Honda Odyssey Lemon
What happened at Honda? The carefully crafted image of quality products at a premium price lured me in to buying a 2002 Odyssey van. The first winter the power doors would open mysteriously while in motion in very cold weather, but unfortunately we could never replicate the "magic doors" phenomenon at the dealer. Then, this past winter, after less than two years, there was a noticeable lag when shifting into drive. I checked the net and it was full of references to transmission problems. We called the dealer service, and they suggested it was just the cold weather. My wife left on a trip later that day, only to be stranded hours from home with an immobile van. She called the dealer, and was told they couldn't help because it was late on a Friday. Honda paid the towing, wouldn't pay the rental required while we waited for a new transmission. Asked the dealer service if there were reports of transmission problems, dealer said no. 2-3 months later there was a transmission recall.
Now the van is just over distance warranty, still only 2 1/2 years old. Washer pump has quit, but it is over the mileage warranty? Both front struts are leaking, bushings are gone. $1200 bill to repair them. The vehicle has been well maintained and lubed, but according to Honda it is our responsibility (read - we get to pay) because of premature failure of the parts. To add perspective we had a Villager minivan for 3 years with no problems, a Grand Caravan for 3 years with no problems, and a Ford Windstar for three years with no problems. Had owned a Honda Accord before, and when we leased it I asked the sales guy why I should pay a premium for features that the others had and he replied that I had to pay for Honda quality.
He was right. I got Honda quality, and apparently I'm still paying.