Thursday, August 8, 2019

UPDATED: What's All the Brouhaha About the Honda BR-V's Fuel Pump?


Update: Honda Cars Philippines says they have fixed all affected units already (8/13).

“The issue is the lack of communication about the problem. If this is a known problem, they [customers] shouldn’t have to wait for months for the part. How impossible is that? Why is that wala pa ring statement ang Honda Cars Philippines. Imagine being a customer, and not wanting to use your car in case you can’t start it again, and then having to see all Honda’s attention and money being spent on the launch of the new BR-V,” quips from the lengthy rant of an influencer who doesn’t seem to properly grasp the whole situation here.

Well, Mr. Influencer, we’re here to educate.

First of all, let’s talk about stocking parts. If he spent more time searching Google than he did in his own Inbox, a quick search reveals that a typical fuel pump lasts more than 80,000 kilometers. In fact, a look at Honda Cars Philippines’s very own PMS guide shows that the fuel pump is not even considered as something that’s routinely replaced. Having said that, things like the fuel filter are replaced every 2 years or 40,000 kilometers (which ever comes first), while the fuel line, tank, and connections are inspected every 10,000 kilometers.

With that, it doesn’t make business sense for dealers or even the distributor to keep a stock of 14,807 BR-V (that’s the number of units sold up until June) fuel pumps on hand. If any car company were to do this, then they’ll be inundated with a part that doesn’t routinely get replaced, or be driven to bankruptcy because they’ve stocked too much fuel pumps. Suddenly, when a customer wants his oil filter changed, they may not have it simply because all they are fuel pumps. Imagine this scenario:

Owner: Oh, my tie rod’s busted. Can I have it replaced?

Service Technician: Yes sir, but you’ll have to wait 6 months. Can we interest you in replacing your fuel pump instead?

Wow. And then this irate customer will run to you and complain.

See, there’s careful planning involved, from both sales and aftersales side to make sure they maintain the correct about of stock on hand. In cases where there’s an unusual spike for parts—such as the need for replacement ECUs during Ondoy (remember that?), it’ll take time for any car maker to order, stock, and distribute them to their respective dealer.

Now, let’s head on to him looking for an official statement.

Perhaps it’s become typical for car manufacturers to kowtow to you and your half a million raffle followers, but asking, no demanding for an official statement is not something that can be done quickly. As of now, the only statement Honda Cars Philippines has come up is this, and it’s been posted on the BR-V Owner’s Forum:
“Honda Cars Philippines is actively addressing the concerns of the customers as they come to the dealerships and submit their vehicles for evaluation. As per our Service Department, all units that were brought in have been addressed already. If there are customers who still have concerns with their vehicles, we highly encourage them to bring in their cars to their preferred dealerships for evaluation and repair.”
Wow, that’s a pretty strong message right there, don’t you agree? According to a source inside Honda Cars Philippines, the number of affected vehicles is small. And out of the small number involved, they are addressing customer complaints as quickly as they come in. More often than not, our source says, the problem is stemming from BR-V owners that don’t follow the prescribed Preventive Maintenance Service or PMS schedule. They are not categorically saying that there is a direct link between skipping PMS and the issue at hand, but there is a trend.

Now, as to why they can’t roll over and play dead for you, the reason is simple: their technical team is still figuring out what the problem is. If they did, they would have released official information to abide by DTI regulations, which is by itself aligned to international guidelines (ISO 10393:2018). By ISO (and not Influencer) standard, a product can only be recalled if the products or products are clearly identifiable to make sure the recall notice is as precise as possible. That is what they are doing at this point. Right now, they cannot come up with any official statement unless they determine the fault at hand (if any), the available remedy (if any), and their planned course of action (if any).

If there’s one thing you can bet on Honda Cars Philippines is that they’ve been pretty transparent about recalls. They’ve even dedicated a tab on their webpage about it with about 15 recall notices in the past 6 years.

Oh, and before anyone comments that recalls are “bad,” they’re not. More than anything, it shows that a carmaker is proactive in fixing issues that are known to cause potential problems to keep the driver, his occupants, and other motorists on the road safe.

And finally, to the last point about Honda’s attention and money going to the launch of the new BR-V. Man, that sounds like you’re actually sourgraping for not being invited to the drive! He mentions that owners have flocked to him since June about the problem and guess what, he decides to act on this just now! That is just so odd.

36 comments:

  1. This article was brought to you by... Honda Cars Philippines!

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    1. Any car brand would have been the same.

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    2. Mitsubishi handled their fuel pump issue better though.

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    3. Same. Both didn't come out with an official public statement, but both committed to repairing all affected units.

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  2. I think Ford DCT's also needs to be addressed properly.

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  3. How hard it is to order parts? If they order from Japan today, it will surely arrive the following day. Customs releasing usually takes 2-3 days. Car dealers consolidate their orders to save on shipping costs. That's the reason why it takes too long for parts to arrive.

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  4. The issue is fuel pump in BRV. Do you need to wait 80,000kms before they do something? While they're having the issue already... ����

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  5. Definitely agree with Mr. Deakin here.

    Fast forward to August. The issue is still the same. Yes they are covered under warranty, but people are still waiting weeks for a part that Honda have formally acknowledged to be defective and renders their cars useless (or shatters their confidence because they are unsure if it will restart) and despite a DTI demand letter dated August 1, have yet to release an official statement or remedy. Again, a couple of months may seem far too trivial to someone running around in an all-expense paid test car, but to someone making monthly payments who needs that car for work, school, life, etc., it is excruciating. Yes, especially if they see a journalist like yourself bragging about the giveaways and gushing about the extravagant launch of the new BRV and singing all their praises.

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  6. WHOAh...!!!! my fuel pumps is in my Toyota Altis since 2002, should I replace it since 80k is way way far passed the 200k my car has logged now..... now I am afraid I might not start after gassing up.... :-(

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  7. Mr. James Deakin already replied to this sh*tty article of yours, Uly��

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  8. is it just me or something's burning here.

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  9. 14,807 as a sample... I don't think thats how they do it, but they should atleast have a couple on hand right? Like say 50ish? It shouldn't drive a company bankrupt =I

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  10. I had a problem with Honda last year and I think their customer service is really poor they should make heads roll they cant even empathize with customers

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  11. The fact is that there were issues with the Fuel Pump and Honda refused to publicly acknowledge the fact. FULL STOP.

    While it may not have been an issue occuring widely enough to issue a recall, Honda's customers certainly deserve to be informed that there is a potential issue so that 1) if it happens to them, they don't freak out, and 2) if they own the affected models, they can bring them in to have them checked proactively. That would have brought them good publicity and maybe even a little goodwill for doing the right thing. Instead, they pay you to go after a well liked and respected journalist, who happens to also have a lot of influence, is unfortunate.

    I am a Honda owner, so I think I do have the right to say this: this type of drivel writing to cover the ass of a failed PR person is dismaying. And you using this article to personally attack a fellow writer is juvenile and petty, and makes you look like a sniveling toddler of a Honda executive.

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  12. Quite an unprofessionally expressed piece, to be honest.

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  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  14. Now, i might turn off notif for this page on my fb.

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  15. You offered a lame explanation to the actual issue and you completely missed the mark on this one.
    I would've respected you more had to taken the time to write something that ENCOURAGES action rather than counter-attacking someone who just wanted an action to be taken re the issue, Or at least taken the time to investigate and ask FIRST.
    Lastly, I would like to say --- Please get your head out of your a**, it's not a hat.

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  16. Why use 14k as a sample? we are not asking Honda for that. What we are asking is for them to at least have 10 stocks of Fuel pump per dealership so we won't need to wait for 2-3weeks just to have it fixed. What if that car is being used for business? work? school? They are not providing service car, I think you don't know how it feels since you are not in that situation, sometimes try being on the consumers shoes to understand where we are coming..

    Mitsubishi handled this issue way better than Honda does..

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  17. James Deakin: I'm gonna end this man's whole career.

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  19. For a second there, I thought this article was removed because of the backlash.

    I always enjoyed reading Mr. Ang's reviews and always had the impression that he was one of the more unbiased and uncorrupted motoring journalists in the country, moreso when you take the time and compare his reviews to other paid hacks who just copy & paste the car manufacturer's press releases and try to pass them off as legitimate car reviews.

    Then I click on this article and I couldn't believe what I was reading. Disappointment is a major understatement. I recall a friend asking for my opinion on the Toyota Rush and instead I sent them a link to Mr. Ang's review as I found it to be very well-written and objective.

    I think I just lost all respect for the author.

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  20. To Mr. Ang, I really hope Honda made it worth your credibility and integrity.

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  21. I guess Mr Ang should stick to car reviews as I really enjoyed it more than TG's senseless ones. But to take shots on an "influencer" or anyone just because you don't agree and worse, condescendingly try to "educate" is uncalled for. Also, i take offense on being branded as part of the half a million raffle followers. what did we ever do to you?! Ha!

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  22. Can't have everything. Have to pick the right articles to read. I disagree with Uly on this one.

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  24. So if a brv breaks down due fuel pump problems.... it means ok lang and nga nga na lang is owner? as the company doesn't have any parts so and so and so.... wow just wow. wheres the liability of the Honda in this instance?

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    1. Just to let you know I am driving a Honda HRV.

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  25. was the jab on james deakin really necessary?

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  26. Stop drinking all the cool aid here Mr. Brown nosing Honda's ass.. :) Seriously if your going to defend have a better argument than what you wrote. Get the hell out of here with your BS statements about stocking parts!

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  27. Hahahahahahaha this author is definitely a paid stooge by Honda. Instead of pretending to be a journalist just admit that you are being paid by Honda. You should empathize with the costumers with this problem. In this internet age 7 days is too long to import the much needed parts. Dont bullshit us. You are an asshole.

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  28. This makes me doubt the objectivity of the recent reviews and comparison articles posted in this site involving the Honda BRV. With this article in mind, I cannot help but conclude that the previous articles about how the BRV is still best in class is only a damage control article written to re-build the image of the BRV. Might as well take a second look at the Toyota Rush.

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  29. Brv is becoming scary to drive, not safe...dangerous..

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  30. Got issues with the fuel pump,then later the suspension breakdown in the middle of my driving considering that im driving in flat surface with a minimal speed. Its really stressing

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  31. I have recently taken delivery of the 2020 Model of the Honda BRV S CVT.

    The car is great to drive and I have no issues apart from one, that is the demisting of the front screen whilst driving in the rain, the front screen quickly mists up and I cannot find any button to press to clear the inside screen, I have to pull over until safe to drive again.

    I have asked the question to Honda Philippines, taken the car to the dealer where we bought it from and they could not show me how to clear the front window , every car I have always driven has had a blower for the front window, standard on every vehicle !! the BRV apparently do not have this feature, this being the case how do I clear my screen ? simple question one would think but nobody can give me an answer.

    I currently have car that I believe is not safe to take on the road in certain weather conditions, if I do its dangerous to drive.

    Your comments and feedback we be appreciated as I have given up hope with Honda Philippines.

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