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Honda Accord VCM



  • Hope you are right, though this isn't the first time a new generation has fell a bit flat IMO. At one point I went from a 1993 Accord EX to a 1995 Accord EX and it felt cheaper. For example, instead of separate armrest pads, they just molded the armrest into the door panel, the whole thing covered with that short fuzz - sorry, fabric.

    Another disappointing thing was the year when they went from glass headlight lenses to the cheaper plastic that gets the haze on it after several years, that you then need to buff off.

    The VCM mini-shift, and when its in an eco mode the lack of immediate response to minute throttle changes is annoying at times, but the frigging steering wheel shimmy / and vibe in the front floor at times, is what pisses me off the most.

    Reality for me is that next year I will likely trade the 08 Accord Sedan EX-L V6 Navi for something else, and it will be one of the cars that I will remember as being OK, but not one to think fondly of.

    However it will not be one of the POS ones on my list - I still have a grudge against Chrysler products and dealers from a 1992 Dakota. Yeah, thats why I had a 93 Accord, my very first import car - and it really showed the parents and some relatives what they were missing with Ford and Chevy at the time.
  • Even though our Accord's VCM system seems to work OK, I completely agree that VCM needs to go! IMHO, VCM is a poor "band-aid" approach to improving gas mileage. I say that because it appears, just like in the old Cadillacs, that far too many drivers can feel the transitions in the system, and those transitions bother them.

    You may recall that in 2008, Honda claimed in their ads that VCM was "seamless" in its operation. You may also note that they no longer use that term, likely because in reality, VCM is NOT seamless.

    It's time for Honda to move forward and dump this system. I also agree that if they don't get fid of it, I will also look elsewhere for our next car. VCM-equipped Hondas are too big of a crap shoot.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,603
    This is the first time I've read of a person who actually liked the glass headlight covers on the 1990-1993 Accords! t didn't take much to get them broken by flying rocks and they were very expensive to replace. The front bumpers had to be dropped.

    The Lexan covers usually don't get dull but if they do, Mcguires makes a kit that buffs the haze off. Not a big deal at all.
  • Guess I got lucky, put 53k miles on the 93, never a broken lens. It helped that where I lived in NJ they usually used sand laced with salt on the roads in the winter, instead of PA (and WV among others) that put friggin' gravel on the roads in the winter.

    Back to VCM, why put a light in the dash anyways? Just to advertise? Kinda like the upshift lights and vacuum economy gauge that were the gimmicks in earlier days.
  • One week ago I bought a 2010 Honda Accord V6 EX-L for my wife. After a few days she asked me to drive it b/c she felt a bad shake in the wheel on the highway. I drove it and took it straight to the dealer. They said it was just the tires and they needed to "wear in". They balanced all 4 and gave it back, "problem solved" they said. I took the car back on the highway and the shaking was better but the vibration in the steering was bad. I spent the next day at the dealership for 6 hours until finally they put 4 new tires on the car. "problem solved" they said again.

    Nope, i got home this evening fuming and went looking on the net for info. and found this forum. I can't believe it. This is my 3rd Accord (1997, 2003)and I've never experienced this with Honda. I realize now the vibration has nothing to do with the tires, which is why 4 brand new tires made no difference. I also realize that the surging I feel on the highway is not my imagination, but a by-product of the VCM.

    Has anyone been successful in fighting this ? I have 600 miles on this car and I absolutely do not want it.
  • They keep saying problem solved to try and avoid linking all the visits together under one issue. Most states when you hit three tries to fix the same issue, you can invoke lemon law. Depending on the state, that can help a lot, or not much at all.

    If you dig back into this forum to when the 08's were fairly new, you can find a person or two that managed to get a buyback, or their dealer helped them out by taking some more of their money and putting them into a different car - either the four cylinder sedan, or the manual coupe v6 which didn't have vcm in 08, etc. Watch the four cyl though, some people were really pissed off about the way the headlights dim when the ac clutches in at night.

    Mine has some shimmey, but I don't do a lot of highway driving now, and just ignore the jitter. Hope to trade it next year at the three year mark. Some people aren't bothered by the vibration, but others like us know it shouldn't be there and find it unacceptable.
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    I would push this. I would not deal with a car that made me miserable. I have an '05 Accord 4 cylinder and it has been a great car. What I find on here are problems that I never read about until the new model in '08. What I find in comments on here is that Honda is resistant to doing much to help you. Stay at it! If you do not get this resolved, you will never be happy with this car.
  • dinofldinofl Posts: 53
    Sorry, but bluntly you screwed. Just like me. You can do a search for my posts.
  • Why does the Lemon Law not apply in this situation ?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Because the car is safe and driveable?
  • So if you purchase a car and find out it has a defect which the dealer knew of, didn't inform you of, but had you been told, you would not have purchased the car, your screwed because the car in not dangerous to drive. It rides terrible and is very uncomfortable, but its safe, so too bad ?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    ...essentially, I think that's how it works. Extensive test-drives are a must.
  • Well I am not going to quit. If you had a serious paint defect, the car would still be perfectly safe to drive, but that doesn't mean you are stuck with it.

    I just can't let it go yet.
  • dinofldinofl Posts: 53
    edited October 2010
    The problem with the lemon law is that you have to somehow prove that it is an actual defect. Honda keeps claiming to me that the car is "working as designed" regardless of the vibrations and surges. So we would somehow have to prove that the car has an actual defect. You may win, but unlikely is my conclusion.

    I have 26 months left to my lease and am counting the months until I get rid of this piece of junk.
  • i'm have found that in Louisiana I may be able to use the redhibition law which basically says that if the things is not fit for its intended purpose, or the issue reduces the fair market value, I can get a rescission. If I try to sell the car, i have to tell a purchaser of the defect, and then I will not likely get the FMV, so I'm going to try that route.

    Also, if I can prove they knew of the defect and didn't tell me, I have a shot b/c of the concealment.

    All I can do is try, this car rides like junk on the highway.

    p.s. I spoke with Honda of America and they told me to get a second opinion from another dealer. I'm doing that tomorrow.
  • Also, proving the defect is easy. The 2010 accord 4 cylinder cars don't vibrate and have wheel shake on the highway. So the V-6 is the issue. They also attempted wheel balancing, rotation, and 4 new tires, so they were working on "some problem". They can't say its imaginary, why would they give me 4 new tires.

    I think the problem is proving the defect is sufficient to warrant a rescission of the sale. We will see.
  • dinofldinofl Posts: 53
    edited October 2010
    I hope you are successful. If you need any ammo, you can contact me. I have five service tickets from Honda doing wheel balancing etc, and has all my VCM, vibration complaints on them. I even had a Honda Corp rep ride in my car. He claimed to not feel anything. I told him I would close my eyes and tell him everytime I felt a surge or vibration. I called it everytime the ECO light went on and off with my eyes closed. He kept saying everything was working as designed and that I was too sensitive and would likely not be pleased with any car! I told him I have NEVER felt anything like this in 30 plus years of owning cars. I told him I will never buy another Honda as long as I live. He didn't care. I told them to just swap me out for a stick which doesn't have VCM. They just don't care!! My ex wife's 2002 Civic that cost $14K drove like a dream compared to my 2010 $30K coupe.
  • I will let you know. I find this getting more interesting by the day. Yesterday, my dealer and American Honda decided (by phone) that the "problem" is not a problem, it is a "characteristic of the car". I brought the car to a second dealer today and told them the whole story and left the car. They called me 3 hours later and said "they felt the vibrations and saw the wheel shake", they road force tested the tires and had to rebalance one, "vibrations gone."

    I went over there, drove the car with a tech (who had not worked on the car, that guy was gone) and he felt the shake and vibrations and said," no way that should be shaking like that". We spoke with the service manager, who played stupid, but did write on my ticket that the tech could still feel the vibrations.

    So I'm going to try the mediation/arbitration route. The car is dangerous because you might think its shaking and vibrating b/c of the "normal charateristic of the vehicle" but in actuallity, you may have a bad tire or other serviceable issue.

    The fight starts tomorrow.
  • Hey dinofl,

    I drove 2 other brand new 2010 v-6's at the request of my dealer and they both did the same thing. Yet there are actually not that many people I can find complaining about it and there are at least three years of the same set up. Have you seen any other sights where folks are talking about this issue ?
  • dinofldinofl Posts: 53
    edited October 2010
    This is Honda's standard routine. They force balanced my tires too. I asked them how is it possiblr a new car needed two wheel balances, an alignment and a high speed force balance. They said it was a known issue with my car and Florida roads. They weren't even making any sense. They seemed determine to keep trying to appease me, but unwilling to admit a manufacturing or design defect and put me into another car or refund.

    I had heard that the Consumer Reports website, you need to pay a subscription fee, had a thread of owners complaing about getting a class action suit and the thread was mysteriously deleted. Just google "Honda VCM problems" and you will see numerous websites talking about it. Its also a problem in Pilots and Odysees. I don't understand how Honda gets away with it and there's no recall.
  • jmillerjmillerjmillerjmiller Posts: 113
    edited October 2010
    I hate to say it, but in my opinion they follow some of the typical methods employed by companies.

    If you've watched some TV newsragazines and read enough about accusations that have been made against the big 'T' and others, this would include such things as hidden warranties (you have to complain to the right people to get the adjusted price), aggressive action towards any publication that picks too hard on their manufacturer provided review cars (pulling ads is the typical leverage, along with un-inviting them from those little junkets you read about in car mags). Burying owner complaints by either stonewalling until the owner gives up, or non-disclosure agreements in the case of lemon buybacks or other legal settlements. Standard Goliath stepping on David kind of things.

    Mine, well I am not spending the effort to put my head through the brick wall - the next owner will enjoy their low mileage Honda ;)
  • Friends,
    Today I expect to pick up my EX-L V6 Navi sedan from the dealership. I am sharing this with you all because I took it in there yesterday with what I thought was surely the cylinder activation/de activation so many of us have been experiencing with these newer Accords w/Auto trans & V6 engines. Last night I was told by the Service Department that they feel all the vibrations are not VCM-related but brakes related. I was unaware that Honda had issued a Service Bulletin for the Front Brakes and the Rear Brakes were actually part of a Class Action Lawsuit. What! I had not heard about this and I consider myself a avid reader of things related to cars, my own Accord or cars in general. So my front brakes will be covered at no cost to me and the rears will be addressed and I need to file a claim for up to 50% reimbursement as part of the lawsuit. This is my 3rd Accord in a row and this all caught me off guard.

    I'll update this posting after I drive the car over the weekend. I hope this was in fact the cause of the steering wheel shaking and vibrations through the car. It would be a relief it it wasn't the VCM, something I so wish Honda would have skippied in this generation of Accords. My only hope is that the next Accord, 2013 model year would be my guess, will be really nice when equipped with this engine and a proper 6-speed auto trans. I haven't driven the VCM engine/trans combo in an Odyssey or Pilot but I can't imagine it's that much better than in our Accords.

    So hopefully this information is helpful to some of you as I was unaware. Looks like anyone with a 2010 V6, or other models for all I know, have a free set of front brakes coming to them. My car only has 12K miles on it and the vibration has been present for the past 1,000-2,000 easily. I just thought it was the inherent poor design of the engine & VCM. Heck, the car is not even a year old and I never suspected I'd be having significant brake issues on my Accord. This isn't a G37S or anything! Hah.

    Philly Mike
  • Look into the brakes. I too have a 2010 EX-L V6 and was told yesterday that there was a service bulletin to address the front brakes in the 2010 Accords(don't know if this is also true for the 4 cylinders). The rear brakes also probably need to be replaced as mine were with 2mm of wear and replacement was suggested. My car has just about 12,000 miles and I do drive aggressively however. BUT I was also told that Honda did also have another Service Bulletin out for the rear brakes on my 2010 Accord V6 which would have allowed the dealership to replace those as well for no cost to me. That aint happening due to a class-action lawsuit that must cover a LOT of Accords or Hondas. Now I have to pay for the rear brake work and then submit a copy of my receipt to whatever law firm is managing the disbursement of funds. I might get 50% reimbursement.

    I can't say that your vibration issue is related to the front or rear breaks but if your dealer hasn't already addressed these areas for you I would call them on it. I am also having the dealership rotate & balance the rims as well as align the vehicle. When it comes to vibrations or noises I am a freak with my cars. I aim to keep the car in tip top shape and things like this are definitely concerning. Best of Luck and let us know how you make out.

    Philly Mike
  • Just got back from the dealership and already filled out the form to get some form of reimbursement for the rear brakes. Here are some details from the form I needed to send in:

    Rear Brake Pad Repairs for details and the form itself
    Browne et al v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
    Case No. CV09-06750-MMM(BTBx) (C.D.Cal.)

    On the ride back from the dealership my Accord did feel a lot better than when I dropped it off. I did however have a lot done over the 2 days it was there - tire balance & rotation, alignment, new front pads and resurfacing of front rotors, new rear pads & resurfacing of rotors. So it ought to drive nice, or at least for a few weeks...

    Philly Mike
  • I hope they solved your issue. Most everything done to mine either just moved the shake to a different speed range where it peaks, or did not do anything.

    My front brakes were done awhile back, didn't help the shimmy, and only took a few months for the brakes to start acting like the rotors are a little warped again in the front.

    Luckily mine has not required rear brakes yet, and the dealer insisted that they had checked both inner and outer pads during the PA Inspection. Still running the original pads from 08 around 22k miles now. That is the beginning of the range where most people have needed rear pad replacement.
  • I just discovered this forum . Reviewed edmunds car reviews before I bought this car and thought it checked out OK .Wish they would have posted these problems and I would have stayed with Toyota . Too late . Now am stuck with with a car that vibrates badly and according to the dealership (after having been there for 27 days)and the factory , they have done all they are going to do to fix it . The service manager was honest enough to tell me I was not going to like the way it drove and he was right .I talked to a factory rep in California and was told that this is all they would do as per Honda policy . I contacted BBB and an attorney that specializes in lemon laws and quickly realized the complexity of pursuing this . This was the second new Honda I bought in the last two years and will be my last . It puzzles me that a company with such a good reputation treats their customers this way . My only recourse now is to discourage as many potential buyers as I can from doing business with this company . Anyone care to help ? highblade48
  • dinofldinofl Posts: 53
    I am right there with you. I absolutely hate my car. Worst purchase I ever made. I hate every second I drive this thing. It pitches, surges, pauses, vibrates, ECO light flashes on and off for no reason. Honda knows this and is doing nothing about it. They try to convince you its your imagination! Totally inexcuseable! I will never buy another Honda as long as I live. This company no longer exists in my mind except to discourage others from making the same mistake. $30K piece of junk!!
  • """This company no longer exists in my mind except to discourage others from making the same mistake. $30K piece of junk!! """

    Ironically Consumer Reports just named Honda the most reliable automobile manufacturer and Honda sells roughly 400,000 Accord's every year. Good luck with your 1 man smear campaign.
  • The Eco light, while offering little benefit, does not go on and off for nothing. Your level of aggression towards the throttle, be it intentional or a reaction to the terrain your ascending or descending, will indicate if the current situation is sipping fuel, light on, gulping fuel, light off. Any knowledge of how an internal combustion engine works will tell you that stomping on the throttle returns poor fuel economy, treating it as if it were an egg shell you have no desire to crack will reward you with good fuel economy. No ECO light, upshift light (80's VW's) and other wiz bang devices needed, aggression or caressing have always had the same effect when it comes to MPG's.
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