Never knew this

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Aug 30, 2004
Upon reading an Acura monthly newsletter to technicians, I noticed that it was Honda Corporate's policy that all service bulletins be performed on a vehicle taken in for service. I wonder if other OEMs have this policy... [I dont know]
They probably should. I was with someone this week whose Mercedes trucks all started having transmission problems and the dealer said they would have to pay for the repairs because they were out of warrantee. He managed to find a mercedes service buletin from January of 2000 that told dealers to replace the 3rd gear syncronizer rings because they had the wrong oil displacement grooves in them (perpendicular to ring instead of parallel). It would have saved MB a lot of money to replace them 5 years ago instead of replacing basically everything in the transmissions today. And the customer would never have gotten upset at MB for poor transmissions. They lost the sale of the part of the fleet that is being replaced this year.
If it still applies once out-of-warranty, I guess it may be worth to pay the dealer for a $29.95 oil change periodically, just to have the TSBs performed.
I can only talk about my experiences with Toyota. I bought a 1990 4Runner V-6, used in 2000 with 130,000km. A friend told me of the head gasket ills, and I went to Toyota. They showed me where the block and pistons were replaced 40,000km previosuly (also out of warranty). Then last September, I got a letter from Toyota requesting that I take the car in for a replacement steering component...14 years out of warranty.
It's probably the policy of all manufacturers, most likely because of federal law, but in the end it's up to the dealers to actually follow up. My '96 Chevy Van had a recall for water intrusion into the relay panel for the power windows, locks, seat. Since I didn't have any of these I never made a point of getting it done/checked, but got 2-3 notices per year. It was at the selling dealer for it's free 3K mile oil changes for several years and no one ever caught it. The dealership I work at now has the policy that all GM vehicles in for service are to have a VIS run to determine if any recalls need to be done. It seems to generate positive customer response, especially because many were bought at other dealers they don't expect us to care.
Are we talking about recalls or Technical Service Bulletins? I don't know about Honda, but most other manufacturers are pretty clear that TSBs may not apply to all models and should only be performed if the vehicle is actually exhibiting the problem. TSBs are also not performed outside of warranty unless the customer pays (although they may do an after-warranty adjustment in some cases).
The service bulletins, recalls and safety programms are all different things. The recalls are applicable to all vehicles regardless of warranty status. They are federally mandated and cover safety related problems. Plus the manufacturer must notify each customer when a recall is being issued. The service bulletins (TSB's) are free only to the vechicles that are still under warranty. In most cases the customer will have to pay for the repairs covered under a TSB, once out of warranty. No owner notification. The safety programms are similar to the recalls. But done on the manufacturers terms.
Originally posted by Michael Wan: I wonder if other OEMs have this policy... [I dont know]
Regarding TSBs, no they don't have to do anything per se. They will address the problem and apply the TSB for it only when and if you say you are having that particular problem when you bring it in for service. If it's a recall, they have to address it no matter what obviously.
I wonder where to get the TSB's from Honda, they are treated like top secret stuff. I;ve not been able to find them.
It's hard to tell if a dealer is really interested in taking care of you, or themselves. My daughter took her 01 Odyssey in for door problems and the first response was that her problem was unique and Odyssey's were not having door problems. Then they would not look at the car until the problem could be demonstrated. It did not happen all the time and did not happen when she went to the dealer. So, she came back several times until the door failed to operate. They repaired it under warranty, but kept the car for 5 days. They acted the same way when it came to an EGR valve problem. Both problems are well documented, and the dealer could have just promptly fixed them without the monkey business. And, besides, they keep the shop busy and it is paid work to them. If she does buy another Honda(?) she won't be going back to that dealer. In fact, the only bad part of owning a Honda is Honda dealers.
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