Thursday, July 08, 2004

Slight Improvement, But Not Much

As a courtesy to Honda, and just to demonstrate I'm not on a vendetta, I refrained from submitting anything to this blog until I fully tested my Hybrid car (e.g. drove several hundred miles) after its SECOND inspection. Now, let me report both good news and bad news. The good news is that the Honda dealer did in fact find a few problems with my car that the first dealer didn't spot or correct, and so Honda's "Office of the President" called it right by suggesting I get a "second opinion." Here's what the report said: "C/S is only getting 31 MPG -- has had Superior Honda look at many times -- they keep saying no problem found - has been on CBS News. Best mileage has ever gotten was 33-35 MPG. Test drove vehicle checked codes in system - Fuel trim in specs. Found alignment out of spec. Competed 4 wheel alignment and set tire pressures. Only 15 PSI in all tires. Now Vehicle getting 36 MPG City Driving." The bad news is that while the mileage is up a mile or two (attributable to these changes), I'm still only between 34 and 35 MPG, still nearly 15 below the advertised mileage. All in all, despite Honda's good intentions, very disappointing. My wife thinks I've been had and insists I go the distance to get either a refund or a hybrid car that marries up to the hype, even if it's a new model. She's right, and I'm not giving up.

Now, there is a bit of humor in all this. When I dropped off my car for an inspection, the only car available through Honda (and their rental car agency, Enterprise) as a replacement vehicle was a monster-sized Dodge Ram pickup truck -- the biggest I had ever seen, much less driven. It bordered on hysterical that I dropped off my teeny hybrid car for an inspection and left with a tank-sized pickup truck that practically required a ladder to enter. My entire office was on the floor.