bet over 30k dollars. A v6 Accord can be had for 21k(LX) or 25k(EX). And tha Altima rear end still doesn't get it for me anyway.
  • anselmo1anselmo1 Member Posts: 163
    The Altima V-6 with all the toys lists for a little over 27K list. As everyone in the auto industry knows, Nissan will wheel and deal on pricing. The car is hot on the sales lots right now but wait until December.

    In December, the new Altima V-6 probably will be had for $200.00 over cost. (Of course Nissan dealers will make another $500.00 in hold back).
    You might even get 2.9% or 3.9% financing from Nissan as our economy is in the midst of a recession.

    I personally feel the Nissan Altima is a nice looking car but wait until the jury is on how reliable the vehicle will be over time.
  • qwallsqwalls Member Posts: 406
    The SE V6 Altima with every option is over $29k!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    Just wait and buy a used one in a year.

    Unless something changes, these things depreciate almost as fast as a domestic.
  • martye320martye320 Member Posts: 45
    I'd rather get an Acura TL for that price.
  • mikegold_1966mikegold_1966 Member Posts: 138
    I would consider a Lexus, Acura or even a Toyota Avalon over the Altima.

    If the new Altima depreciates fast, you probably be able to get up in a year for around 14K!
  • accord_loveraccord_lover Member Posts: 27
    I am very excited about the new re designed Honda Accord for the 2003 model year. According to the Honda engineers, it will be a benchmark model.

    The Altima looks nice but how will it hold up in the long haul? It will not be as reliable as the Honda Accord in my estimation based on previous model years.
  • lugwrenchlugwrench Member Posts: 213
    I thought Honda brings out the Accord SE every three years? Noticed an add in the paper where they have 2002 SE listed? That makes 2 years instead of three.

    Does Honda plan having an Accord SE every two years now?
  • urchin34urchin34 Member Posts: 70
    Check around on the timing belt if you live in a large city. Prices vary from $210 -$460 among four shops here for just the belt replacement. Total suggested package ranged from $460 at on dealer to almost $700 at another. Best of all the cheapest one has the best reputation. Can't beat that.
  • mikegold_1966mikegold_1966 Member Posts: 138
    One Honda dealer in my area charges $749.00 which also includes the seals and a new water pump. Another with a better reputation charges $499.00 for the same service. Figure that one out?
  • hondasmondahondasmonda Member Posts: 28
    Altima's have traditionally been as reliable, if not more reliable than the Accord. The sheet metal is definitely all new. The engines have been around for nearly a decade. The V6 is borrowed from the Maxima/Pathfinder family. The high output 4 cyl. engine is making a return from the early 90s. Both great engines, particularly the V6. Ward's auto (an influential and well-respected auto technical publication) has ranked the V6 as one of the Ten Best Engines in the world for seven years in a row.

    Remember Nissan's MSRPs always are a bit higher. They have much more wiggle room than Honda and Toyota.
  • carguy62carguy62 Member Posts: 545
    While having my car looked at during customer appreciaton day I was looking at the new '02s. The dealer had a Civic (I know this is an Accord board but nobody posts on the Civic one) that was made in Japan. Funny thing, the parts content is the same whether it is made here, there or in Canada. 70% US content. So they ship the parts over there to be assembled. Couldn't see any glaring differences in fit and finish (they had two others from the US right next to it). But if I was going to buy I would have bought the Japanese model. My $0.02.
  • rbruehlrbruehl Member Posts: 85
    Update: New transmission has been flawless to date.

    I would say the quality of Japanese built Accords is far superior to the US built Accord. The big difference is in the paint and the fit and finish. I talked to the salesman that sold me my Accord and he stated they have more requests for Japanese built Accords when customers come in to the dealership to buy.

    The new 2003 Accord is suppose to be the best designed Accord to date. Guess I will have to wait and see like everyone else.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    At least in my humble opinion.

    In the six years I've sold Hondas I have never been able to detect any differences between U.S. built and Japanese built cars.

    Once in a blue moon, I'll get a customer looking for a Japan built car.


    There is no set schedule as to when Honda will produce a special edition Accord.

    They could skip five years or do two years in a row I guess.
  • anselmo1anselmo1 Member Posts: 163
    Let's face it, the Japanese plant and the American plant have the same manufacturing standards. The big difference is "the worker"! The Japanese automotive worker has always taken pride in their workmanship. The American worker in Ohio does not feel the same way when producing an Accord. Different cultures---different work ethics.

    It is a job for the American worker but a way of life for the Japanese worker.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    I'm sure a lot of hard working American workers would take issue with that statement.

    All I'm saying is this...I have never been able to find the slightest difference in quality between Japan and US Accords.

    Is there a difference? Perhaps, but not one I can see.

    A placebo effect perhaps?
  • mikegold_1966mikegold_1966 Member Posts: 138
    Given a choice, I would take the Japanese built Accord over an Ohio built Accord. Just my preference!
  • elgritonelgriton Member Posts: 67
    Would one value an opinion more from a person who reaps monetary benefits from selling Hondas or the collective mass of persons that buy (shell out their hard earn money) and live with their Hondas day in and day out? No matter how many years ("In the six years I've sold Hondas I have never been able to detect any differences between U.S. built and Japanese built cars.") a salesman observes a car from his car dealership, it would never outweigh even a few persons' "opinion" regarding the fit&finish of their Hondas. Perhaps, "detect" needs some elucidation; otherwise, the argument has no merits. Thus, rationally one would defer and give more credence to opinions of Honda owners rather than some aesthetic observations of a salesman.

    '93 Accord SE 108K and still running smoothly as ever, 'cept for the bad main relay =)!
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,253
    ...if it was some greenpea who was selling at a Ford dealership the month before, and in 3 weeks will be selling Chevies, then no, I probably wouldn't put much faith in what he or she says about American-built versus Japanese-built.

    But someone who has been selling them for 6 years is going to know them inside and out, probably more than the typical car owner. Sure, some American-built ones will be sloppy, and so will some Japanese-built ones. But does anybody have any hard, solid evidence that proves the Ohio models are inferior to Japan? Saying that Mary's Ohio engine blew up and Billy's Japanese one didn't doesn't prove much...maybe Mary ran it without coolant or never changed the oil?

    Besides, from reading what Isell has posted on these boards, he's been affiliated with cars for a long, long time. Heck, anybody who can relate to an undersized ball joint on a '67 Pontiac or what a pain a Hemi oil filter is HAS to be on the level!
  • accord_loveraccord_lover Member Posts: 27
    I love Accords and I have owned many of them. When viewing a new model, I am more picky than any salesman since I am going to be the one buying the car.

    The salesman does just that, sell the Accord to the consumer. When commission is involved, a few car salesman have been known to fib to complete the sale. Sorry, isell, I wasn't implying you!

    The salesman isn't going to let the customer know of any impending service bulletins or recalls on the model. The salesman is knowledgeable of all the features but I don't believe they go around the car and view fit and finish before the sale.

    Don't get me wrong, I love Hondas and I like to be the judge of an automobile without the hard sell.
  • elgritonelgriton Member Posts: 67
    No salesman can ever attest to the reliability or fit/finish of cars other than the owners themselves.

    "But someone who has been selling them for 6 years is going to know them inside and out, probably more than the typical car owner."

    Absolutely false. Salesman are salesman, their knowledge does not extend beyond the aesthetic/tangible features/content of cars and some don't even reach that far, but that's another whole argument altogether. Unless they are Honda owners themselves, salesman wouldn't know any reliability nor fit/finish issues of the cars they've sold unless relayed/told to them from their customers (Honda owners). Otherwise, if s/he tells you about fit/finish/reliability of the cars they're selling; it would be consider 2nd hand knowledge (or heresay). Without those "typical car owners", we would just let the car manufacturers tell us how reliable their cars are and have those salesman take us to the cleaners also. If one's livelihood [sic] was dependent on selling cars, would one cast bad light on the product s/he selling? Certainly not. Hence, it is just more logical to give more credence to the "typical car owner" in this case.
  • lugwrenchlugwrench Member Posts: 213
    Most consumers when buying an Accord rely on the salesman for information. The consumer will come armed with dealer's invoice cost information in making the deal. On the other hand, it takes a very persnickety customer to look at the paint and fit and finish. I happen to be one of those people.

    I will start from the bottom up. Exhaust, engine,
    paint, fit and finish, and tires etc. I will look for surface scratches and swirls. I normally check the interior for flaws and loose stitching.
    In short, I will go over the car with a "magnifying glass" if I have to before making the deal.

    It is me that is going to be making car payments for 3 to 4 years and I don't want any problems at the time of purchase. The salesman gets his commission and is lucky to remember your name when you come in for your first service appointment. Sure there are salesman that will remember a name or two but most of the time, they will forget.

    If you look real hard, you will be able to see the difference between US and Japanese built Accords if you take the time.
  • paulo3paulo3 Member Posts: 113
    I have to commend your thoroughness Lugwrench. Believe it or not, I am very picky also when I purchase a new Accord.

    At my Honda dealership, they have such a turnover of salesman and general managers, you are lucky if the service advisor remembers you.
  • ed_swansfegered_swansfeger Member Posts: 45
    I love the Accord but when buying one, I have little trust in the salesman selling it. He would sell you anything to get his bonus and commission.

    A customer can read up on the model that they would like to purchase then go to the dealership.
    Those constant walks between the salesman and the sales manager always bother me. One time I told a salesman, let me talk to the sales manager cause I am getting tired sitting here watching you walk back and forth.

    Some salesman know their stuff and others don't. The ones that don't are usually not around that long.
  • lugwrenchlugwrench Member Posts: 213
    ED: There are good and bad in every dealership's sales force. Remember those Yugo salesman that use to sell them back in the late 1980's. They would tell all their customers that they were the best car for the money. A neighbor's son bought one as a cheap means of transportation to college.
    The car was in the shop more than the kid was in class.

    I have had my disagreements with isellhondas but I personally feel that he is a good salesman. If you want to see a bad salesman, he is the guy that tries to sell you the environmental package for $1500.00 extra. You know, a little wax and some undercoating. Costs the dealership maybe a whole $20.00 product and labor.
  • rbruehlrbruehl Member Posts: 85
    The Japanese built Accord is far superior to its US counterpart. Fit and finish and paint quality are the difference. Look closely isellhondas the next time you compare them.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    That think I'm here to tell lies and distort the facts.

    You forget one thing....I don't care!

    I'm not here to sell cars or drum up business.

    Never once have I tried to do this and I've been around these forums for a long time.

    I'll repeat what I said and could care less what you happen to think...

    I, personally have never been able to spot any differences in quality between US and Japan built Hondas.

    I'm not saying there might be some differences...It's just that these differences, if any have been undectable to me.

    And I do resent the posters who automatically assume I will say anything in order to sell a car.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    I respect your opinion but strongly disagree with the "far superior" part.

    I have taken close looks and can't tell the difference. I've seen flaws in both.
  • paulo3paulo3 Member Posts: 113
    Read where the UAW is going to attempt to unionize the Accord plant in Ohio. A unionized Accord plant will only lead to more Accord quality assurance issues. It will also drive the price up of the Accord.
  • robr2robr2 BostonMember Posts: 8,805
    If the workers who would be unionized are happy enough without the union, they more than likely will vote to keep the facility non union. Didn't the Nissan workers in Tennessee just vote against the UAW?

    If after 10+ years the UAW still isn't in the Honda facility, I would venture to guess it would be an uphill battle for them to do so.

    IMHO, approval of UAW representation will not automatically lead to lower quality. I'm no fan of unions so don't take this that way. Honda has certain quality standards and those standards would have to be agreed to be met by the union. I don't think Honda would lower quality standards just because the UAW thinks they are too high. Remember, it's Honda's ball and they can take it and go home (or Mexico, Canada, England, Germany, Korea) if they want to.

    Honda's presence in Ohio generates millions, if not hundreds of millions, of dollars in economic impact throughout that area. IMHO, Honda would work very hard to remind everyone, including their employees and the employees of the sandwich shops, grocery stores, and other small businesses in the area, the value of Honda to their economy. As someone once remarked to me WRT Kodak in Rochester, NY - "It's the big yellow mother and if Mom gets sick, the whole family gets sick".
  • ed_swansfegered_swansfeger Member Posts: 45
    Hope those Honda factory works know what is best for them. Once the UAW starts organizing, they tend to blow everything out of proportion.

    To isellhondas---I wasn't implying anything toward you as a salesman. I was just illustrating my own personal observations.

    Japanese vs. American---it would be interesting to see an actual quality assurance readout from both Accord plants. It would be interesting to see who has the higher quality assurance standards.
  • elgritonelgriton Member Posts: 67
    The discussion did not concern nor mention anything about you trying " sell cars or drum up business." So don't get defensive. If you read my statements carefully, you would perhaps understand that my argument concerns your qualifications to judge fit/finish/reliable issues. If I read you correctly, you concede that you only spot check. So, how does one even discern or be able to give an accurate and fair judgement of fit/finish? Or do you scrutinize every Hondas from bumper to bumper that come thru your way? I'm certain that's not the case b/c you wouldn't have a job at the end of the day.
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