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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).