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A group of angry customers filed a class action lawsuit against Honda because they say the company manufactured and sold vehicles with defective window mechanisms.
“The right passenger side window fell into the door of my 2002 Honda Odyssey LX in September 2011. It was a startling, loud sound that jolted me,” plaintiff Phyllis Grodzitsky of San Diego said. “I lost use of my Odyssey for two days and it cost over $400 to fix the window. I made a complaint to Honda. Honda said there is no recall for the window systems on my vehicle. I feel that arrogance by a large corporation in response to a safety issue is unacceptable in this day and age.”
The suit claims such a defect poses a hazard to drivers and passengers nationwide. The vehicles said to be affected include Honda Odyssey (pictured above), Pilot, Element, Accord, CR-V, Civic and Acura MDX models from years 1994 to 2007.
According to the plaintiff’s lawyers, there is a defective piece of plastic that is meant to keep the windows in place while the window motor operates. Their claim suggests that piece of plastic breaks under normal operating conditions, causing the defect Grodzitsky described above.
The lawsuit is being filed against Honda by two disgruntled owners who apparently have gone through repeated repairs in an attempt to fix the same issue.
They may need a good bit of luck and patience to win this, though. Power windows in decade-old cars fail routinely and it’s not outrageous to think that after 10 years of weather and friction that such a part may fail. Honda has a crack-team of vicious lawyers who deal with cases like these as if they were insects.
Cases like these also rarely render significant compensation for the plaintiffs. A woman recently took Honda to small claims court over lower-than-expected mileage in her Civic hybrid. She chose that route because even when won, class action suits often offer little more than a coupon for cheaper repairs and minor monetary compensation.
We’ll keep an eye on the case and let you know how it progresses. What are your thoughts? Tell us below.
Honda has launched a recall for about 1.5 million vehicles in the United States to update the software that controls the automatic transmission. The recall will include the 2005-10 4 cylinder Accord, 2007-10 CR-V and 2005-08 Element models. The issue surrounds a bearing in the automatic transmission system that was not built with sufficient strength and as a result, may emit abnormal noise or cause the engine to stall during certain gear shifts. The secondary shaft bearing in affected vehicles can be damaged if the transmission is quickly shifted between each of the reverse, neutral and drive positions. This is most likely done in an attempt to free a car stuck in mud or snow. The software update will ease the transition between gears to reduce the possibility of damage.
Honda will begin notifying customers on August 31.
The Element, the ugly duckling of the Honda lineup, will live on for a second generation. According to a report by Automotive News, Honda VP John Mendel has confirmed that despite the car’s underachieving sales numbers there are good reasons to introduce a modernized version of the functional box.
The largest argument for keeping the Element around is that it attracts a certain type of customer to Honda dealerships that wouldn’t otherwise be interested in a Honda. Surprisingly, despite the fact that the Element shares its platform with the high-volume CR-V, almost no one cross-shops the two. Element owners also tend to be a loyal bunch, so presumably Honda is hoping to move original owners into a new model.
For the most part, many had assume the Element was slated for the scrap heap of history after its seven year production cycle (two longer than the average) hadn’t produced a single second generation concept.
Originally Honda had targeted the Element at 75,000 units sold on an annual basis. This year it is on track for just 15,000.
There is no word on when the second generation Element could arrive, although it could be as early as the 2011 model year.
[Source: Automotive News via Autoblog]