03/05/08: Day Eight

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

9:30 AM 
My son and I visited another local Honda dealership (Hersons Honda) whom I have had only positive experiences with.

  1. I had them pop the hood of the showroom Odyssey, to confirm that a cap was indeed MISSING from the transmission upon its original delivery to us. Pictures taken.
  2. I talked to a service manager (Gregg Patterson) about the remote starter. He explained the limitations that HONDA specifically and purposely imposes, which basically works out to the remote start system is to be deactivated whenever any vehicle door is opened (this is not even the case with ours). The keyless entry SHOULD work, and the system SHOULD be able to be shut off remotely. This is for safety and legal reasons, basically the same reasons its illegal here to leave your keys in the ignition in an unlocked and unoccupied car. Hersons Honda will NOT install an aftermarket remote start system in any Honda, and in fact specifically recommends against it. His advice was to have Ourisman Honda remove the remote start system.

10:30 AM
I called Mr. Pellegrino and asked him to have the remote start system removed. I asked Mr. Pellegrino if the removal of this system would return the van to factory specifications (i.e. there was no splicing etc done to the electrical system) – Mr. Pellegrino conformed that yes, the system would be returned to factory condition. I asked Mr. Pellegrino to provide me with the Generall Managers full name and telephone extension (Rich Kandel, 301-656-1000, ext 232), and to provide Aileen’s last name (Aileen Jorss). Mr. Pellegrino complied and gave me this information. I also gave Mr. Pellegrino my husband’s office number so that they could work out the details for the delivery of the van and the pick-up of the rental car.

1:30 PM
Left voice mail for Mr. Pellegrino asking him explain services thus far.

2:00 PM
Mr. Pellegrino returned my call, and answered the questions as notated below.

Q: What was the original cause(s) of the transmission fluid leak.

A: Per Mr. Pellegrino, the cause of the leak was a loose clamp on one of the trans lines. The pressure of driving the vehicle with the loose clamp must have then pushed the hose off the fitting, causing the transmission fluid to leak.

Q: And there was also a cap missing?
A: Mr. Pellegrino admitted there was also a plug missing, but stated it was something difficult to see. When I stated that I was able to immediately spot it, as it was quite a conspicuous absence, and noted that this hole now did in fact have a cap/plug in it, he agreed we must be referring to the same plug. Originally he seemed to think I was describing some other sort of threaded holes put in place by Honda to allow for potential future work. Mr. Pellegrino also stated that the service technician working on my car used a car/plug he already had (AKA not necessarily an Odyssey plug)

Q: Why was the transmission fluid still leaking on Monday afternoon?
A: Per Mr. Pellegrino, the transmission fluid was not actually leaking on Monday, but there was some fluid overflow that Ourisman Honda must have missed. Mr. Pellegrino assured me the car was reexamined for leaks, and it was determined there were none. The residual fluids were then better cleaned up as to prevent the appearance of further leakage.

When asked for his opinion as to the original cause of these issues, Mr. Pellegrino stated that he is of the opinion that the van came off the truck from the factory with both the clamp loose and the plug missing.

3:00 PM
Called Rich Kandel, the General Manager of Ourisman Honda (301-656-1000, ext 232) and left a voice mail asking him to:

  1. Personally provide documentation of (a) the source of the problems (b) the steps taken to resolve the problems and (c) the cause of the problem (also to be noted if the cause is suspected or unknown), for both times the van has been in his shop.
  2. Provide an explanation as to how this van passed the required Honda PDI before it was delivered to me, and
  3. Determine what and how he was going to do to make this right from a customer service and satisfaction perspective.

5:00 PM
My husband arrived at Ourisman Honda to pick up the van. Upon asking for the General Manager, he was informed that Rich Kandel 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”…

Husband picked up van and brought it home after much discussion with service department personnel. The Service Director (Jim MacMillan) agreed to document our issues in letter form given Rich’s absence, and said this letter would be ready by tomorrow (3/6/08).

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