UPDATE – 17th June 2016
Honda Cars India has given the following statement to RushLane.
Sanjeev Gupta purchased his car 2 years ago. He had come to one of our dealerships with reported white smoke coming from the engine on 13 July 2015. The car was thoroughly checked and water marks were observed near the top end of AC condenser, air filter was found to be wet and other engine parts also had water marks at substantial height. On inspecting the engine cabin, it could be clearly established that the car had been driven through deep water-logged road to the extent that water was also found on the floor of passenger cabin and at the components stated above. With those observations, we concluded that the engine trouble was caused by Hydro Static lock on the engine as the water was sucked into the engine through the air suction passage and damaged critical engine parts.
The car was repaired subsequently after receiving consent from the customer and he paid the requisite repair charges. Since then, his car has been running fine and has driven more than 7,000 kms and also got periodic maintenance done from another authorized dealer in February 2016.
However, he put up pictures of his car, on which he wrote a lot of slanders, and started to carry out a campaign against Honda on social media. After his car was repaired, the customer had never approached us for any concern and the campaign was suddenly started. We have attempted several times to reach him and speak to him during the last several days to address his concern, but we haven’t received any response from him.
With reference to his specific complaint that Honda is not offering him warranty on his engine, we would like to clarify that water ingress in any normal internal combustion engine may cause damage to critical engine parts like piston rings, cylinder head etc. Since the damage to these parts is not caused due to any inherent defect in them, these damaged parts are not covered under the purview of vehicle warranty. This is an established industry norm among all manufacturers.
We believe that our repair job and warranty judgment was properly conducted for the customer. We would like to express our concern that the propaganda by Mr Sanjeev Gupta is not reasonable.
Original Story – 13th June 2016
Sanjeev Gupta from Ghaziabad hasn’t been having an easy time with his Honda Amaze. It’s evident in his graphic articulation of the words ‘After buying Amaze, I am weeping tears of blood and ‘say no to Honda Amaze as it has miserable customer service’ painted across his car. Gupta finds himself left with no choice but to go around town spreading this message, and warning other customers, lest they face the same unfortunate situation.
Sanjeev Gupta tells us that he purchased the Honda Amaze back in April 2014. After running for about 33,000 kms, the diesel sedan coughed up noticeable white exhaust smoke in July 2015. The vehicle is under warranty for 2 years / 40,000 kms. The car was purchased from the Courtesy Honda dealership at Okhla. The dealership promptly offered an estimated cost of Rs 60,000 to fix the engine which was now compromised owing to water entry.
This surprised Sanjeev. He asked the dealer how the water entered engine? Dealer tells it could be anything, maybe because you drove the car during heavy rain. This perplexed Sanjeev further. He asked the dealer ‘are we not supposed to drive this car during rains? Why are there wipers on the windscreen then? The dealer laughed it off.
Ongoing haggling led to the sedan sitting at the dealership for a period of two months, during which time he continued paying his car EMI without having access to it. During this period, Sanjeev tried getting in touch with officials sitting at higher posts, but to his avail were young and enthu call center employees who would always tell him that someone will call you back. He never got a call from any higher official.
Honda Cars India offers Amaze compact sedan with 2 years or 40,000 kms warranty. Gupta finds this to be a false promise. Having noticed an alarming level of white smoke emitting from the exhaust, he took the Honda Amaze to the nearest company service centre as would any sensible car owner. Those in charge didn’t view the problem as a mechanical failure but one which voided warranty, owing to the fact that water had entered the engine.
The engine had clocked just 33,000 kms. The service centre claimed water could have entered engine components resulting in a malfunction causing white smoke emission. Gupta says he had driven the Honda Amaze on normal rainy days and nothing else had happened to the vehicle. The confusion even prompted him to ask involved personnel why they hadn’t told him not to drive during rains at the time of purchase. He would have promptly agreed and not driven the car in rains.
White smoke is generally a result of diesel fuel flowing through the engine and exiting from the exhaust without completely burning. This could be due to a cold engine and low compression in one of the cylinders or faulty timing of fuel injection system.
Until September last year, he ran from pillar to post trying to contact personnel from Honda so he could have a decent dialogue with those in charge. With no sign of Honda being interactive, he let Courtesy Honda get on with their business, and paid a sum total of Rs 37,749 for engine repair (which he says is surprising as they came down from previously quoted price of Rs 60,000). Once the car was safely back home, he pursued the matter but with little respite. The engine repair leaves his car with a lower resale value. That’s Rs 1 lakh lower than otherwise.
At first, Gupta tried sticking posters on his car regarding what had happened. The move angered his family as it caused embarrassment. Everywhere they went, people would look at them and laugh. Even his neighbours started saying – ‘Guptaji paagal ho gaye ho kya?’ (Mr Gupta, have you gone mad?).
Despite little or no support and having explained to his family that he couldn’t let the matter slip by as if nothing had happened, he was left with no other recourse but to take his protest to the streets with angry words emblazoned on his Honda Amaze warning prospective buyers against purchase of this model.
Photos of his Honda Amaze are going viral on social media. One such set of photos, which were uploaded by a person who saw Gupta’s car on the road, has received over 26k shares. Ever since, he’s been approached by Honda personnel in India and Japan, who are now willing to offer him a new engine, Gupta claims.
An activist himself, Gupta stays true to his resolve and isn’t looking for anything from Honda anymore. He will be taking them to the consumer court, and will in the meantime continue to actively make those around aware of what could happen in a Honda. His next car purchase will see Gupta be vigilant and have the next dealership sign a 100 rupee stamp paper after he duly types out reasons that void warranty. He went to a Maruti and Toyota dealership, both declined to sign any such document.
Honda Cars India is not providing a statement regarding the matter as of this moment.