Join Date: 6th September 2019
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Gearbox Issue (Under warranty)
First off, I'd like to say, I'm very new to this forum! I apologise profusely for the extremely long post but I'm just so angry about this. I also have no idea if I have posted in the right section but here goes:
I live in the UK, in Birmingham. I own a 2018 Honda Civic Type R GT that I purchased brand new from Listers Honda Solihull in December 2018. I have the vehicle on PCP. The vehicle's cash price was £35,500 and I pay nearly £500 a month for it.
Recently, I had a gearbox issue where I couldn't select into 1st gear or I had difficulty selecting the gear. As I work for the AA, I had one of their engineers come out to the car to take a look at it as at the time I noticed the issue, I was only a few hundred yards away from my driveway so I pulled off in 2nd and parked it up. The AA engineer originally thought that it could be something to do with the gear cables and they would need adjusting as we found that selecting 1st would only be a problem after selecting 2nd gear. If I were to go through the gears without selecting 2nd, I could easily go back into 1st without any problems, but as soon as I selected 2nd, I wouldn't be able to select 1st very easy again until I had moved the gears into 3rd and 4th a few times. The AA engineer could not further investigate the issue properly as the engine was too warm at the time so he advised I call Honda Assistance the next day (who just so happen to be through the AA).
I had the Honda Assistance engineer out the next day and he took away some parts of the engine but still couldn't fully diagnose the problem as the Type R has a very compact engine unit but he seemed to think also it could be to do with the gear cables or even a problem inside the gearbox internally. He proceeded to advise I take the car into the Honda dealership I brought it from and have the vehicle repaired under warranty. And this is where the problems began.
Honda took the vehicle in and took a look at it, lubricated a few of the parts but could still see there was a problem with the gearbox. Th dealership rang me and said we believe that the problem lies within the gearbox itself. Unfortunately we have to strip down the vehicle for the problem to be diagnosed. They advised me that if they strip the vehicle down and the problem is due to 'misuse' then I would be liable for the labour cost of the re-build which is £939.60 and for the repair costs which at the time they believed it was the gear syncros between gear 1 and 2 and that would cost approx £1,700. As I could not believe it would possibly be down to 'misuse' of the gears I signed the agreement and said go ahead and strip it (if I didn't sign I would of been given a broken car back and they advised if they give it back and I try to take it in further down the line, they may void the warranty all together as I may have caused further damage by accepting the vehicle back and continuing to drive it so basically I had no choice).
The next day I got a call from the dealership to advise that they had found the problem but Honda's 'master technician' has put the fault down to and I quote "as a result of bulking into gear and the driving style of the customer". They found damage to the back of the syncro hub and required a new sleeve set for gears 1 and gear 2 which would be a cost of £1,126.38 on top of the £939.60 cost of the re-build. All of which I was supposedly liable for.
Obviously the vehicle is less than 10 months old, it has just about 7,000 miles on it and Honda are telling me it's because of my driving style and therefore my fault and the warranty will not cover this. Honda sell the vehicle as a track vehicle, they have no proof what-so-ever that this damage has been caused by 'bulking into gear' more than once so they can they put that down to misuse. I believe by 'bulking into gear' they mean crunching the gears when changing but surely after doing this small mistake once, the gearbox should not break, again the car was sold as a track car, which will obviously mean it should be able to be pushed harder than a normal car and yet one small mistake can lead to a broken gearbox and a bill for over £2,000.
I was told by the dealership to take it up with Honda Customer Relations as I told them there is no way I'm paying the bill for this. I rang Honda Customer Relations who, after 2 mins of me being put on hold and not having said anything about the issue I was having, came back to me and said that they were sorry but they are not overturning the decision of the 'master technician' as they cannot do so and this cannot be dealt with by their department. I asked if I could speak to their manager there to which I was greeted with "the manager would not be able to overturn the decision either unfortunately, you will have to take this up with the motor ombudsman and they will deal with your case because as far as we are concerned, this case is closed and you will have to pay for the repairs or you will not have your vehicle returned.
And so, I've spoken to the Motor Ombudsman, I've lodged a complaint as best as I can with as much information as I can.
Please, if anyone has any further advice of what to do then please let me know or if anyone has had similar problems again please post it here. The Honda car the dealership loaned me has to go back tomorrow as they said if I did not return it they would be reporting the vehicle as stolen so I have no choice in the matter. They've completed the repair to my car and are telling me I need to pay for it otherwise I'm not getting it back. I do not know whether or not paying for the repairs and taking the vehicle back would be an admission of liability on my side so I'm hesitate to do this as of yet. If it is then I will not have a car to use for potentially months (until the motor ombudsman investigate and finish) but I'll still be paying for my car every month to Honda Finance.
Do I have any legal stance on this at all?
Again so sorry for such a long story but I didn't know how I could condense this and still get the full story across. Any advice would be incredibly welcome.
A fella Honda enthusiast (potentially not for much longer)