Nova Scotia

Consumer group wants to hear from Honda CR-V owners involved in recall process

The Automobile Protection Association (APA) is conducting a survey of how Honda Canada is handling the recall of almost 84,000 CR-Vs.

One CR-V owner investigating possible class action lawsuit

The Automobile Protection Association is asking owners of recalled Honda CR-Vs to share their experiences as they make their way through the recall process. (Shuji Kajiyama/Associated Press)

The Automobile Protection Association is asking owners of recalled Honda CR-Vs to share their experiences as they make their way through the recall process.

They are asking the vehicle owners to fill out a form on the association's website. It comes as one CR-V owner investigates the possibility of a class action lawsuit.

The APA is a Montreal-based non-profit association dedicated to promoting the interests of consumers.

"We'd like to get information on what they thought of the offer that was made and also which option they chose — buy-back or repair," APA director George Iny said.

The survey comes as the APA hears from CR-V owners unhappy with their buyback offers. Iny said the offers differ widely.

Some owners happy, others upset

It follows a CBC story about New Brunswick woman's unhappiness with the way Honda is handling her recall.

Renee Landry believes Honda's offer to buy back her CR-V is unfair because she can't buy a comparable vehicle with that amount. (Graham Thompson/CBC)

Renee Landry's vehicle was one of almost 84,000 CR-Vs made between 2007-11 that have been recalled for possible rusting frames. Some vehicles can be repaired simply by applying rust protection, but others cannot.

Landry, from Rothesay, said all she wanted was to have her 2007 CR-V fixed, but she was told that was not possible.

She was offered a buyout, which she said would not leave in her the same position as before the recall. She had completed payments on her vehicle and expected to drive it for several more years.

She said she could not buy a comparable vehicle with the offer from Honda.

Iny said every vehicle can be fixed, it's a question of how much it will cost.

Landry's Honda CR-V sits at the local dealership. After dropping it off for windshield wiper repairs, she was told it was under recall and could not be fixed. (Graham Thompson/CBC)

He said Transport Canada's new legislation allows it to order auto manufacturers to repair vehicles, but they're "just getting their feet wet with the new provisions of the [Motor Vehicle Safety] Act," he said.

Repair mentioned but not always available

On its website, Transport Canada's recall notice states if the vehicle owner declines a buy-back "a secondary inspection and body shop repair method may be possible."

Iny said "on paper" it seems the repair option is always available, but he's hearing from owners that they are not being offered that option.

George Iny says this is the first time the Automobile Protection Association has done a survey about vehicle recall. (Fred Cusson/CBC)

"The buyback is really Honda going the extra mile for Honda because it gives them an option that's cheaper than fixing the vehicle," Iny said.

He said the buy-back option is good for those who want it, but some of the vehicles would have been good for another few years if not for the rusting frames.

He said some consumers, like Landry, are not being made "whole" and put in the position they were before the recall.

"It's a hardship to be back in the market with the amount they are being offered," he said.

Class action lawsuit?

David Puxley who lives near Mahone Bay, N.S., is another CR-V owner who is unhappy with Honda's offer. He, too, simply wants his 2007 CR-V fixed, but has been told it can't be repaired.

David Puxley's 2007 CR-V EXL is now sitting in a dealer's lot as he tries to negotiate a better offer from Honda. (David Puxley)

Puxley is so frustrated he's contacted a law firm to discuss possible legal action.

Iny said the purpose of the survey is to understand people's experiences and share it with others so it will help those who subsequently take their recalled vehicles in for assessment.

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About the Author

Yvonne Colbert

Consumer Watchdog

Yvonne Colbert has been a journalist for nearly 35 years, covering everything from human interest stories to the provincial legislature. These days, she's focused on helping consumers get the most bang for their bucks and avoid being ripped off. She invites story ideas at yvonne.colbert@cbc.ca.

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