Sunday, April 7, 2013

New Malysian Honda Civic 2013 Problem!

For a non-national car retailing at RM112,000 onwards (USD$32,000), you are expecting a problem free, high quality car. Well every make has its fair share of lemon cars, and this Honda Civic is one such case. Straight from the showroom, this Honda Civic immediately started having problems, pertaining to Honda Civic's VSC (reoccurring VSC problem perhaps?). What is your take? Bad customer service? Check out this poor Honda Jazz's accident.

Story from the owner himself

I recently bought a new 2013 Honda Civic 2.0s (the one without GPS) from Honda Setia Alam. Honda Malaysia said that I took the car on 29 March. But in actual fact, I only took the car on Apr 3rd (Wednesday). I only signed the 'checklist' and other docs for the car handover on Wednesday 3.30pm - 4pm. 

I drove the car out from the sales office at around 4.10pm. It was okay at first. Was driving very slowly (since new car mah) then I tried the ECON mode...nothing special so i turned it off again. Upon reaching the second traffic light, everything was OK still. After that (i was still on D gear), i could not accelerate. The LCD display showed VSA something, and Please check your power steering. 

I could only reach 10km/h (max) even if I floored the pedal. I tried lifting my feet off the pedal, the car stopped immediately. 

So i took a u-turn to go back to my house (luckily the car behind me did not speed and did not bang me from behind). called Honda sales guy, and he told me to check fuel, handbrake etc (all was okay). So he told me to on and off engine. Same thing. So I continued to drive back to my home which is 1 min away. 

Then i called the sales guy again. He told me to drive back to Honda SC but I refused. I told them to come to my house. So the sales guy and a mechanic came.

They got no clue. Cannot move the car. Cannot reverse. The brake locked the car. So they had to call a tow truck to bring my car to Honda SC.

of course, I was not pleased at all. I called Honda Malaysia several times...even escalated to 2nd level. All they could say is , they are going to close the case because the issue has been resolved. 

So I asked again, do they know what is the root cause? they don't know. they only suspect it was due to some unknown particles interfering with the sensor, which caused the whole car to stop. So they serviced that part and reset something in the software, and they assumed it'll be fine. However, they could not reproduce the issue since the tow truck brought the car to the SC. 

I asked them again, if they cannot identify the cause, how can they say they have fixed it? They said thats the best they could do and told me to test on their behalf. They tested 2 days and it's OKAY. I said, the car was with Honda long before I took the key, but the testing was okay (or maybe no testing at all). But i only drove less than 10 minutes and encountered the issue. What makes them think the car will be safe to drive? They could not answer me.

Archived excerpts of the Honda Civic 2013 problem
Alvin Tan- 

Hi all,

Some of you might know what happened to me....so this is what happened few days ago.

I bought a new Honda Civic 2.0s (without GPS) from Honda Setia Alam. I took the car on Wednesday April 3rd, and drove it out around 4.10pm. I was driving around 40km/h since I was in the housing area....and tested the ECON mode. Nothing special. So I turned it off and reached the second traffic light. 

Once it turned green, I tried to drive, but the car refused to move. It was like you have your handbrake ON. I could only reach 10km/h MAX. And if I lift my feet off the pedal, the car stopped IMMEDIATELY. This was like...less than 2km from the sales office?

So i stopped at the road side (luckily no car around) and called the sales guy. He said maybe no petrol, maybe hand brake didn't put down, maybe need to ON and OFF engine. I tried all, but still same. Then i forced it to drive back to my home about 1min drive away. Stopped there, and asked the mechanic to come (initially they refused).

When they reached my place, the mechanic confirmed the car should not be moved anymore. The car could not even be reversed. So they had to call the tow truck. Yes, brand new car, drove less than 10 minutes, need to be towed back to Honda Service Center.

I escalated the case straight to Honda Malaysia, even to Level 2 Customer Service. But the conclusion they came out with is - they are going to close the case because the issue has been "FIXED".

So I asked for more clarifications. 

Alvin: Do you know what is the exact issue? 
Honda: No. 

Alvin: Then how can you say it has been fixed?
Honda: Because we could not recreate the issue in the Service Center (even the mechanic who went to my place was confused).

Alvin: Can you guarantee the car won't stop immediately while I was on the highway? 
Honda: No, we cannot guarantee because anything can happen while you are on the road. And it might not be caused by this.

Alvin: So you are asking me to risk my life because you don't know what is wrong? And you assumed it has been fixed? 
Honda: *silence*

Alvin: Then what have you done to the car? 
Honda: We suspect there are some particles interfering with the sensor...causing the car to stop immediately. 

Alvin: Huh? Why Honda cars can stop immediately with a bit of particles interference?!
Honda: *silence*

Alvin: You all said the car has been tested OKAY for 2 days. But the car has been with Honda for MONTHS. Yet, I drove 5-10 minutes and it stopped. What is your explanation?
Honda: We have done what we can.

Alvin: Can you all be sure that the fix is permanent? 
Honda: Sorry, we cannot give this kind of guarantee.

Alvin: OKAY FINE, then can you give me a report of what has been "FIXED"?
Honda: No, we cannot do that.

So what is Honda Malaysia going to do next? They are going to close the case and want me to TEST DRIVE the car for them. No compensation. Nothing. 

So I said, I will go to Facebook and Consumer Board, which they said "We cannot stop you from doing that". =_=

Guys, what should I do now? I'm very pissed off seriously. They are asking me to risk driving a car which can stop anytime (because they are not sure if they have fixed it) and is unwilling to help any further. What kind of nonsense is this?

I'm thinking to go to consumer board for this, and maybe see if I can contact Honda Japan. They might not help much...but this is regarding the safety of the car itself. Some other CIVICs out there might be having the same issue but has not happened yet. 

Aih....i seriously long time never so angry already. 

A loyal Honda supporter....now I'm becoming a Honda hater.

NOTE: the above is what I could remember from my many phone conversations with Honda Customer Service. I'm sure they have all the recordings with what have been said by Honda rep and myself.