Honda dealer sells me a City registered to someone else: Now what?

What’s also shocking is that the 3 years standard warranty from Honda for the car I bought on 3rd Feb 2023, had already started on 31st July of 2022.

BHPian SandyBITS recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I bought a new Honda City (5th Gen, VMT) on 3rd Feb 2023 from a Honda dealer in Delhi. Found out during the first service of my new Honda City that the car was registered in Honda’s records in somebody else’s name who resides in Faridabad. Their name, address, and PAN was found on the service invoice that I received. All this information was not disclosed to us by the dealership.

What’s also shocking is that the 3 years standard warranty from Honda for the car I bought on 3rd Feb 2023, had already started on 31st July of 2022. I called Honda support, and they too have confirmed the owner details to match that of the aforementioned person and July 31, 2022 as the warranty starting period. The fact that I was having trouble with logging in to the Honda Connect app on my smartphone initially using my car’s VIN number also makes sense now, as it was showing that the car is already assigned to some other user. Some technician at the dealership later had to take my details and manually feed in that on their system, following which the app worked for me. This, in normal circumstances, wouldn’t have been the case in the first place. What’s also amusing is that I also got an auto-generated email about a post-visit survey from Honda which was addressed to that person.

Another small detail that should be noted is how there was some issue within the gearbox system due to which the car was not going into reverse sometimes, and they had to replace some ‘electronic switch’ to fix that which was brought in from Honda India. Such an issue is quite surprising for a car which has barely been driven for 500 km.

Apart from that, I am also facing other issues with the car:

  • The car gives a subtle jerk which is felt by the driver, where the car feels as if the fuel is cut off for some milliseconds, when the car is around 2000 rpm on the second gear.
  • The clutch pedal is making a ‘tick’ sound every single time you press the pedal. The sound comes midway when you press the clutch, but not when its released.

It is being told to me by Courtesy Honda that the official 3 years warranty from Honda which is in effect from July 22 cannot be changed now. They are now going on about giving Extended Warranty, assurances in writing on the letterhead, and doling out reasoning of how they have to do all this to meet sales target and stuff. At one point, they even mentioned how some person in the office made a typing mistake which is a ludicrous reason to give.

It seems the Dealership has done a fraudulent deal with me, and sold me a pre-owned/pre-registered car. What should be the course of action for me now?

Here’s what BHPian richei4u had to say on the matter:

Well not to sound like the devil’s advocate here, I can say that invoicing in someone’s name without actually selling the car is an industry norm where some dealers do it just to cover monthly targets. Towards the month end , the dealership bills cars in prospective clients names who may have booked a car just by paying the small booking amount just so that they cover up their monthly target. Then the actual invoice happens in the name of the actual buyer of the car.

In your case I see a similar scenario except for a few questions:

  • Were you aware this was a July 2022 variant and offered a discount perhaps otherwise this itself is a problem and has to brought up.
  • The problems you mentioned are minor and can be solved easily and don’t think are due to the car being pre-owned.
  • Regarding the warranty, it’s their problem whether they bill the car to cover their target or not but you should be liable to receive factory warranty from the day they bill the car to you. Stick to it that you want warranty from the factory OR make sure you get compensated with extra extended warranty upto the maximum extent covering the basic warranty clauses as provided by Honda in writing from the dealer.

Here’s what BHPian Sandeep500 had to say on the matter:

It was wrong on the dealership’s part to have sold you the car which was fakely billed on someone else name without informing you. Yes it is common practice to bill the cars on fake names to meet sales targets. But the salespeople should have told you about that and given some discount in lieu of it . As mentioned in the the above post in the registration book you will be the first owner but for warranty as it was fakly billed in company’s internal system that person still stands and that have to be got changed. Ensure that you get in writing that warranty you get is from your date of purchase from dealership.

Here’s what BHPian WorkingGuru had to say on the matter:

Check your RC Card if you’re the first owner.

AFAIK They’ve probably sold you a car that was rejected by someone during pre-registration PDI after they already invoiced it to them. I’m not sure but you should check if the car is considered as 2nd owner in the Company’s system, else I’m not sure how Honda activated warranty on an unregistered car.

Since you did lose ~7-8 months warranty on what was supposed to be a brand new car, I would go so far as to say that it seems that the dealer may have defrauded you.

Here’s what BHPian comrade had to say on the matter:

Looks like case of Invoice being raised on potential buyer and they backed out at last minute for unknown reason. In such cases, invoice should have been cancelled but dealer did not for unknown reason. Raise a complaint with Honda. Dealer saying that the warranty details cannot be changed is a lazy reason. They just want to send you away for the day. Warranty details can be changed if dealer (especially CRM team) puts some effort, and reaches out to the right people in Honda to do some corrections in the relevant IT systems.

You may have a legal basis but a much easier route is to just get Honda-managed extended warranty free of cost from the dealership. This warranty can be availed at any dealer across India. I am not sure if Honda has tiers for extended warranty program but insist on getting the top-most tier that is on-par with Honda’s factory warranty. Have that extended warranty activated in Honda’s systems. I think dealer might easily accomodate this demand. It is a small price for the mistakes they have committed. If you get written promise on dealer’s letter head then that would be worthy only at that specific dealership. You never know what the future holds in those 8 months after your factory warranty expires. So don’t compromise for dealer-warranty. Insist on Honda’s extended warranty if not factory warranty.

Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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