My Honda Experience

Welcome to the real world!
This is my story how I fixed my car myself after a maintenance at Markham Honda dealership!

Hi there!

My name is Sergey, I live in Toronto area, Ontario, Canada. You can reach me by email

Here I wanted to tell you about my experience with Markham Honda - the official Honda dealership mentioned at the official Honda Canada website.

On September 2nd, 2003 my car Honda Civic SE (plate number AJKP976) was on 72K service at Markham Honda. Besides regular service their representative recommended a replacement of the cooling system fluid. I agreed and it was completed.

On September 4th (2 days later), I have noticed a sudden engine temperature increase after just 15-20 minutes of drive, so I stopped the vehicle immediately. As I found after a short investigation, the radiator lid was not installed in place, so almost all the fluid was splashed out. I found the lid laid near the tank and probably just forgotten to set up causing the fluid loss. Moreover, I also found a strange red plastic cap from some plastic container forgotten in the engine compartment.

Click to enlarge Can you imagine?
They reported everything was done, charged me for almost $400, and then I found not everything installed back !!!

I have spent almost 2 hours on road that day because I stopped and couldn't drive with no cooling system fluid. I had to buy antifreeze fluid and fix everything myself (after hundreds bucks payment for their service). Could you expect anything like that after a regular service at official Honda dealership? Now I know - it is possible...

Later I had to double check if all the wheels were kept safe (unfortunately the dealership did tire rotation as well so I had to check everything after them). I find such level of service dangerous to my life (don't you?) and needed to repeat the whole maintenance in another dealership because I was not confident in quality of all other things done that day.

What if I missed the engine temperature increase? What if my engine crashed on highway? What if...

Dear management team of the dealership! Thank you very much for such service!!!

On Friday, September 5th, I visited the dealership again, and talked to Mr. Desmond Ennis who promised to refund money and offered to leave the car to clean it and fix possible problems. However I was still scared to leave my car there again (who knows what can be forgotten to setup next time?).

Their customer service representative did a "follow call" to confirm everything was great and I was satisfied with the service. I told her that everything was extremely awful and I spent my evening on road fixing the car after their service. She told "Oh really" and promised to write it down and inform someone about it.

And silence since that... I like their customer service, he-he...

I didn't hear from them for a long time,
then sent a letter by mail where described all my problems and asked to refund money paid that day.
Then I sent fax.

Later I sent a letter to Honda Canada customer service explaining that quality of service of Markham Honda definitely disgraces the Honda name and reputation.
After that (just in couple of days) service manager of Markham Honda Mr. Sean James contacted me and we met and talked about the problem. Unfortunately I couldn't get my money back.

today is Sunday, October 13, 2019 but I still cannot return my money back from them!

I suppose it was really risk for the engine (it was overheated that I'm sure will decrease its lifetime), risk for my car and I believe risk for my health and life. Of course, nobody offers me any compensation for all these risks as well as for my and one my friend's waste evening. Unfortunately they still keep ignoring me and it seems don't even want to talk to me about the refund.

I consider some options now.

  • Try to contact top managers or vice presidents of Honda Canada and ask them to do something
  • Claim to Better Business Bureau or Ontario Ministry of Consumer and Business Services
  • Claim to Small Claims Court
  • Tell the story to CityTV and Toronto Star, maybe it could be fun for them.
  • Tell the story to everyone in internet to warn the potential Honda buyers for possible Honda service troubles in future. Hope it will help them to have more information and make a smart choice.
Can you advise anything else? I would appreciate any help.

If you are lawyer and are interested to know more about it then I would be glad to discuss it in more detail. I have the invoice and receipt. I have copies of all letters (including ignored ones) sent to Markham Honda and Honda Canada. Three friends of mine can confirm how the car looked after the service. And I also have some pictures of the antifreeze-dirty vehicle.

I can be contacted by email

Just a tip for Honda owners: don't forget to check your car yourself after any service.
I cannot believe such quality meets Honda's high requirements.
Can Honda control the quality of service and customer satisfaction at its dealerships?
If no then my story can happen again.
And YOU can be the next victim.

Please keep this story in mind when you think about new car.
Make a smart choice! :-))
Overall Honda is not so bad but it's a pity that sometimes THIS happens.

and stay alive.


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