“HAPPY HONDA DAYS” is Honda's theme for the 2011 holiday season. Humbug! They may be happy for Honda, but not for me, and probably hundreds if not thousands of unsuspecting Honda customers who have been intentionally screwed by an under-cover Scrooge operation sponsored by Honda.
What's my beef? My wife and I bought a Honda CRV SUV a year ago today. We put 23,000 miles on the car and the tires are now near bald, showing the replacement marks.
How could this be, you might ask? A new car blows through a set of tires in just one year – at the 23,000 mile mark? I took the car into Friendly Honda in Poughkeepsie where we bought it and complained, thinking it was a wheel alignment problem. No, they laughed, the tires had just worn out. This was confirmed by an independent analysis at Midas Muffler in Hudson. Moreover they said the tires were sub-standard, with a “350” rating. They said anyone putting new tires on their car should insist on a “550” rating. They were not surprised that the tires wore out in 23,000 miles. Actually, Friendly Honda said I was lucky to get 23,000 miles. Most, they said only get 20,000.
After thinking about this new situation, I realized it's a new corporate strategy for stuffing Honda's holiday stockings with more bottom line profits and filling mine with coal dust. Maybe contaminated coal dust. Our prior car was a Honda Pilot and its original tires lasted for 60 thousand miles. And just to give this posting added meaning, we are a couple well into our senior years. No jack-rabbit starts at the light, no two-wheel corners and no LaGuardia-airport style breaking.
By the way, the tires are Continentals, 4x4 Contacts 225/65R17 with a “350” wear rating– just to warn other unsuspecting buyers.
This all ended unhappily with a call to 'Friendly Honda” in Poughkeepsie, which referred me in turn to Honda's corporate headquarters. Friendly said it was the “Factory's” decision to put these sleazy tires on my car. Honda Corporate listened politely, but anxiously for me to go away. The only action I got out of them was a promise to route my complaint to some of their departments for future reference.
So what's the economic equation for Honda? They knowingly put inferior tires on my new car because they could make a savings of several hundred dollars on each car sold, and that goes right to Honda's bottom line.
For Mary and me, it means buying another set of tires at a cost approaching one thousand dollars. HAPPY HONDA DAYS!!!