By Jim Martinez, PC
The Honda Accord has long been ubiquitous on California roadways. Generally held to be the premier model of one of the automotive industries more reliable manufacturers, the Accord is not without its issues – particularly electrical and engine issues in 2013-2018 models.
Common issues within the 2013-2018 Honda Accords are related to the starter failing soon after the basic 3-year/36,000 warranty expires. The most widely reported issue with the starter manifest in intermittent “no-starts,” sometimes requiring the driver to repeatedly press the Start Engine button before the vehicle would start – if the vehicle started at all. Accord owners and lessors report a clicking noise or flickering dash lights during these no-start episodes. However, Honda authorized technicians (dealership technicians) are often unable to duplicate the no-start issues due to the defect’s unreliable nature, and as such often do not repair the issue.
The consumer is charged for a replacement starter and the labor required to install it, costing the consumer close to $1,000 per repair if not covered under warranty or covered by the manufacturer. In other instances, the consumer may be charged for a repair diagnosis, even if the Honda trained technicians are unable to verify the consumer’s concern, in effect being charged over $100.00 and leaving in the same position as before. Still worse, even though Honda Motor America is aware of their starter issues, the problem is often misdiagnosed by dealership technicians or service advisors, who may recommend replacing the vehicle’s battery – again, often at a cost to the consumer if the vehicle is out of warranty.
Other Accord owners and lessees, particularly with the 2018 Honda Accord, have reported that the auto-braking feature engages for no apparent reason while the vehicle is in operation, sometimes for seconds at a time. 2018 Honda Accord owners have also reported excessive pulsation and shuddering in the brakes when applied at highway speeds. At the risk of stating the obvious, both of these issues pose serious safety risks for Accord drivers and their fellow motorists. Accord drivers must rely on other drivers’ quick reaction times in order to avoid collisions that the drivers themselves could not be blamed for.
Still, other issues owners and lessees of 2018 Honda Accords have reported include premature daytime light burnout and headlight failure. Repairing this problem is not as simple as merely changing a lightbulb. Rather, the repair often requires the replacement of the entire headlight unit, at a cost of over $1,000 to the consumer if the defect manifests when the vehicle is out of warranty. Moreover, drivers report subsequent headlight failures of the same headlight unit, or both, again sticking the consumer with high out-of-pocket costs, to say nothing of the inconvenience of presenting the vehicle to a Honda dealership and waiting for your vehicle to be suitable to drive once again.
While the problems with the Honda Accord’s starter, braking, and headlight issues have since been extensively documented, the general public was unaware of the issues which plagued the vehicles at the time the vehicles were made available for sale – and for a significant period of time thereafter. However, on multiple Honda internet forums, as well as on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website, drivers of 2013-2018 Honda Accords lodged extensive complaints, cataloging their frustrations over these common defects. In an attempt to address customers’ widespread dissatisfaction with the starter defect, Honda issued Technical Service Bulletins (“TSB”) instructing Honda authorized technicians on myriad Band-Aid fixes that do not address the primary concern – including mere battery replacement – which in most cases only temporarily alleviate the concerns.
Fortunately, California Consumer Attorneys can help. Our attorneys and automotive experts are well-versed in all manner of vehicle defects and would love to assist owners/lessees of 2013-2018 Honda Accords. Please call us today to learn about how CCA can assist you – at no charge: (833) LEMON-FIRM.