For all those who have been reading my posts about Honda and the VTC actuator problems, Fernandez Honda has been mentioned a lot as they were the local dealer here in San Antonio, Texas where I purchased my 2008 Honda Accord.
Ain’t What They Used to Be
I’ve noticed a difference the past couple of times I’ve been to Fernandez,–however as there were a couple of people I knew and trusted, I continued to take my car there. This past December I was really “on the fence,” but thought maybe it was just me. (Although at this point, there was only one person that was still working there that I knew from the past. That should have been a really big clue!)
Unfortunately, I recently had occasion to take my car back in due to rattling noises and discovered it was over 2.2 quarts low on oil. As I haven’t ever taken my car anywhere else to be serviced, I asked Geoffrey (Service Consultant) what my mileage was at my last oil change. He said I had driven 8,000 miles. I didn’t have the receipt in front of me then, so I believed him. (It was actually 7,500 miles as is evidenced by the screen shot of both receipts below.)
Does Your Car Use Over 2.2 Quarts of Oil Every 7,500 Miles? (Mine Does)
Regardless, using almost 2 1/2 quarts of oil over that amount of miles is alarming. He said I needed to get my oil changed, (obviously), and then do an “oil consumption test.” The “oil consumption test” is defined by me driving 1,000 miles and then taking my car back in. Now, I realize I’m no auto mechanic, but if consuming 2.2 quarts of oil over 7,500 miles isn’t already proof of oil consumption, I’m not sure what is! While I could go on and on about the initial dishonesty of Honda knowingly selling thousands of vehicles with defective VTC actuators, you can read about that here. I also attempted to mention the link between the defective VTC actuators and high oil consumption (Honda has been sued over this), but Geoffrey didn’t seem educated about it. (Right…..)
A federal class action lawsuit claims that 2008-2010 Honda Accords have ‘a systematic design defect that enables oil to enter into the engine’s combustion chamber.’ The defect causes excessive oil consumption, premature spark plug degradation and engine malfunction, the lawsuit says.The Honda Accord class action lawsuit says the systematic design defect may be the result of numerous things, including a material defect, workmanship of the vehicles’ valve guide seals or piston rings, or a flaw in Honda’s VTECT variable engine-timing system.Top Class Actions; Helping Right Consumers Wrongs, Honda Accord Oil Defect Class Action Lawsuit
Discovery Group 1 Automotive
Well, I wondered as I left the dealership if the goal was “catastrophic engine failure.” I couldn’t really figure out any other reason why I would need to engage in an “oil consumption test” when clearly my car IS consuming oil. Finally, I discovered a probable reason for this! Fernandez is now owned by Group 1 Automotive. My gut feeling that something was different was spot on. Even more interesting, their number one source of income, (fasten your seatbelts folks because it ISN’T new car sales!), is parts and service.
I definitely do NOT recommend Fernandez Honda. Do your homework before purchasing a vehicle or obtaining service there. I highly suggest checking out Yelp reviews and also Google. While Google reviews look great, be sure to use the “sort” filter and apply “lowest rating.” You will be shocked at how many bad reviews are recent. The “new” management is counting on the good reviews from the past when Fernandez was an entirely different company! It’s crappy of them to do, but that’s exactly what they’re doing!! You deserve to know the truth! You can read my Yelp review here.
Just Checking In?!?
I received a call last week from someone just checking to see what my mileage was during my infamous “oil consumption test.” It’s one of those moments when I really wanted to say “wut?” Because seriously, they really must think I’m a really stoooopid female to fall for their, “We really want to earn your business…” I want to puke. No, you don’t want to earn my business. You want my money. You don’t care about me, my safety or my car. Your strategy, as you so eloquently put it on your website, is “to drive business into your service department.” The “old” Fernandez Honda is truly gone. All of the awards and accolades on their website are from days gone by when they weren’t under “new management.”
Patronizing and Publicizing vs. Quietly Serving and Doing Good
It’s always sickening to me when a company flaunts their “public service” and “acts of charity” while stabbing their customers (or employees) in the back. It’s just gauche and all kinds of wrong. Instead of patronizing and publicizing, why don’t they try actually serving their customers and giving to those in need without the fanfare?