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Need advice on a bad 08 Odyssey buying experience

dc_bluesdc_blues Member Posts: 5
edited March 2014 in Honda
This is a long story, but to lay out the essentials:

2/27/08: Purchased a brand new 2008 Odyssey last Wednesday night

2/28/08: Noticed a puddle under the vehicle on Thursday

2/29/08: Leak was clearly continuous, so investigated further. Determined the Odyssey was leaking a substantial amount of transmission fluid, had Odyssey towed back to dealership for service.

3/1/08: Went to dealership, spoke at length with service advisor and general manager. Agreed to leave vehicle with dealership until Monday so they could finish the work and install a discounted remote starter system

3/3/08: Vehicle returned to me at my home. But the remote starter had several manufactured enabled features disabled (keyless entry when remote starter activated, remote shut off of system and so on). While attempting to deal with this new set of issues, it was soon realized that the transmission fluid was still leaking.

No one has been able or willing to explain why the transmission fluid was leaking. By my own inspection, there was a cap missing from the transmission (causing transmission fluid to spray over everything located under the hood). I have been told that there was a loose clamp, so the hose had been knocked loose.

Clearly an Odyssey "straight off the truck" should not be missing caps or have loose hoses and/or clamps. No one will speak to the cause of these incidents, nor have they explained how a vehicle could be cleared for delivery when it was missing an obvious cap on such a major mecahnical component as the transmission.

Mind you, I am a homemaker and stay-at-home mother of two small children with no mechanical expertise - when I say it was obvious, really it was OBVIOUS!!!

Can anyone offer me advice? I am at a loss. I'm a loyal Honda customer, but this has shaken my confidence to the core.


  • rhinoboy82rhinoboy82 Member Posts: 2
    You should be getting a call from Honda soon as part of their normal Customer Satiscation Survey. You will have plenty of time to tell them about the problem. That sets off an alert that should cause the sales people up front to take action.

    It is too bad that such an obvious thing slipped through. It is obvious, but it's also unusual and very rare. I imagine no one thought to check for something that may never have happened before. I just bought an Odyssey, too, and I haven't had a single problem. As for their unwillingness to be up front about the cause, I wouldn't sour on Honda because of that, but I would sour on the dealership.

    With all the focus on price these days, this is actually the time to have purchased from a stellar sales person at a great dealership. My salesperson would be physically ill if something like this happened to me and wouldn't rest until it was taken care of and I was satisfied with the explanation, etc. If you have that kind of relationship and trust with your salesperson, be sure they know of your troubles. They're employed by the dealer, but they are also your only advocate inside. They (if they are any good) should be concerned about your loyalty.

    Please keep us posted on what happens.
  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyMember Posts: 6,064
    I'd ask the dealership to extend the warranty on your transmission to 7 years or 100,000... at no charge of course. That you say the transmission fluid leak was "substantial" is a bit alarming. I would be concerned some damage may have been done.

    If a clamp on the hose had been knocked loose, and then repaired... why is the transmission still leaking?
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • dc_bluesdc_blues Member Posts: 5
    Thanks for the advice. I've already called Honda of America, and am waiting on a callback once it's assigned to a regional case manager. This situation is so ridiculous, I'd probably have trouble believing any of it if it weren't happening to me.

    I started documenting everything, and am already on page 10 of a Word document.

    Clearly this vehicle should not have passed the Honda required PDI, what with the fluid leaks, loose clamps, missing filler cap, and who knows what else.

    My husband arrived back at Ourisman Honda to pick up the van tonight, and upon asking for the General Manager, he was informed that he had just left minutes before and wouldn’t be back for a few days whilst he “went out of town to visit a sick relative”… anyone else find that awfully convenient?
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    When you get your customer satisfaction survey, trash them. That should alert you and get a call from the salesperson, dealership manager, and perhaps even someone from corporate.

    And when I say trash them, I mean mark poor in every single category, say nothing was done, (and apparently, nothing was, since this car would have never passed the pre delivery inspection) and anything else negative you can think of. Also, keep complaining, and continually take the car back to the dealer. Don't let anyone else touch it, either, because they might claim that somebody else messed with it.

    This is one of those times where getting a good salesperson would have mattered.. The last Honda salesperson I encountered (from whom a friend had bought an Odyssey) would be all over this case and working overtime to get it resolved ASAP.
  • dc_bluesdc_blues Member Posts: 5
    OMG, the salesperson and the service mgr are all over the place with me. THEY have been great. Management on the other hand - not so much. It's just reached the point it really shouldn't be being handled by a sales guy and a service guy. They aren't in a position where they can do enough. No one is taking accountability, and I'm getting the distinct impression these two guys are being squashed from within...
  • rhinoboy82rhinoboy82 Member Posts: 2
    I have to disagree with the notion of trashing them by marking down every category, etc.

    Think of how that looks to the receiver. It looks as though it came from a raving lunatic. I promise you that a survey of all poor marks is dismissed right away. A few well-placed negatives will go a lot farther in getting attention and resolution.

    Take the high road and stay reasonable. Give accurate answers to every question and absolutely give the lowest mark where it is appropriate.
  • dc_bluesdc_blues Member Posts: 5
    FYI, I've already had the survey call. I did not trash them 100%, but I did trash certain aspects. I was very polite, declined to answer certain questions as I felt they were still pending and therefore could not be answered yet, but was clear that I was tremendously dissatified with the overall experience, that the car was NOT delivered to me in sound mechanical condition, etc.
  • vtarpvtarp Member Posts: 1
    Just got a straight off the truck and have the exact same problem. Van leaking transmission fluid in garage. This is my third Honda. I'm hoping this is not going to be a major problem. Wish me luck!!
  • dc_bluesdc_blues Member Posts: 5
    This was a LONG and ugly story in the end. We ended up getting a replacement, though I'm still not sure the financing and titling has been squared away. Nightmare.

    I've got a second van now, after taking it to a second dealership for inspection - the second dealer immediately realized there was major damage and got involved with HOA.

    I would advise you to take your van in for a re-inspection at another Honda dealership - if your story is anything like mine, the selling dealer has a conflict of interest. They kept swearing there was no damage.
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