The Honda Pilot Chronicles

Reply Thu 25 Sep, 2008 12:58 pm
A few short months ago, we decided to look for a new vehicle. We searched high and low and had a radius of about 50 miles we were looking in. e had some conditions that the new vehicle had to have.

Seat 5 comfortably, be able to haul camping gear or plants or bikes, be reliable and economic.

We were mainly focusing on minivans as we liked the styling. I liked the Grand Caravans with the stow and go seating. A really nice feature in my opinion. One thing led to another and we were getting exasperated with the search. I stopped by the local Honda dealership and was looking at a 2004 Nissan Frontier (it looked really cool even though it wasn't what we going to buy.) and I saw a 2004 Honda Pilot. So, I took it for a test drive and I liked it a lot so I told the guy to make me a deal.

Well, my wife threw a fit. There was no way she was going to buy a 2004 as that was too old. Well, they happened to have just got a 2006 Honda Pilot in as a trade that day. Sales guy takes pity on me and says he will give me the same deal on the 2006. !! I should have known then there was something up.
The 2004 was an EX-L, the 2006 is an LX... Apparrently that means stuff. Like the fact that the LX is bare bones and the EX-L has every option known to man. I like options.

At this point my wife was hot in the pants over the fact that it was a 2006 with low miles. I asked the guy for a carfax report as that is something they do now as part of the Honda Certified program. Who cares about options... so I take it for a drive and it drives real nice. It has some dings and stuff but it hasn't been through their certification prigram yet. We make the deal and go home.
I go back in 2 days to do all the paperwork which takes them days to assemble I guess and on every page they had the address I used 9 years ago when we went there looking at a different car... that was 2 houses ago. So every form had to be completely re done as the sales guy never updated the computer with my current info. Meanwhile, I am still a bit peeved about not having any options. I mean none. The headlights don't even come on by themselves and it's been years since I've had a car where I actually had to turn the headlights on manually... Basic AM/FM radio, at keast it had power windows... the 2004 I wanted had it all... But I digress.

They hurry the paper work through the changes and I asked the sales guy again for the carfax report. He says that they shut that down at 5 and it was almost 6 by this time. I drive my car home. I still had to take it back yet for them to have the dent doctor (really small dent in right front fender) and get the interior cleaned.

I make notes of anything else that needed up repaired. The passenger side front seat needed the back fixed, a seatbelt was missing a plastic cover, a peice of molding on the back bumper was loose, the foot rest was loose and something vibrated if it went over 60mph... small things, but things I felt should be fixed as the car was only 3 years old. Well, they took the car for a test drive and could not replicate the vibration. So I went back and took the Service manager for a test drive and at 60 mph it starts and I look at him and say "You guys couldn't hear that?" It was pretty obvious. Turns out they thought it was from the radio so had it turned up...

So I make arrangements for them to get this all done and drop it off. Well, all the parts weren't in. They did clean the interior and fixed the dent and it looked nice. I tell them to let me know when the parts come in.
I then went and gott he windows all tinted (Option) and was happier now. I ordered a radio from Crutchfield and installed it (Option) and finally called the sales guy back and asked if he had got the carfax yet (I had almost forgot about it) and he says "Well, I am going to be honest with you, the car was in an accident and we didn't know about it."


I am driving at the time so I hang up on him. I am beyond pissed off as I would have NEVER bought a 3 year old car that had been in accident. So the next day I write a long email telling them what I thought about the whole mess. I hear nothing back for 2 days and I call them. Well hell, I had mistyped their email address and they never received my letter so I go down there and talk with the sales manger. I give them some options of what I would like done about this as they always want to knwo "Well, what can we do for you..." At this point I am ready to tell them to stick the car up their ass. They finally had all the parts in and they give me a loaner so they can go through it with a fine tooth comb and make sure everything is fixed.

I go back yesterday and pick it up. Driving home I look at the back of the passenger seat and notice that it looks exactly the same. I pull over and read the receipt they gave me and right there it says "Replaced left side seat back panel." WTF?! So I call up the sales guy and express my concern about this. He transfers me to the service department. I explain to them what happened and they say the will have to order more parts...

I get home and examine the driver side seat back when the whole panel pops right off in my hand...I think one of those cartoon steam clouds appeared over my head.

I am going back tonight to talk to them about this. The levels of incompetence I have had to deal with has been amazing. I wouldn't have expected this from a Honda dealership...
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Reply Thu 25 Sep, 2008 01:23 pm
Buying a car can be so much fun. Really, it can. Honest. I love doing it. Really, I do.

Good luck McG.
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Cliff Hanger
Reply Thu 25 Sep, 2008 02:14 pm

Do they have Lemon Laws where you are?
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Reply Thu 25 Sep, 2008 02:34 pm
Bummer McG. Get a copy of that CarFax and examine it yourself. You know they lied to you, and you may want to get out from under that one. Maybe there's something comparable on their lot you'd prefer. Corporate Honda may encourage their cooperation if you convince them they dishonestly dodged your request for a CarFax.
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