I'm immensely unhappy with Honda, with the Element, and with the service and parts departments involved.
I bought a 2006 Honda Element EX 4wd from Miller Honda in Culver City, California on Saturday, July 8th. . On the way home from the dealership I got in a low-speed collision. I was sure that there was little to no damage to my brand new car, because there was only a very minor scuff on the bumper. However, when I got home, I saw that the engine was leaking coolant.
Unsure if this was a mechanical fault or a collision-related problem, I took it back to the dealer on Monday morning after not driving it at all on Sunday. That was July 10th. Here it is July 18th, and I still don’t have my car back!
To my horror, the dealer told me that over $3,000.00 worth of damage had been done – the bumper cover, condenser and radiator all needed to be replaced and were damaged beyond repair. I am shocked that a less-than-5mph collision could do so much damage. Even worse, the dealer refused to order parts over-night, and instead insisted on waiting until the following Friday to even ORDER the parts – so that they would arrive sometime the following week. They also drastically over-charged my insurance company for the work, who then told me I would have to make up the difference. In the three days that they had the car, I don’t know if they even installed the lojack that I had bought from them – their service department didn’t answer the phone on the several occasions I called, and never returned my calls asking about its status.
I had the car towed to a body-shop, who promised to order the parts the next business day. The body shop is Mr. Polish, of 2605 S. La Cienega in Los Angeles. Here it is a week later, and I still don’t have my car, and they still don’t have the parts. They have told me every day since last Thursday that the parts were on a truck, and would arrive “first thing in the morning!” Apparently those parts are pretty danged elusive!
I am heartily sorry that I bought a car from Miller Honda, who refused to repair the car in anything less than a week. Further, they didn’t answer my questions, or return my calls when I left voicemails. I am even sorrier that I bought a Honda at all – a minor fender-bender shouldn’t cause such an absurd amount of damage and require such extensive repair. I am so sick of dealing with missing parts – I had my car for less than 20 minutes – and now I haven’t seen it in over a week. I am angry, I am frustrated – and I just don’t want the car back. I’m sick to death of dealing with dealers, parts, and repairs for what the bumper should have absorbed in the first place. Have you simply replaced bumpers with crumple-zones so that passengers are more safe, and you can extort drivers for usurious repair bills? I would sincerely like to just drop my useless car off at the dealer, get my down-payment back, and forget about the whole thing! I am dissatisfied with my experience of Honda ownership all together – and so far no one is doing anything to make things better. I will communicate my dissatisfaction to everyone I know, and the readers of the blog I keep. I hope none of them ever buy a Honda – I surely never shall again!
With great dissatisfaction and anger;