Consumer says car dealership charged unnecessary diagnostic fee

Consumer says car dealership charged unnecessary diagnostic fee

Member complaint

I took my 2008 Honda Accord to Holler Honda of Winter Park, Fla., to have the VTC actuator replaced. I purchased this car new from the dealership, and got a maintenance plan with it.

My wife had noticed the car was making an odd rattling noise when it was started while the engine was cold. The sound didn’t happen if the engine was warm. I investigated the symptoms and diagnosed it as the VTC actuator. Apparently, this has been a common problem with Honda Accords.

On several websites, consumers mentioned that the dealership had contacted Honda corporate on their behalf and Honda had picked up the tab for the repair, since it was a common problem.

When I dropped the car off with the service tech, I provided a copy of a technical service bulletin and advised that when they started the car cold in the morning, they would hear the noise. Then they could move forward with the VTC actuator repair. I asked the service tech to contact Honda on my behalf to see if they would pick up the repair cost since it was a known issue. The service tech advised that he couldn’t do that.

When I picked up the car the next day, the repair was done, but I was charged a $90 diagnostic fee on the $1,100 repair.

Overall, I’m disappointed with Holler Honda. They couldn’t be bothered to contact corporate on my behalf, and then they took another $90 for a diagnostic fee when I stated exactly what was wrong.

I would like a $90 refund and for Holler Honda to contact corporate about my concern and see if they are willing to reimburse under a good-faith repair.

Jeff Warren, Longwood, Fla.


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