Finally, Honda City executives find time to respond

Finally, Honda Siel Cars India executive found time to respond. Jaspreet’s response dated August 1, 2009 is given below:

Dear Mr. Narula ,

This has reference to your mail received by us regarding to your Honda car bearing Regn no. DL7CF1920.

We regret for the inconvenience caused.

As regards to the concern, we wish to inform you that Clutch is a wear and tear item and its duration of failure depends upon the driving conditions, therefore is not covered under warranty associated with your vehicle.

Further we wish to understand that your car had been inspected & on the approval the same had been replaced by our dealer M/s Prime Honda, Ghaziabad. And the reason of failure has also been shared with you.

We wish to advice that while driving when you are not shifting gears, do not rest your foot on the clutch pedal. This cause excessive clutch wear. The same is also stated in the Owners Manual provided along with the car.further also clarified to you by Mr. Avinash Laad, Service manager.

We hope we have been able to clarify the matter to your satisfaction.

Please be assured on the quality of your Honda car.
Assuring the best services of our services at all times and requesting your kind understanding on the subject.

Regards,

Jaspreet Singh
Customer Relationship Management
Honda Siel Cars India., Ltd.

You will notice that the response is not complete, that is, they have not answered my questions nor have they mentioned my request to send someone to tell me what I am doing wrong so that I stop doing the same. Isn’t it in Honda’s interest to make sure that the customer is driving their car properly? Anyway, my resonse dated today is given below:

Jaspreet hi!

1. Your response time is very poor. It has taken a long time for you to respond to my various emails. I am not sure that this is the way to maintain relations with the customer.

2. You are not answering all my questions that I asked in my first email to you. Are you ignoring my questions. I would like a point wise reply. Even if you do not want to respond to a particular question, I would appreciate if yopu could say so.

3. Please ask your department people not to call me on my cell unless they have a designation of GM and above. I do not want your call centre people calling me and wasting my time.

4. I have asked for the following from your dealer which I have not received inspite of repeated reminders:

(a) My burnt clutch plate and flywheel.
(b) Details of your clutch system. How sensitive is it is etc etc.
(c) Today, I have also asked Avinash Ladd to send me a printout of my complete service history.

I would appreciate if you could assist me in getting the same. I had informed you about this in my email also but nobody seems to be listening to the customer. I want to have my own independent expert look at the clutch plate and the flywheel.

5. From your response I can assume that you have fully investigated my complaint and / or you agree with the dealer’s analysis.

6. I have informed you that we are unable to still figure out how we should be driving your car in terms of how to use the clutch. As far as we can make out, we have not been driving with our feet on the clutch. This is the reason, I had asked to you show us how to drive the car as we cannot seem to figure out what we are doing wrong. If one of your experts could show us what we are doing wrong, it will not only resolve our complaint to our satisfaction but also save us money as we would not be replacing out clutch quickly again. Lastly, it would achieve your objective of maintaining a positive relation with the customer and retaining him. So why are you hesitant to send some one to show what we are doing wrong? But you have quietly ignored our request and not even bothered to mention it in your response. Maybe our request was stupid.

Also, I know of no car manufacturer which says that you should ride the clutch when you are not changing the gear. We are aware of this aspect of driving since long. Till recently, we had 3 cars in our house. I have owned and driven cars since the last 35 years but never changed the clutch at 30,000 km and NEVER CHANGED THE FLYWHEEL. I have never heard of the flywheel burning ever.

In any case, I would appreciate if you could point out the page no. of your manual where this aspect of the use of clutch is mentioned. I couldn’t find it.

7. It is surprising you think that your customers are stupid. Of course, we know about warranty and that clutch is a wearable part. So is the engine and the transmission. Practically every part of the car is wearable. Even wearable parts have a certain life and if the part wears off long before its assumed life, then the quality or the design of that wearable part is suspect. Wearable parts are also defective. Your clutch plate could be defective. This is why auto companies are known to recall cars and replace the defective part long after the warranty period. So if the engine of Honda City starts failing within 30,000 km would you blame the car owner and his driving habits.

Also, you are only talking about the clutch and not the flywheel. Why are you ignoring the flywheel? Does flywheel fall in the same category as the clutch plate?

I am quite aware of the manufacturer’s and dealers’s habits. The first thing that they do is blame the customer. I was also told the various reasons why this was my fault and as such I had addressed those reason when I sent my first complaint to you hoping that you will not give me a standard reply.

8. We have been getting the car serviced at Prime Honda. I think they had even tweaked the clutch on 1/2 occassion. At the time of last but one service, we had informed the service engineer that the clutch was riding hard. After the service, we were informed that the clutch has been cleaned. No one told us that the clutch needed repair. The clutch burnt and then it burnt the flywheel and there was no sign of this and nobody could detect the same while servicing the same. How could this happen? Also, isn’t this dangerous as the car could have caught fire? This is also the reason why I have asked you to show us what we are doing wrong as I don’t want to run the risk of the car catching fire and some of us getting locked inside. Fire can cause the lock system to malfunction also. I feel that you should take my complaint seriously as the “flywheel burning” is dangerous.

9. Of course, I had to carry out the repairs on payment basis. I am not sure why you are raising the issue but in any case I will explain. I knew the car was out of warranty and Prime Honda was not going to repair it free. I cannot survive without the car, so I told them to replace the clutch. Afterwards, we were told that that flywheel worth Rs. 6/7000 would also need to be replaced. I told Prime Honda to go ahead as I wanted the car back with me but I had questioned Avinash Ladd of Prime Honda about clutch and flywheel failure and expressed ny concern to him. So this was not an afterthought but rather “get vehicle repaired and then look into the matter” approach. Taking your response into consideration, if I had depended on you I would have been without a car for a long time.

Let me make it clear to you that I am not satisfied by your response. You have not answered the questions that I have asked. For instance, you have ignored the failure of flywheel. I also state that I have not driven my car with the feet on the clutch so I am not responsible for the premature failure. I believe that the cause was the poor quality of the clutch and / or the flywheel. Everyone I have talked to including some in the automobile business found it very strange that both the parts were burnt within 30000 km.

You have also ignored my request for technical help in terms of how I should use the clutch while driving. I also need to find out what I am doing wrong. Now this is very strange that on one hand you are telling me its my fault while on the other hand you do not want to tell me exactly what I am doing wrong. It just seems that you want us to take your word. I don’t think that is a correct attitude.

I need a logical explanation as to why my clutch failed. You guys have so many engineers and engineers are supposed to be logical. So give me a logical answer. If I am doing something wrong then you need to tell and show me what it is as I can’t figure it out.

thanks

avinash narula

I hope you guys out there agree with me and don’t think that I am being unreasonable. If I was in their place, I would have done one of the two things as follows:

(a) If I felt that the customer had a genuine complaint and that he was not trying to crook me, I would have replaced the clutch and flywheel free of cost.

(b) Suposing I didn’t want to replace the parts, then I would make the extra effort in terms of providing clear evidence that I was riding the clutch as well as suggested that let an independent automobile engineer investigate and give his opinion and both sides accept that. In addition, I would have videotaped the customer’s driving by putting a camera under the seat or sent someone to check out the customer’s driving habits.

The basic idea would be to either satisfy the customer with proper evidence of replace the parts free of cost. By the way, I do walk my talk while running my own business.

avinash narula

Did you enjoy this post? Why not leave a comment below and continue the conversation, or subscribe to my feed and get articles like this delivered automatically to your feed reader.

Comments

I share the same experience with Honda Service centers. Over a period of last two years, I have realized that they are not at all sincere.

There is rarely any technical prowess amongst the honda service engineers…the brand name and the fancy looking showrooms are used to burn a hole in the pocket and not to deliver the false promise of honda quality.

Every time I ask honda to look into the problem, they just come back and tell me to replace an expensive part. Till date they have asked me to replace the clutch, the steering / drive shaft assembly, the entire electric wiring, the alternator…etc etc. And every time, it was an outside mechanic who found a solution to repair the problem.

So Honda, we all want to make money for our shareholders, but not at the cost of mercilessly overcharging the customers.

I am waiting just to sell off my Honda and go for a Toyota or a Skoda…even a Mahindra or a Maruti, at least they will listed and behave hopefully

Reply

I am also facing same issue. Dealer in Bangalore is saying now that my clutch needs to be replaced. I have only driven so far 32000 km. They are telling me that clutch needs to replaced even before opening the clutch assembly ( I belive opening clutch is labor intensive and they want to replace clutch once it is opened) I have raise complaint with Honda today. Interestingly HondacarsIndia does not have any contact infomration about customer service manager. I got that information from your blog.

Reply

Leave a comment

(required)

(required)