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Topic # 179407 7-Sep-2015 14:30
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TL;DR:
Honda civic euro fuel cap doesnt open. Honda said its out of warranty and have to check up whats the matter. Anyone encountered this before? How to fix such an issue?

<rant>
So i was on my way for a pleasant road trip to the ski fields on friday from Auckland when I fortunately decided to stop over in Cambridge outside of Hamilton to fill up on the (just under) quarter tank  or so of gas that I had left. I thought I might not be able to find another gas station for quite some time on my way down to Ruapehu that evening. This turned out to be the most stressful (not) fuel-up I have encountered. 

I have just purchased my Honda Civic Euro 2012 in June - so quite a new car for me. Stuck with Honda as have always had great experience with Hondas in general. Great cars, reliable and good in driving. Ironically I bought it from a second hand toyota dealership (Albany Toyota - so not a shoddy place)

Fast forward to 4th Sept in Cambridge trying to fuel up. I pull the fuel cap opener lever under the steering wheel. To my surprise, I get a linear feel from the wire connected to the lever. Different to the feedback I normally get on the release lever (which has like a yank about halfway through the pull on the lever). So I just presume that the fuel cap popped open. I walk around the back of the car and saw that it didnt open. I asked my friend to yank the cap opener again. Didnt pop open. 

Fast forward another half hour of going to and fro - starting up the car, locking the car, popping the bonnet (to check if that lever is working). Consulting the car manual, checking with the gas station attendant, calling AA to see if they knew a solution. Nothing worked out. The fuel cap just refused to open. Googled for it and saw that there were a few instances of honda civic to do this. They recommended trying to use the secondary lever that can be accessed by removing the carpet from the boot and undoing a few other clips to reach the lever on the inside of the boot. We tried to do this as well but there were simply no way to do this at 7.30pm in a gas station in Cambridge under a phone's light. 

Luckily - managed to drive back to Auckland with less than a quarter tank and park at home. Contacted Honda servicing this morning and would you look at that, my car is out of warranty as at 8th August 2015 (not even been a month). They asked me to bring the car in to check up and see whats the problem but also informed me that the car is not under warranty anymore. 

I have to take the car in the morning tomorrow and check up what the issue is (just realised how inconvenient Honda servicing actually is, they close open at 8 and close at 4.30 and are not open on weekends - how does a person working a normal 9-5 manage to get their Honda serviced is beyond me). I am keeping some faith in Honda that they are able to tell me that it was a simple issue with some cable or something and fix it up in less than half hour and have me on my way to work tomorrow morning. Or at worst case, tell me to leave the car there for the day and they will get it fixed up and I can pick it up in the arvo after work. 

</rant>

Has anyone encountered such an issue before? What are my rights as a consumer? I believe that there may be some aspects of CGA which is applicable and where even a product outside warranty (within a reasonable period), should be covered by the manufacturer. 

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  Reply # 1381161 7-Sep-2015 14:37
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No way something like that would be expected to fail after only 3 years.  However, I believe it will be up to the dealership you bought the car from to make it right.

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  Reply # 1381167 7-Sep-2015 14:45
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Yep, I'd be taking it back to Albany Toyota, not Honda.

Though under the CGA I believe they both have an obligation to fix it - no reasonable person would expect a fuel cap release to fail after 3 years.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1381217 7-Sep-2015 15:31
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Here's a handy-dandy guide to your rights as the buyer of a second-hand car (from a dealership)

https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/car-buyers-rights

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  Reply # 1381229 7-Sep-2015 15:49
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Definitely get it fixed at Albany Toyota, as the retailer they need to be given a chance to fix it.

Once it is repaired you can have the CGA discussion.

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  Reply # 1381880 8-Sep-2015 16:44
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graemeh: Definitely get it fixed at Albany Toyota, as the retailer they need to be given a chance to fix it.

Once it is repaired you can have the CGA discussion.


Don't do that.  Discuss your expectation of costs (especially if you don't expect to pay anything) with the dealer before the job is started.  The dealer doesn't want grief either.  Even if you don't get a warranty repair you may be able to negotiate a deal, such as splitting the costs 50/50, or paying parts only, etc.




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  Reply # 1381888 8-Sep-2015 16:55
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I went this morning to Honda newmarket so they could have a look at the issue and tell me what the exact problem is. They again told me that the car is out of warranty and they will be charging me for repairs - they said they were quite strict on the warranty period and anything outside the warranty period wont be covered - I was quite annoyed at this.

<mini-rant>

And then she went on to ask me how I would like to pay for the inspection. I said, wait, why am I paying - you guys will just take a look and tell me whats wrong on quite a new car and something that is fundamentally wrong with the design of the fuel cap. She said, yes, we have to charge you half hour labour, even if it takes the mechanic 2 minutes to have a look and find the fault, those 2 minutes will be charged. I was quite astounded and really annoyed by now - firstly, why didn't anyone tell me on the phone that this is what will be happening; secondly, the car is not even 1 month outside of warranty and you guys want to charge me for a fault in the design.

I told her no, i dont want you guys to have a look at it in that case. Contacted Albany Toyota and they said bring the car down and they will have a look on Saturday - cant take it during the week as busy with work in the city - otherwise they said to bring it down today! Quite put-off at Honda for this run around this morning at 7.30.

</mini-rant>

I didnt take it to Albany Toyota in the first place since it is quite far from where I am and I dont think I have enough fuel for that (now I know I actually have enough for about 50km). And I was hoping that Honda might show some good faith and tell me whats wrong with it - no faith at all. 

My friend tells me that one of the 2 parties should be fixing it since it is not a wear and tear issue (cant expect a fuel cap to fail after 3 years!). Ideally Honda should be fixing it since its a flaw in their design.

This experience is definitely changing my heart about Honda's customer service. I know not all products are perfect and there can be some flaws - but trying to charge me to have a look at what is the issue in their car design. That is getting ridiculous.

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  Reply # 1381889 8-Sep-2015 16:55
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pdath:
graemeh: Definitely get it fixed at Albany Toyota, as the retailer they need to be given a chance to fix it.

Once it is repaired you can have the CGA discussion.


Don't do that.  Discuss your expectation of costs (especially if you don't expect to pay anything) with the dealer before the job is started.  The dealer doesn't want grief either.  Even if you don't get a warranty repair you may be able to negotiate a deal, such as splitting the costs 50/50, or paying parts only, etc.


Normally I would agree with you and I could have worded it better but the problem needs to be fixed ASAP before the fuel runs out and the cost to fix won't change, only who is responsible.

The OP purchased from Albany Toyota so they have primary responsibility under the CGA, if they are liable under the act it is up to them to sort it out.

I should have probably said raise the issue with the dealer but don't get hung up on agreeing responsibility before it is fixed if they don't agree.



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  Reply # 1381891 8-Sep-2015 17:00
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graemeh:
pdath:
graemeh: Definitely get it fixed at Albany Toyota, as the retailer they need to be given a chance to fix it.

Once it is repaired you can have the CGA discussion.


Don't do that.  Discuss your expectation of costs (especially if you don't expect to pay anything) with the dealer before the job is started.  The dealer doesn't want grief either.  Even if you don't get a warranty repair you may be able to negotiate a deal, such as splitting the costs 50/50, or paying parts only, etc.


Normally I would agree with you and I could have worded it better but the problem needs to be fixed ASAP before the fuel runs out and the cost to fix won't change, only who is responsible.

The OP purchased from Albany Toyota so they have primary responsibility under the CGA, if they are liable under the act it is up to them to sort it out.

I should have probably said raise the issue with the dealer but don't get hung up on agreeing responsibility before it is fixed if they don't agree.


The car is currently parked at home since there is only enough fuel for 1 trip to the dealer where I got it from. The only thing that confuses me is whose responsibility is it for this fix. I assumed Honda as it was a flaw in design and not really a mechanical fault (car fuel cap - not normally serviced or even looked at during times of buying/selling!)

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  Reply # 1381894 8-Sep-2015 17:01
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graemeh:
pdath:
graemeh: Definitely get it fixed at Albany Toyota, as the retailer they need to be given a chance to fix it.

Once it is repaired you can have the CGA discussion.


Don't do that.  Discuss your expectation of costs (especially if you don't expect to pay anything) with the dealer before the job is started.  The dealer doesn't want grief either.  Even if you don't get a warranty repair you may be able to negotiate a deal, such as splitting the costs 50/50, or paying parts only, etc.


Normally I would agree with you and I could have worded it better but the problem needs to be fixed ASAP before the fuel runs out and the cost to fix won't change, only who is responsible.

The OP purchased from Albany Toyota so they have primary responsibility under the CGA, if they are liable under the act it is up to them to sort it out.

I should have probably said raise the issue with the dealer but don't get hung up on agreeing responsibility before it is fixed if they don't agree.


What will happen next, if the OP has an expectation of having it repaired under warranty and the dealer does not, is the dealer will hold onto the car keys waiting for the bill to be paid ... and the OP will have to take recourse which will not get resolved very quickly.  Then the OP will give in and pay the bill because they need the car back, get very upset, threaten to take recourse, and probably never will as the cost of the repair versus the grief to get it recovered wont make it worthwhile.

Avoid the upset.  Get the terms sorted before work begins.




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  Reply # 1381906 8-Sep-2015 17:18
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Surely worse case scenario you could simply use a screwdriver to pry it open. Sure you'd need another fuel cap but it's not the worse thing to damage in an emergency.

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  Reply # 1381907 8-Sep-2015 17:23
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The car is currently parked at home since there is only enough fuel for 1 trip to the dealer where I got it from. The only thing that confuses me is whose responsibility is it for this fix. I assumed Honda as it was a flaw in design and not really a mechanical fault (car fuel cap - not normally serviced or even looked at during times of buying/selling!)


That answer to that question is not cut and dry.  You have listed Honda and the dealer, but you may need to share some responsibility as it is your vehicle after all.  Sometimes bad things happen (and you haven't done anything wrong) and you can't look to blame someone else.

Honda can't be responsible for ever and ever for every defect to happen to one of their vehicles.  Hence that is why the warranty is of a fixed duration.  Enough time to cover things going reasonably wrong.
From the description of the fault I would say the dealer sold the vehicle in good faith and could not have reasonably foreseen such an issue happening.  Could the dealer have done anything different - I don't think so.

I'm not sure how the fuel cap is triggered in your vehicle.  It could be a physical cable (in which case the cable may have snapped or simple come off from the opening mechanism or even from the opening lever), or it could be an electrical solenoid (potentially blown fuse, failed solenoid or cabling).

It doesn't sound like it is going to be that expensive to repair.  This sounds like a minor fault.  You should start with a conversation with the dealer that sold the car.  They may be happy to come to the party or cut you a deal.  There may not be anything to stress over.

Personally, as you have had the vehicle around 3 months I would be happy with splitting the costs 50/50 with the dealer.  That suggests that perhaps the defect should not have happened, but that you are also taking some responsibility as the vehicle owner. I suspect the repair amount is not going to be very much and I wouldn't put too much effort into the resolution.




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  Reply # 1381909 8-Sep-2015 17:24
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Bit surprised by Honda's (lack of) customer service in this situation.  For example, I had a 1998 Mazda and popped in to the local dealership because the mounts failed a WOF, they sent out their inspector to have a look and confirm they were indeed failed (which took a few minutes of his time) - no charge at all.

Bad form Honda.  For a 3yo car, and such an odd fault IMO, they should just fix it, no questions asked.

Also 3 months out, purchased from a dealer, you should NOT be paying to fix this.  It's a pretty serious fault, indeed it renders the car unusable.



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  Reply # 1381918 8-Sep-2015 17:34
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pdath:

The car is currently parked at home since there is only enough fuel for 1 trip to the dealer where I got it from. The only thing that confuses me is whose responsibility is it for this fix. I assumed Honda as it was a flaw in design and not really a mechanical fault (car fuel cap - not normally serviced or even looked at during times of buying/selling!)


That answer to that question is not cut and dry.  You have listed Honda and the dealer, but you may need to share some responsibility as it is your vehicle after all.  Sometimes bad things happen (and you haven't done anything wrong) and you can't look to blame someone else.

Honda can't be responsible for ever and ever for every defect to happen to one of their vehicles.  Hence that is why the warranty is of a fixed duration.  Enough time to cover things going reasonably wrong.
From the description of the fault I would say the dealer sold the vehicle in good faith and could not have reasonably foreseen such an issue happening.  Could the dealer have done anything different - I don't think so.

I'm not sure how the fuel cap is triggered in your vehicle.  It could be a physical cable (in which case the cable may have snapped or simple come off from the opening mechanism or even from the opening lever), or it could be an electrical solenoid (potentially blown fuse, failed solenoid or cabling).

It doesn't sound like it is going to be that expensive to repair.  This sounds like a minor fault.  You should start with a conversation with the dealer that sold the car.  They may be happy to come to the party or cut you a deal.  There may not be anything to stress over.

Personally, as you have had the vehicle around 3 months I would be happy with splitting the costs 50/50 with the dealer.  That suggests that perhaps the defect should not have happened, but that you are also taking some responsibility as the vehicle owner. I suspect the repair amount is not going to be very much and I wouldn't put too much effort into the resolution.


I understand that I could take some responsibility for my vehicle - but this is not an issue that is unique to me. I came across a number of online forums that talk about Honda and the fuel cap mechanism failing. So wouldn't that be a design flaw? And yes I also understand the warranty of a fixed duration - What would happen if this failure happen the day after my warranty expired? They would have still claimed the same thing - the car was out of warranty so no we cant fix it, you are 1 day too late. This is where I was hoping for some good faith from a well reputed company.

Also - it is not something that should fail that often - that is why I had asked if anyone has seen this sort of thing before. If it was something I would expect to happen, then its acceptable that it does fail. I actually am not sure what the exact issue is which is why i cannot really estimate how much it would cost to repair. I dont imagine to cost 1k or something. Even a couple of hundy is still quite a bit of money for something trivial as this - given the car was just serviced by Honda themselves a month ago. 

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  Reply # 1381919 8-Sep-2015 17:39
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pdath:

The car is currently parked at home since there is only enough fuel for 1 trip to the dealer where I got it from. The only thing that confuses me is whose responsibility is it for this fix. I assumed Honda as it was a flaw in design and not really a mechanical fault (car fuel cap - not normally serviced or even looked at during times of buying/selling!)


That answer to that question is not cut and dry.  You have listed Honda and the dealer, but you may need to share some responsibility as it is your vehicle after all.  Sometimes bad things happen (and you haven't done anything wrong) and you can't look to blame someone else.

Honda can't be responsible for ever and ever for every defect to happen to one of their vehicles.  Hence that is why the warranty is of a fixed duration.  Enough time to cover things going reasonably wrong.
From the description of the fault I would say the dealer sold the vehicle in good faith and could not have reasonably foreseen such an issue happening.  Could the dealer have done anything different - I don't think so.

I'm not sure how the fuel cap is triggered in your vehicle.  It could be a physical cable (in which case the cable may have snapped or simple come off from the opening mechanism or even from the opening lever), or it could be an electrical solenoid (potentially blown fuse, failed solenoid or cabling).

It doesn't sound like it is going to be that expensive to repair.  This sounds like a minor fault.  You should start with a conversation with the dealer that sold the car.  They may be happy to come to the party or cut you a deal.  There may not be anything to stress over.

Personally, as you have had the vehicle around 3 months I would be happy with splitting the costs 50/50 with the dealer.  That suggests that perhaps the defect should not have happened, but that you are also taking some responsibility as the vehicle owner. I suspect the repair amount is not going to be very much and I wouldn't put too much effort into the resolution.


Irrelevant.  He has had the car less than 3 months.  Not being able to open the fuel cap makes the car unusable.  The car dealership has to make this right.

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  Reply # 1382022 8-Sep-2015 20:40
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My 2c.
Forget Honda agent, they have no relationship with you, and original warranty is over.

Get it sorted by Toyota Albany, they are who you purchased the car from.

Most 2nd hand dealers offer some kind of warranty on their cars. I've brought two late model imports recently, both had 6 month dealer warranty that would cover this kind of thing. What kind of warranty did Toyota Albany give you when you brought the car? If you're not sure ask them.

Simple as that, in my mind.

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