I discovered my AC was not working (blowing warm air) and drop my car off with Honda to check into along with performing an oil change while I was at work. Part way through my day, I receive a call telling me that the oil change is done, but my AC condensor is crushed from what looks like a rock and I will need to pay $800 for them to fix it. Is this covered by my 3 year warranty as my car (at the time) was under 1 year old? Nope, rocks are not covered. I picked up my car later that day. It's important to note that it was all back together at that point. I did not look at the damage as I had no reason to think that the Honda techs weren't completely right.
As I could not afford to pay $800 out of the blue, I decided to see what my insurance company says. As you would have to take the car's front off to look at the condensor, we just went off the write up from Honda saying a rock had hit the car and caused a hole/leak. I meet them at a garage a few towns over and they tell me it would be my $500 deductible to fix the thing (getting better) but then it would also be a hit on my insurance and my rates might go up. The guy who owned the garage we met at said he would do it for $600 on his own. Sounds great, way better than $800 and even $500 + excess insurance fees for god only knows how long.
I pick up my car from the garage a few days later, all fixed and happy. The owner cashes me out and then asks me, "So what did you do to that car??" I was thinking, "Oh god, what did he find?" but told the truth which was that my car has never been in an accident and I don't even drive on rough roads too often. He proceeds to take me out to where my old condensor was and shows it to me. There is NO damage. He tells me that there was no hole and that they couldn't even figure out where the leak came from, it must have been a defect somewhere that eventually gave in. Unfortunately by that time his own mechanics had thrown the piece around so the edges were all banged up. Not sufficient to save and bring back to Honda to question them. He did invite me to give Honda his info, though, as he thought they were wrong not to have covered this under warranty (nice guy, he already had my money for the repair, but wanted to help)
The next day I faxed Honda a letter explaining what happened along with my receipt from them (with their notes about the damage), my receipt from the second garage for the repair and the contact info for the owner. I didn't know what I expected from them when I faxed it, but was willing to negotiate. I understand that maybe I should have looked at the damage before taking the car the first time, but I didn't even know what an AC condensor WAS at that point. Plus if I could identify what was wrong myself, why would I even take it to a mechanic? All the same I figured if I could recoup part, I would be happy.
I spent the next few days playing phone tag with the regional manager at the CA Honda headquarters. I would tray calling all day long and always get his voicemail, so I left a few messages and was still hoping for the best. That is until I receive a voicemail from him saying, "This is Josh with Honda, we read your letter and spoke to the techs at the Honda who worked on your car and they say that the condensor was crushed. I really don't know what you expect us to do for you..." I called back and (surprise) got his voicemail, saying, "What I expected was that you would even make an effort to contact the garage who actually worked on my car. Your techs said my condensor was crushed. It was nothing of the sort, so I feel I was lied to and would be uncomfortable ever bringing my car to Honda again."
Since that call, I have not heard back from Josh @ Honda and have received a letter saying they were closing my case because they were not hearing back from me. As I could not get a human being on the phone, I don't know what they expected besides voicemails. In the end I have decided I don't have the time to keep making all these phone calls and at least my AC is working and I found a new garage (mind you I had never used these guys or even heard of them before all this) that I can probably trust. I don't think I will be bringing my Honda back to the dealership for any further anything, though.
(I think I made all the important points above, but tried to keep it short... ish. I feel like this is too long already, lol)