Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Honda Accord VCM



  • golfrskigolfrski Posts: 262
    You were told in 2007 that there was a TSB for 2008 Accords before they even hit the street, and you cant recall? :confuse:
  • jam1000jam1000 Posts: 182
    There are no TSBs for the '08 Accord, at least according to the NHTSA database of all TSBs for all manufacturers. The only TSB for any '08 Honda is one for the Civic.
  • rscharscha Posts: 12
    Who said anything about before they hit the street these cars were on the road before the first of the year? :confuse: As I said a Honda service manager told me there was only one notice in the system on this car for a minor adjustment that effected acceleration. If you want to know the details call your own dealer.
  • hp6130hp6130 Posts: 49
    My wife is having a tough time deciding between an accord ex-l or camry xle. (4 cyl.) So this past sat. she wanted to drive the accord again. We went to the dealer late, at 5:30, they are open till 7. She drove the 4 again, and I asked to take out the 6, (just for the hell of it) , this will be her car, (she will drive it 95% of the time) this was a very short test drive for me (10 - 15 mins.) I just wanted to feel the power and see what the VCM was like. They wanted her to take a car for 2 days, I said no. I felt this was a mistake, so on Mon. I called back and we went over to pick up a 4cyl. at 2 pm. Before we took the car, I said I wanted to take out a 6 again, no problem. This time we went out for 40 mins. When we got back she drove it for 10 to 15 mins. We returned the 4 cyl. at 5 pm yesterday. I asked for a 6 w/vcm for the nite, no problem got the sales mgrs. w/ less than 500 miles on it. We then went for a 2-3 hr. drive (turnpike, highway, country roads, backroads, downtown, uphills, downhills), I had the cruise on and I had it off, I went slow , I went fast. I feel this was a good test of the car and system. Remember this was the third different v-6. My wife would not know a 4 from a 6, or VCM from ABS. We drove the 6 because of homelink and x-tra power seat. I know these are standard on the XLE camry, but you can't get a black interior in an XLE. We are camry buyers, we are on our third camry now, I am not some honda flag waver, but I feel they make a great car, that's why we are considering the accord. My conclusions, the whole time I drove the car the only thing I thought about was VCM and how it shifted, I constantly was watching the eco light and believe me I was looking for issues with the car. It was like I wanted to find something wrong, I was so self-conscious of some of the negative feedback that was in my head. I did not feel anything weird happened, the only time the shifts felt a little more noticeable to me, was when exiting onto an offramp from the highway and a high rate of speed. But again this did not feel abnormal, my wife did not notice anything. This is what I experienced, I AM NOT DISMISSING WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE CLAIMING, the cars all felt strong, powerful and smooth. The salesman said he did not hear of anything, but I'd expect him to say that. I try and do my research and at this point I don't feel I would be afraid of buying the V-6. This was just my personal experience and conclusion. Thanks
  • rscharscha Posts: 12
    I went through exactly the same process and finally bought the V6 in spite of some of the stories posted here. Again I am sure some people are having problems with individual cars but to say every v6 is a problem would not be at all accurate. Maybe the best advice is to do what you did. Take the car for a very long ride and see for yourself, and test the car that you eventually bring home very carefully.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    I was watching network TV the other night and saw an Accord commercial that basically is 100% about VCM. The entire commercial is about how great and unique this technology is in terms of fuel efficiency and reducing greenhouse gasses. I am not sure if this is a brand new commercial, but it's the first time I saw it. If Honda acknowledges problems with this technology, I doubt they would be airing a national TV ad that showcases and brings more attention to the system. The ad did not say the system is "seamless" or "unnoticed", but it made it clear that it is transparent to the driver. If there is a problem with VCM, a lawyer or consumer advocate would have a field day with this one TV commercial alone.
  • maltbiemaltbie Posts: 31
    This whole VCM issue reminds me of the transmission problem that plagued a small percentage of Accord V6s in the 2000 model year. I had a 2000 EX-V6 that shuddered at about 40 mph when RPMs were below 2,000. I complained about this on Edmunds as did many other upset V6 owners. Many other V6 owners said they had no problem. We complained to our dealers and were told it was normal. Finally, after many months of Honda stonewalling, they acknowledged the problem (lock-up torque converter defect) and replaced the transmissions. They also extended the warranty on all transmissions to 100,000 miles/7 yrs. Hopefully, in a few months, Honda will figure out how to fix the VCM problem, issue a TSB and everyone will be happy.

    Until this problem is resolved, anyone considering a V6 should follow the advice from the posters above by performing an extended test drive to see if they can detect the problem. Perhaps those unfortunate people with the problem can tell us how best to check for the problem during a test drive.
  • I owned a number of vehicles, mostly American brands, but also, an owner of only one 1985 Accord Hatchback (bought new) which I was very pleased with and kept that car for 10+ years! Very reliable. I had my mind up, to buy a 2008 Accord Sedan V6, but since reading this extremely long thread from start to finish, over a 4 day period, this has really SCREWED-UP my decision making process :(

    I know, that the 'few' complaints about Honda's VCM could be legitimate but I also know that messageboards can give the 'perception' that a problem is blown out of proportion to the total real numbers of people not having any issues. If you do a count, I believe only a few people had the problem in which they believe is directly related to the VCM. This forum here, is the only primary messageboard that I have seen this VCM issue. I Googled like crazy to see where else this VCM engine problem was discussed in depth and nowhere else could I find it. Maybe just minor mention elsewhere that one can somewhat feel the cylinder modes changing.

    I am sure whoever started this topic has a problem with his particular Accord, but I am also guessing that others, known as Trollers possibly enhancing the VCM problem perception here. It does happen, people! That is the nature of the internet because of the anonymity factor.

    This is my suggestion: We have free video hosting sites with YouTube being the largest one. To the original people complaining about Honda's VCM .... show us the problem. This is what some consumers have been doing. I saw this on a ABC show last summer:

    Take your video cam or borrow one. If you want privacy, cover your license plates and also, you do not have to show yourself. With your video cam, drive your Honda Accord V6 Sedan and demonstrate to us the surging & cylinder mode changing. Narrate/describe to us before the test drive. Upload your videos to YouTube and give it a catchy title to grabs peoples attention.

    In the meantime, I do not know what to do, other than do very extensive test drives of Accord sedans, however if I 'Factory Order' an Accord, I would not be able to test drive that particular one, since I'm commited beforehand to purchase it. Here in California, I am also seeing plenty of Honda advertisements on TV. I wish that I did not ever see this topic at this messageboard! :mad:
  • sunnfunsunnfun Posts: 168
    Won't work. The issue is something you feel, not something you see. It would be like trying to video the car changing gears during normal driving.

    As far as doing a google search, you can go back through some of the posts on this VCM board and find the magazine articles describing the issue. Someone put it in one of the posts.
  • jam1000jam1000 Posts: 182
    "Won't work. The issue is something you feel, not something you see."


    PS -- I did what Sunnfun said he was going to do: send a letter to the higher-ups at American Honda. Honda's response was a call from the same case manager I dealt with in the first go-round. He said "normal operation," nothing to be done. Dealing with Honda, no matter how high up or how politely, is not going to get the issue addressed.
  • 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.
  • 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 :-(
Sign In or Register to comment.