Let me first say that I wanted to have a truly exceptional experience buying a car with Community Honda Lafayette. I mean, who wants to have an experience that they don’t enjoy when buying a car? So, I went in with an open mind and wanted to enjoy what was going to take place. I made my appointment and requested to have a black car to view on the day I arrived. Upon arrival at my scheduled time, I was informed that the black car had been sold the previous night. Not really a big deal, I suppose, but it was somewhat bothersome that the vehicle was not available to view.
It turned out that the car I was shown appealed to me much more than the black, which was a good thing. Subsequent to this, it all deteriorated and was not a pleasant experience.
When viewing and inspecting the car, I noticed a multitude of brake dust and other raised spots (e.g., black, brown, orange) that were seemingly inconsistent with a platinum pearl paint job. The top layer of these spots scratched off, but the color remained and appeared embedded into the clear coat or even deeper and stained the white, which made it look dingy and dirty. I was not told that the car would be cleaned. I had to apprise the sales staff of the condition of the car. They subsequently stated that they would take care of it and clean it. So, it appears that they would have let me drive away from the dealership having not informed me of the state of the car. Full disclosure was definitely not on display from start to finish in the entirety of the process.
After being informed that they cleaned it, I noticed two substantial scratches on the back right, lower side panel above the wheel. I was told that it would be fixed; this amounted to touch up paint being applied. I stated that I was not taking it like that, as it was supposed to be a brand new car. Further, a substantial amount of noticeable spots remained after reportedly being cleaned. Sales staff indicated that I would be getting an entire new car.
As soon as I walked up to the car, I noticed something on the bottom of the front bumper. This appeared to possibly be dirt. That was not the case. It was a gouge/deep scratch that looked as if the paint had been pushed away with force and caused an uneven, rough look to that piece of the bumper. I could definitely see underneath the paint and immediately informed the salesperson. Upon further inspection of the car, I noticed a substantial gouge/scratch on the edge of the hood that went beyond the clear coat and other layers of paint to the metal of the car. There were also two other spots where the metal was visible on the hood that I found and sent pictures of to the salesperson.
I was informed that this would be fixed. It was discussed that the weather would have to be nice in order for this to be conducted. A day was scheduled for me to drop off the car. I dropped off my car and checked on the status a few times. Once told that my vehicle was ready, I looked it over and was immediately dissatisfied. The bumper scratches appeared to have been minimally attended to or touched as it remained rough/bumpy and a black/dark gray color was still visible beneath the paint. It was definitely not fully platinum pearl white.
The main gouge on my hood was “touched up.” However, the blemish and unevenness are still noticeable. One spot on my hood appeared to have touch up paint on it, but the gray metal is still noticeable through the touch up. One of the spots appears to have been neglected altogether as the gray is not covered with anything and is just as visible as when I brought in my car.
Overall, I purchased a new vehicle that appeared to have damage/defects that should not be present on a new vehicle. When supposedly fixed, it was definitely not in a new state. A touch up is not the same as a fix in my opinion. I was told that I asked for the touch up. I am sure that I would not agree to that as I did not think it was good enough for the first car that I refused to take that just had touch up paint on the scratches.
I was told that a company was being used to fix the scratches and gouges. I wonder about that since all they did was use touch up paint, which is what was done on my first vehicle that never left Community Honda or had a company come in to look at it as far as I know.
I expressed my displeasure with the salesperson, and he offered to have his manager explain it. However, I felt that course would be ineffectual as I have had multiple disappointing encounters and explanations that have not been satisfactory.
My first main issue is the fact that this is supposed to be a brand new car with no noticeable blemishes in the paint. Honda reportedly conducts their own inspection and should have easily caught these issues as I did with barely a look. A second issue goes to the integrity of the paint. If the gouge is deep enough to see the metal of the hood, I am concerned about rust and further deterioration without the protection of paint and clear coat. Lastly, I truly wonder if any of the staff or sales team at Community Honda Lafayette would have taken my car in that condition when it was labeled as brand new. It appears that they just wanted me to suck it up and be satisfied with a mediocre, substandard touch up that is not equivalent to fixing it as it should be. There is no consistency with the paint in those spots, and it just does not look new.
When initially discussing payments and pricing for the car, I was told that Honda could not give me an estimate as that is a Honda policy to not provide that information. So, I basically could not get an estimate in writing to research and look over in order to make a fairly important decision. I had to take and accept their word, which did not suffice or hold either. As I left that day, the sales staff essentially promised/strongly suggested the following: I would be at or near my goal of a $300.00 note, my truck would get 4,000 to 4,500 for the trade, I would possibly not have to put any money down, and I would have a 60-month term at 1.9%. Everything stated above was not maintained when the written paperwork was presented to me. The note was substantially higher, the truck trade amounted to 3,000, and my term was 72-months at 2.9%. I don’t understand why that was presented, as I had firmly stated where I wanted to be with regard to a monthly note. I will not be making that mistake again. The sales staff and financial personnel just finagled the numbers to get to that $300.00 and adjusted everything else in a manner that negatively impacted me and positively benefited them. I literally had to fight and struggle and make repeated stances about the 300.00 per month in order to secure that amount. That should not have to be done when buying a car. It appeared that the sales staff just wanted me to be okay and accept what they first offered. My concerns and opinions and stance on my monthly amount seemed to be “heard” but not necessarily valued or considered as priority.
Lastly, multiple individuals informed me that I had to rate my experience and salesperson with a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 or he would fail the evaluation. The fact that this occurred while I was trying to make a major decision and buy a car was very distasteful.
I also experienced a blow out on one of my tires at 1,400 miles. When I called and asked about what would be done, it was intimated that I would have to pay for it given I had not purchased the tire hazard warranty. However, Honda’s warranty book indicates that the manufacturer of the tire would replace it if the tire was deemed defective. Well, this occurred, but the service manager initially told me that I would have to call Goodyear and take care of it. I told him the book indicated the dealership calls the tire manufacturer, which he then agreed to take care of. There was also some haggling over how much I would have to pay for the tire, which was ultimately resolved. Just something else that was not an easy experience to rectify.
Based on the above information and overall experience, I would not recommend Community Honda Lafayette to any individual in the market for a new vehicle. I also attempted to reach out to my salesperson and have not heard from him in over two weeks. I left two separate email messages on the website at Community Honda Lafayette expressing my concerns. The site indicates that an individual will be in touch, but I have yet to be contacted regarding my experience. I fully expect that this will not result in any resolution for me or for anything to change drastically with the manner in which the sales process proceeds henceforth at Community Honda Lafayette. It is ultimately a business, and the customer is a means to an end. The surface, jovial nature of the sales team works to a point, but that only goes so far in my book. I feel that they did not prove themselves in following up or addressing any of my concerns. I also feel that they disregarded what I saw as unacceptable for a “BRAND NEW” car. It seems they ultimately wrote me off and suggested with their comments and behavior that I should just be good with it and was likely blowing things out of proportion. That doesn’t work for me especially since the car was supposed to be “NEW.” I have a very bad taste in my mouth and DO NOT want to work with or return to this place of business for anything. I will likely take my car to other Honda dealerships for maintenance and any other issues.