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Jim Salemi ASKED THE GUIDE

Honda Jazz pungy smell

I purchased a brand new Honda Jazz in 2005 with a 5-year warranty. In 2007, after being left parked in the sun all day while she was at the beach she noticed a pungent smell in the car. Thinking it was her sweaty friends she didn't mention it to anyone until months later when she told me. I checked it a number of times, but couldn't find a cause. I didn't report it to the dealer because they weren't very helpful when I had previously reported a problem on my own Honda. I eventually did report the problem, but by this time the car had done 90,000 km and the warranty had expired. I was told to get the car cleaned, and he would then investigate it, but it would cost me $2000. When they did investigate it they found the insulation material under the dash had been soaked in some foreign substance, which they claimed was caused by a spilled drink. There was no evidence that a drink had been spilled, I believe it happened on the assembly line. They replaced the material and charged me $1050. I have asked them for a refund of the money, but neither the dealer nor Honda is prepared to come to the party. I have had the offending material tested by a chemical lab and they have told me it is unusual for material of this age to smell the way it does. What do you think?

Leaving it so long before reporting it was a mistake. Always report a problem to the dealer, so that it is on record should they take no action and the problem develops into something even worse. I don't really think you've got a strong claim in this case; I'd cop the whack and put it down to experience.

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