— Honda starter problems have caused Accord and Crosstour owners to file a proposed class-action lawsuit that alleges the starters fail and cause a small fortune to replace.
The lawsuit includes current and former owners and lessees of 2013-2015 Honda Accord and Crosstour vehicles with allegedly defective starter systems that typically fail during or shortly after the limited warranties expire.
Owners complain about being stranded from starter failures and dead batteries, paying to tow the vehicles to dealerships and then listening to Honda dealers explain how the automaker won't cover the cost of repairs.
Plaintiff Joel Merkin says he bought a used 2013 Honda Accord EX-L in 2015 while the car was still under the factory warranty period, but in 2016 and with about 40,400 miles on the odometer, the Accord would not start once or twice a week. Merkin says it would take numerous attempts to get the car to start, and by the time the Accord had 58,430 miles on the odometer, the car would not start five or six times a day.
The plaintiff contacted his Honda dealer and was told the Accord was no longer under warranty and Merkin would need to pay the entire cost to replace the starter. The car was eventually taken to a different dealership that replaced the starter for about $200.
Not only did Honda allegedly actively conceal the fact that particular components within the starters were not assembled and manufactured correctly, the automaker also forgot to mention the existence of the alleged defect would diminish the resale value of the vehicles, according to the plaintiff.
The lawsuit alleges Honda has known about the starter problems for years but has failed to do anything about it. Accord and Crosstour owners claim Honda typically blames the starter problems on “maintenance,” “wear,” or “user induced” issues not covered under warranty.
For owners with vehicles that Honda will repair under warranty, the plaintiff claims those vehicles aren't fixed permanently as Honda replaces the defective starters with starters that will fail again.
According to the Honda lawsuit, Honda knows about the the starter problems because of numerous complaints that have been filed, and based on technical service bulletins Honda sent to dealers. Those complaints describe the cost to replace the starters, typically between $400 and $900.
"I notice a week ago that my car would not start on the first turn of the key. The cost he gave me for the repair was $903.00. I called him back the next day to inform him about all of the complaints about the starter for this make and moldel [sic] I've read and plain as day he say Honda has no reports about this being a on going issues. ARE you kidding me,!!! I also call the Honda Customer Care line and after being place on hold several times, I received the same answer. If I could get rid of this car right now I would. Matter of fact I will be selling this car and my Acura and will never buy another Honda product again." - 2013 Honda Accord owner / Fredericksburg, Virginia
Despite the complaints, Honda hasn't recalled the cars to permanently fix the starter problems and has done nothing to reimburse customers who have incurred out-of-pocket expenses to repair the starters.
The Honda lawsuit claims if customers would have known about the defective starters, those consumers would have purchased different cars. The plaintiff says Honda has handled its business in an unfair and deceptive way and caused owners to lose a small fortune while enriching the automaker and dealers.
The Accord and Crosstour lawsuit accuses Honda of violating the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, breaching express and implied warranties, breaching the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, common law fraud and unjust enrichment.
The Honda starter problems lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Trenton Division - Joel Merkin, et al., v. Honda North America, Inc., American Honda Motor Company, Inc., and Honda Motor Company, LTD.
The plaintiff is represented by McCune Wright Arevalo LLP.
CarComplaints.com has complaints about starter problems in the Honda Accord and Crosstour: