I’ve owned a 2001 Honda Odyssey minivan for about eight years now. Recently the transmission has been kicking when you accelerate and yesterday I went up to Honesdale, PA to visit my son at camp when the check engine light turned on just inside the Pennsylvania state line. I nursed the minivan up to Honesdale and back not knowing what exactly the problem was. I took it to my mechanic this morning and he quickly checked. Turned out the code is P0740 – Torque Converter Control Solenoid. He suggested that I contact Honda and find out, based on the vehicle ID (the VIN) number as to whether it’s under a recall that was announced back in 2002 for the Odyssey minivan. I went onto Honda’s website and logged into the Owner Link and checked. To my delight, it appears that my minivan is covered.

Immediately I called Sport Honda here in Silver Spring and spoke to a service representative. He told me that the extended warranty that Honda issued under that recall (which, by the way, they never notified me about in the past seven years even though I had taken it to them several times for service) was only valid for 7 years and 9 months past the date of purchase. The original owner of the vehicle bought it in October of 2000 (I bought it from them in May of 2001) and that would make the warranty valid until June of 2008 (about the time that this problem started). I was stunned. I had thought that I was going to be able to get this problem solved under this recall warranty only to be told “sorry – your warranty expired a little over a year ago). I had no idea that my vehicle was covered under this warranty nor had I even known about this issue until just now. In fact, Honda never bothered to contact me (although I don’t know if they contacted the original owner who didn’t forward me the information). As it stands the cost of the transmission could well be around $3000 to repair.

As it now appears that I need a new mini-van I am exploring other options. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to be able to get a new minivan under the “cash for clunkers” program. But one thing’s for sure, this has certainly soured me on Honda’s business practices and it has certainly convinced me that I am not getting another Honda ever again. I’ve been happy with my Toyota Prius and I will be looking into getting another Toyota soon.