October 18, 2009

The story of this blog: I created it back in March of 2008 as a way to chronicle the horrendous service my husband and I received when our brand new Honda Odyssey had some very serious transmission issues. I decide to let the blog be publicly accessible after the management of Ourisman Honda mishandled our case so horribly. Well, about a year and a half has passed, and since the drama has long since passed, I had pretty much forgotten that this blog even existed until WordPress forwarded this comment to me on Friday:

On Fri, 10/16/09, wrote:

Subject: RE:RE:RE:Re: Missing your Response
Date: Friday, October 16, 2009, 1:41 PM

Your very angry. And you talk alot about cock sucking. Probably because you were molested by your uncle, who lives in a trailer and made you suck his cock, until you were about 13 years old. You then realized that it wasn’t right, so you’ve been mad at the world ever since. And for your information, we are a volume dealership who is always in the top three for the district. That’s why we can pick and choose to sell to whom we want. And we choose not to sell to assholes like you.

Now, one would think that you’d want to delete your work e-mail address before posting something like this, but hey, I think it validates what I have said about the management at Ourisman.


More more more…

May 23, 2008

If you hear about a housewife driving a Honda Odyssey through a Maryland dealership, maiming several people in the process – well, you’ll be able to draw your own conclusions. 

So here is the latest. I have TWO DIFFERENT registrations, TWO DIFFERENT sticker numbers, TWO DIFFERENT title numbers and TWO DIFFERENT expiration dates on my registrations for one VIN/vehicle. These are all on the SECOND VIN, not one from each vehicle.

I bought the ORIGINAL van on 2/27 so this is THREE freaking months of this crap. Just shoot me please.



First Registration

Second Registration

Tag Number



Unit #



Sticker Number



Title Number













Two and a half months later…

May 17, 2008

… we checked with Maryland MVA and both VINs are still in our names. Sure hope there are no tickets on the vehicle, or crimes committed with it. (sigh)  Sent an e-mail to Rich Kandel, who says he’ll look into it Monday. We’ve also had to contact the MVA manager.

What a stand-up organization, eh?

Our story, in short

March 17, 2008

In less then two weeks of owning our brand new 2008 Honda Odyssey minivan, it (a) was taken back twice to Ourisman Honda for the continuous leaking of Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF), (b) had a remote starter system installed and then removed due to Ourisman’s installation of a clearly incompatible aftermarket product, and (c) was brought into Hersons Honda for a thorough re-inspection because of our lack of faith in Ourisman Honda’s service. After 6 days worth of “repairs” at Ourisman’s service department, Hersons came to the conclusion within a few hours that the Odyssey’s transmission issues were *not* fixed, and that the van in fact had major transmission damage (bear in mind, this was a van with well under 200 miles on it). All told, in less then two weeks of ownership, the Odyssey was in for service seven days. After much despair, countless phone calls and letters, and all the aforementioned service visits, Ourisman very grudgingly agreed to replace the van, but only after Hersons Honda and Honda of America also became actively involved in our case.

A day after we took possession of the *new* van, we discovered a dent which had either been missed, or just went undisclosed, by Ourisman Honda. And that almost covers our horrific saga of blatant deceipt and incompetence by Ourisman Honda…

MTA: Ourisman fixed the dent on 3/15/05, but as of 4/8/08, Financing has still not sent me the cancelled paperwork they said they would. After repeated calls to American Honda Financial Services, I’ve been able to confirm that the old van’s loan was “reversed”, and that we only have a loan out on Van #2.

After a bunch more phone calls, on 4/10/08 we *finally* got our new tags.

As of 4/10/08, the old van’s VIN is still in our name at the MVA. That’d be a full month after giving it back to Ourisman. Sure hope no one wracks up any parking tickets or commits any crimes in that vehicle.

Trust me when I say that if you are in the market for a Honda, please save yourself the angst and proceed straight to Hersons. They’re really wonderful there.

Believe it or not, the following chain of events is the abridged version of what has happened to us over the past few weeks, due to the deception, incompetence and missteps of Ourisman Honda’s management.


The Ourisman Experience, in summary

March 15, 2008

February 27, 2008:

Vehicle purchased from Ourisman Honda. After waiting over 90 minutes for the finance team to finish the sale, the transaction was finally completed approximately 10PM , and my husband and I took delivery of the vehicle. 

February 29, 2008:

Vehicle was towed back to Ourisman Honda at approximately 5:30 PM because of the significant fluid leakage observed over two days, and a missing ATF cap. There was red, oily, foul-smelling fluid pooling in my driveway, and over all of the equipment located under the hood of the Odyssey. I advised Mr. Gino Pellegrino that I believed transmission fluid was leaking and that I had also noticed what appeared to be a missing cap on the transmission. 

March 1, 2008:

Arrived at Ourisman Honda to pick up the van. Mr. Pellegrino said he would get things ready from his end, and advised us to go speak with the general manager (Rich Kandel) while we waited. While waiting outside Rich’s office for him to get off the phone call he was on, we were approached by a blonde woman who repeatedly asked what we were doing there. At no point in our conversation did she ever identify herself. We later found out she was Aileen Jorss, an Ourisman Honda sales manager. See The LONG Version for all the details, but in short, but at that point, we found her behavior odd and insulting, so we decided it was clearly in our best interests not to continue discussion with her, but to wait for Rich’s assistance.

Once we were finally able to sit down and meet with Mr. Kandel and Mr. Pellegrino:

(a)    It was explained to us that the leak was due to a minor issue, that the hose and clamp had come loose from the transmission. I repeatedly asked WHY, but neither Rich nor Mr. Pellegrino was able or willingly to answer this question.

(b)   It was agreed upon that Ourisman Honda would provide us for free: oil changes, and the Honda recommended 7500 mile and 15,000 mile services, loaner cars; Rich also offered 50% off a dealer installation of a remote starter in the Odyssey.

(c)     I repeatedly asked that everything be clearly documented as to the nature and cause of the transmission fluid leak, which was agreed upon.

(d)   My husband and I expressed great concern over the safety of the vehicle and the lack of confidence we had in the vehicle at this stage. 

(e)    It was agreed that Ourisman Honda could keep the Odyssey until Monday 3/3/08 because they wanted to make sure everything was perfect with the transmission, and so Ourisman Honda could finish cleaning the vehicle and install the remote starter.

March 3, 2008:

The vehicle was briefly returned to my residence at 3:20 PM (less then 5 minutes notice) , and over the course of an hour, additional continuous transmission fluid leakage was observed. It was noted (and photographed) that the previously missing ATF cap was replaced with a used gold colored ATF cap. As a result of the continued transmission fluid leaking, at approximately 5:30 PM I had the Ourisman driver return the van to your service department for a second attempt at repair of the transmission fluid issue..Of secondary concern at this time was a dealer installed remote starter system which was clearly not working according to manufacturers’ intent (when the remote start system was activated, it could not be disabled remotely, and even more importantly, keyless entry was disabled). Aileen Jorss made an unsolicited and antagonistic call to my residence during this time, during which she offered no apologies nor attmepts at resolution, but chose rather to perpetuate false statements about the remote start systems compatibility. As was the case on the preceding Saturday, I found her behavior odd and insulting, and decided it was clearly in my best interests not to continue discussion with her. Mr. Chris LaPorte and I agreed that the remote starter issues could be further evaluated during this second visit for the ATF leakage issue. 

March 4, 2008:

I received a call from Mr. Christopher LaPorte of Ourisman Honda’s sales department – nearly 24 hours after the vehicles return to Ourisman Honda for the transmission service. At 5:15 PM Mr. LaPorte explained that the installed remote starter could not be configured in a 2008 Odyssey to offer the missing features and he offered to either have the system removed or to leave it as-is, at no cost to me. I told him that I would discuss it with my husband and let Ourisman Honda know our decision. Mr. LaPorte informed me that the vehicle had been parked and no further ATF leakage was observed. 

March 5, 2008:

After consultation with both my husband and another area Honda dealer’s service department, I spoke with Mr. Gino Pellegrino at approximately 10:30 AM and told him that my husband and I decided that we’d like the remote starter removed from the vehicle and the vans electrical system returned to factory condition. Mr. Pellegrino agreed, and stated the transmission issue was resolved and that the vehicle was no longer leaking any fluid, and in fact was just residual fluid from the first servicing. My husband picked up the van from Ourisman Honda that evening. At the point that the van was returned to us, the used gold colored ATF cap had again been replaced, this time with a different, newer, silver colored ATF cap stamped with “ATF”. The substitution of the first replacement ATF cap with a different ATF cap clearly indicates further actions were taken during the second visit for transmission work then have been disclosed to date. 

March 7, 2008:

Spoke with Ron Robbins at Honda of America. Mr. Robbins stated he had spoken with the dealership, and that since they fixed the problem, he considered the issue closed and suggested that I just drive it a week and he was certain I would feel better. I made it clear that I did not find that satisfactory given the deceit and incompetence displayed to date, and that I had serious reservations about the vehicles safety. I told Mr. Robbins that I was not comfortable at all, and that he needed to call my husband immediately (not a week from then as he stated he would). Mr. Robbins agreed, and thankfully took my husband’s request for further inspections more seriously then he did mine. It was agreed that Hersons Honda would reinspect the vehicle for our peace of mind.

My husband picked up a letter from Ourisman Honda which we had requested from Mr. Kandel. The service department agreed that Mr. Jim MacMillan (Service Director) would instead write the letter in Mr. Kandels absence to visit a sick relative out of town. In the end, the letter was penned by Service Manager Gary McDade, and contained a great deal of false statements, inconsistencies and implausible explanations. See the McDade letter and my response to Mr. McDade for further details.

March 11, 2008:

The Odyssey was taken into Hersons Honda today to give it a thorough inspection. Hersons Honda promptly responded with the revelation that the van was absolutely not OK, but that it had major transmission damage, enough that they (a) considered it a major repair that  would take them a minimum of three days to fix, and (b) stated that if it had been sold by Hersons, Hersons would’ve already replaced it. Subsequent phone calls ensued between Hersons Honda, Honda of America, and Ourisman Honda, the end result being that Ourisman Honda agree to take possession of the damaged van back and to replace it with a comparable model at no cost to us. 

Approximately 6:30 PM, my husband met my children and I at Ourisman Honda yet again to take possession and fill out paperwork for the new van. At this point, we requested that Ourisman Honda just buy back the van instead of replace it, but they refused, stating they were under no obligation to buy back or replace the van. We signed off on the paperwork and took delivery of the new van that evening. 

March 13, 2008:

  •  Noticed dent on lower driver side bumper, and called Ron Robbins at HOA re the (a) concern that we didn’t have documentation that Ourisman reassumed possession of the vehicle and (b) how to handle the dent. Mr. Robbins advised I talk to Ourisman regarding both issues.
  • Called Kwame Kuffour (Ourisman Finance) to confirm that all paperwork was being mailed to me, as promised when we took possession of the new van. He stated yes, that he had spoken with Shazia and Peter, and that they were going to get copies of all paperwork to us (voided contracts, etc). 
  •  Spoke with Darlene (Ourisman Accounting) who stated that she was familiar with our situation and assured me that they were dealing with all the MVA issues, and that all paperwork for the original van (VIN: 5FNRL38478B039818) was pulled and that the new van’s paperwork had been submitted in its place.
  • Talked to Gino Pellegrino about dent – Gino agreed it was unlikely the damage could have taken place after delivery. I sent Gino email with pictures of dent.
  • Gary McDade called back. I explained the situation to him and agreed to send him pictures for his evaluation, so that he could determine if the job could be done in house, or if he needed to bring in an outside vendor. Pictures sent to Gary via email. Gary called back after having the guy who repairs bumpers review the pictures, said it should just be a simple in-house job (45-60 minutes) and said we could bring it in when we wanted and to let him know.

March 14, 2008: Spoke with Gary and agreed to have John and the boys bring the van in to have the dent fixed on 3/15/08 at 10:00 AM.

March 15, 2008: My husband and two boys took the van back to Ourisman Honda to have the dent removed.

March 24, 2008: Spoke with Bonnie at American Honda Financial Corporation, 1-800-517-9699. Old VIN 5FNRL38478B039818 is still on record, but she sees that something is in the works, and believes that things look to be properly in progress.

April 5, 2008: Still no tags or title info received. Left voice mail for Michelle at Ourisman Honda regarding title and tags.

April 8, 2008: Made several calls regarding the new Odyssey transaction: 

  1. Michelle – Ourisman Honda, Tags & Title, 301-656-1000 x213 – I called Michelle again, since no response from voice mail left on 4/5/08. Michelle apologized for not calling back, and said that (a) the MVA paperwork was stopped for the damaged vehicle (VIN: 5FNRL38478B039818) BUT that (b) she wasn’t sure if she had to resubmit the paperwork to MVA for the replacement vehicle (VIN: 5FNRL38448B048573) since the tags were already issued to Ourisman for the damaged vehicle (VIN: 5FNRL38478B039818).  She stated she was not busy today, so she would be working on this and would call me back.
  2. Peter Washington – Ourisman Honda, Finance Director, 301-656-1000 x254 – I left voice mail expressing concern over no cancelled paperwork, lack of tags, no new finance paperwork. Requested call back.
  3. Jessica – AHFC, 1-800-517-9699 – The account with Honda Financial Services appears to be correct. The damaged vehicle (VIN: 5FNRL38478B039818) is now in AHFC’s system as REVERSED (incorrect submission) and the account is ACTIVE on the replacement vehicle (VIN: 5FNRL38448B048573). When I mentioned my concern over the dealership’s handling of the tags/titling, Jessica advised that the dealer needed to cancel the submission for the damaged vehicle (VIN: 5FNRL38478B039818), and resubmit for replacement vehicle (VIN: 5FNRL38448B048573).


Hersons Honda Gets Involved

March 7, 2008


3/11/08: The 2008 Odyssey was taken into Hersons Honda today to give it a thorough inspection, since at this point I wouldn’t trust anyone at Ourisman Honda enough to put gas in it correctly. I needed to be SURE it was safe for me and my family, KWIM? And American Honda was willing to make this concession to us, so once again, late last night, we uninstalled the carseats, moved them back to the CRV, and so one. This morning John got up extra early to take the car up to Hersons and rode the subway into work, etc.

Well. The van is not OK. I don’t have the details, but there is major transmission damage, enough that Hersons (the good dealership) has already told American Honda that:

(a) it’s a major repair
(b) it will take them a minimum of three days to fix
(c) if it had been sold by Hersons, Hersons would’ve already replaced it

I’m so sick of this drama. And my husband needs a vehicle. I’m exhausted and just ready to tear my kids heads off which is so not fair.


OK, at some point, I promise to summarize all the events for the home page, but for the time being, most of the gruesome details can be found on the page entitled “The LONG Version“. Let me just say briefly that I have owned a 2008 Honda Odyssey for less then 2 weeks. During that time:

  • It has been at Ourisman Honda for transmission service twice, for a total of six days
  • The first time it was in for service they said a clamp was loose.
  • The second time it was in for service they said there was no leak, it was just residue.
  • When asked to document what service had been done, the clamp story was never mentioned, and they’ve now confessed to a missing ATF filler cap (which I repeatedly told them, and they have repeatedly denied. I have pictures of the tranny missing the cap, then again with its’ first replacement cap and its’ second replacement cap though – oh yeah, there were two replacements. Not that Ourisman has ever admitted that.)
  • Ourisman Honda installed a remote starter, the activation of which disabled the keyless entry. That’s right, couldn’t unlock the doors with the clicker. And forget about those cool power sliding doors. Oh yeah, and you couldn’t turn it off unless you physically went to the car, inserted your key in the hole, turned it, got in, and put your foot on the break. Ourisman’s ever-so-charming Aileen Jorss repeatedly told me that was exactly how it was supposed to work in all Hondas, despite my protests that (a) the owners manual said otherwise!! and (b) that my CRV’s remote starter did not do any of those things, and worked the way it was supposed to. She’s all class, that one. But I digress. Despite Aileen’s assurances, we decided to have the system removed from the car.
  • It’s now at Hersons Honda, who states the vehicle has major transmission damage.