Flagstaff Honda Complaint - Employee Scam - Extended Warranty

Review by D and M Williams on 2010-08-30
FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA -- My wife and I purchased a 2007 Honda Pilot from Flagstaff Honda in March, 2007. We made this purchase after exploring the purchase possibilities in the area where we currently live. The best deal we were offered was from Flagstaff Honda which is nearly 200 miles away. We none the less made the decision to buy from Flagstaff and have the vehicle maintained locally at Superstition Springs Honda.
My wife has kept the vehicle’s maintenance schedule up to date. However, the amount of warranty work needed was alarming, particularly to the power windows. What made this peculiar was that the regulators for the passenger windows which are seldom used kept malfunctioning (5 replacements to date) while the drivers side window which is used more often has never malfunctioned or needed replaced.
In December 2008 (1 and ½ years after vehicle purchase), the vehicle mileage was approaching the factory warranty limits of 36,000 miles, we began receiving extended warranty offers from various companies through the mail. We generally look to these offers as little more than scams and are always skeptical. Still concerned reference the excessive amount of needed repair on the vehicle which had been covered by warranty, we made a telephonic inquiry to Flagstaff Honda. We were offered an additional 5 years/60000 miles (whichever comes first). I was still skeptical and considered the offer a little too good to be true. However, despite the problems we had with our vehicle, Honda has a reputation of loyalty and dependability. I considered that they were standing behind their product. That coupled with the concern we both had that we may very well continue to need a warranty (the window regulators alone are about $300.00 to replace) made the offer even harder to walk away from. We procrastinated on the offer for a time until Flagstaff warned that the offer would not be valid if our vehicle went over 36,000 miles (the factory warranty limit). At that point it was January 2009 and our vehicle was about 400 miles from the limit. We agreed and Flagstaff Honda sent what appeared to be a form from Zurich to validate such information as our current address and current odometer miles on the vehicle. Nothing else was completed on the form. This didn’t appear to be too unusual at the time since Flagstaff Honda is a reputable company and the form was being used to confirm the information we could provide. We paid Flagstaff Honda $1195.00 which was the agreed to purchase price for the extended warranty.
Flagstaff Honda confirmed the terms of 60 additional months or 60,000 additional miles beginning 01/12/2009 and 35,566 miles. The Warranty would thus expire on 01/12/2014 or 95,566 miles (whichever comes first). Again, the terms did not seem unusual and even reasonable. We had recently purchased a Ford F150 with a similar warranty which expires 08/31/2011 or 98,231 miles (whichever comes first). Ironically, we purchased the Ford and warranty from Superstition Springs Honda for roughly what Flagstaff Honda was offering for the extended warranty on the Pilot. There were no red flags because we knew what we were purchasing and had no reason to believe we were being deceived or misled by Flagstaff Honda.
In December 2009, another regulator breaks on a passenger side window. My wife takes the Pilot to Superstition Springs Honda and is promptly advised no extended warranty exists on the vehicle. She telephones Flagstaff Honda who advises the warranty cannot be accessed because of a snowstorm and because the business recently moved. Flagstaff inevitably contacts Zurich. Zurich contacts Superstition Honda and the window regulator is replaced at no cost to us.
In August 2010 another regulator breaks on a passenger side window. Again, my wife takes the Pilot, which now has roughly 62,000 miles on the odometer to Superstition Springs Honda and is promptly advised no extended warranty exists on the vehicle. She again telephones Flagstaff Honda who phones Zurich. However, this time Zurich advises Superstition Springs Honda that no extended warranty exists. We contact Zurich and are told that in March 2009 (over three months after the contract was signed), the warranty was revised. The new term was 60 additional months from warranty purchase date/60,000 odometer miles. Although the timeline (01/12/2014) did not change, the miles would only be covered to 60,000 odometer miles. Not the originally agreed to 60,000 additional miles to be tacked on to the existing 35,566 at the time of warranty purchase. This is an important point. It was Honda’s insistence that we buy the warranty prior to the Pilot reaching 36,000 miles to be eligible for the 60,000 additional miles. Secondly, We would have essentially been purchasing a 60 month/25,000 mile warranty, a term which not only appears completely disproportional, but would have only lasted one year given the amount of mileage we were currently placing on the vehicle. This would not have been a term either one of us would have agreed to under any circumstance.
Zurich’s explanation for the warranty revision was that Flagstaff Honda left certain items “blank” on the contract to include the original term. Zurich contends Flagstaff approved the change and that they mailed us a copy of the change.
Zurich did agree to send Flagstaff Honda copies of the form we signed (still not completed) and the change to the contract they made in March 2009. Flagstaff Honda finally sent the documents to us. We requested the original terms be meant or a refund. Flagstaff Honda is no longer responding to any requests or taking any of our calls.
Comments:4 Replies - Latest reply on 2010-09-01
Posted by saj80 on 2010-08-30:
It is my understanding that extended warranties apply to a certain mileage limit, not additional miles on top of existing miles. It is possible you were misled, and it is also possible you didn't fully understand the program. However, doing the math, two regulators would have cost you $600 and the warranty cost you almost $1,200; not sure this was a good financial decision on your part.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-08-30:
Did you have it in writing? Seems like these people told you whatever they needed to say to get you to dish out the cash.
Posted by Critical_level2 on 2010-08-31:
IF you had lemon laws in your state, you could have used that to get rid of it and get a new one to replace it. I would have told them to take it back and give me another one after the second or third repair of the same issue.
Posted by D and M Williams on 2010-09-01:
Thank you for the comments. Extended warranties vary and as I commented in my complaint, we do have a warranty on another vehicle through a Honda dealership which tacks on additional miles (55,000). As I understand extended warranties now, there are no set rules and follow the negotiation process. The Honda Pilot has been a great vehicle with the exception of the windows. Kinda like throwing the baby out with the bathwater to get rid of it. As it is, we paid for a product but was never provided a completed copy of the terms. Because they never completed the paperwork. To date there really isn't a finished copy, just several entities giving different versions of what should be. Ironically, the seller of the warranty no longer works there for whatever reason and has not given his 3cents...

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