Honda screws the disabled – fighting back

    • Anonymous
      September 5, 2008 at 8:09 pm

      We just sent this to John Stossel at ABC news
      [QUOTE]Dear Mr. Stossel, ABC News

      [B]People with Disabilities BEWARE of Honda’s Reimbursement Offer![/B]

      This didn’t just happen to us. According to the “disaboom” forum for people with disabilities, this is happening all around the country. You can go there yourself [COLOR=”Navy”]([url][/url]) [/COLOR]

      Every story is a little different. This is ours:

      We live in Colorado. We had been stuck at home for months because we had no way to transport my husband’s power chair and he is not mobile without it. We needed a wheelchair accessible vehicle quickly.

      Remember, we couldn’t just get out and go find someone to sell us a car. We had no way of getting around. So, we went online.

      There were people selling big, gas-guzzling vans. Then we found Art Moehn Honda and Freedom Motors – both in Michigan where our daughter lives. We researched and learned about Honda’s reimbursement plan. We read it carefully. We wanted to be sure to follow all of the guidelines necessary to qualify for the reimbursement because the cost of the vehicle was putting us in the poor house. Our daughter checked out the dealer and the vehicle modification place. She saw the Honda and she liked what she saw.

      So, we bought our Honda Element. When it came time to pay, both the Moehn Honda dealer and Freedom Motors in Battle Creek agreed we could have my son send one single wire transfer for the full amount to Freedom Motors. Freedom Motors agreed to act as our agents and passed on the portion for the Honda to the Moehn dealership.

      We gathered all of our required documents, completed Honda’s application for reimbursement and sent everything in to Honda by the end of May. After that, everything headed south.

      We went back and forth for months with Honda about the reimbursement. After many phone calls, emails, and letters, today we finally received a call from the supervisor of our “case manager.”

      She explained that one of the requirements for reimbursement and printed on the application is this:

      the vehicle must be new and purchased from an authorized Honda dealer.

      No problem! I’m thinking.

      I have a sales receipt from Art Moen Honda showing that we purchased the vehicle from them. I have verbal confirmation from our salesperson at the dealership that we purchased the vehicle from them, and the dealership sent me the Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin given to first owners of a vehicle so that they can have the vehicle titled for the first time.

      No, she says, you bought the vehicle from Freedom Motors.

      How did I do that, I ask, if Freedom Motors never, ever owned the Honda? Did I buy a stolen vehicle and is Moehn Honda liable for filing false documents and for issuing false receipts?

      We are the first and only owners of the vehicle according to all of the legal documents in my possession.

      I don’t understand your logic! I respond in deep frustration.

      It says on the application that you must purchase the vehicle from an authorized Honda dealer, she repeats.

      I did, I claim. We are going in circles.

      Just send me your decision in writing please. It seems like we are getting nowhere with this conversation.

      We are not litigious people but this is the worst. False advertising is bad enough, but sucking in people who have enough to deal with in their lives because of a disability – that is beyond belief.

      Here in Colorado, businesses that use deceptive practices on those with disabilities must pay 3 times the amount lost. I’m so angry.

      So, if you are disabled and thinking about purchasing one of those Honda Elements for modification and if you are certain you will do everything necessary to qualify for their reimbursement program, WATCH OUT. They seem to have their own private little way of defining the world and their own private take on what constitutes a legal sales transaction.

    • September 5, 2008 at 8:41 pm

      Sorry for your problems. Maybe you could try your local paper too. I know the Tribune also has a section in it on Sunday’s where they help people to get their problem solved. At this point, I might even contact Sarah Palin, I bet they would love a story like this, she said she wants to help special needs people. Good luck.
      Dawn Kevies mom

    • Anonymous
      September 5, 2008 at 9:52 pm

      Norb-your daughter may have given you the names already, but Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow are our Michigan Senators. Go after Honda….but here is Debbie’s address: Debbie Stabenow – Michigan
      Washington, DC 20510-2204

      You will get a written answer from her. Good luck Norb……Emma

    • Anonymous
      September 5, 2008 at 10:08 pm

      Norb, You Go Man!!!:) I’m soo sorry you and Carol have to deal with something like this! Please let us know how it comes out. I would contact the senators of Michigan like Emma suggested. I know my reps here in Ohio would go after a problem like that also. Wishing you both all the luck in the world, and a speedy end to that mess. Take Care.

    • Anonymous
      September 5, 2008 at 10:26 pm

      Norb, I also am so sorry that you have had to face this problem, but don’t give up the fight for them to honor this. I think you need to keep going up the ladder above the supervisor of the case manager.
      I would also suggest that you include as part of the letter that you have provided lots of very positive feedback about the Honda Element to all the people on this site. I know that I got joy from seeing how excited you were about the Element and that you put a demonstration of getting into it as part of your signature–obviously both a statement of how proud you were of having an adoptable vehicle and that you are able to get out and about and do more in life. If Honda has sense, they should realize that these are extremely positive for them. Lots of people are getting scooters for reasons of disability and aging. I for one, cannot use mine very much outside of work because I have to lift it into my car (a Honda) and this illness has made me rather weak. How much better it would be to be more mobile!

      In your list of people to send your protest letter to, consider also AARP.
      WithHope for a cure of these diseases and better understanding of how important it is to “LIVE” life despite them.

    • Anonymous
      September 5, 2008 at 11:15 pm

      I love the letter Norb Good Luck.

      I have been trying to get my own disable parking spot at work for 10 months and I still didn’t get one even after getting City Hall involved.


    • Anonymous
      September 6, 2008 at 7:41 am

      Wow Norb! What a horrible thing to have to go through. It makes me mad hearing what you are dealing with. You know! There is no such thing as human compassion anymore when it comes to money and business. I think some of these companies will rob Peter to Pay Paul and won’t even bat an eye when it comes to human compassion. I hope you win the battle and get things straightened out. What a terrible thing to have to go through! Cyber Hugs heading your way!

    • Anonymous
      September 6, 2008 at 9:05 am

      Norb, I have to agree with everyone. And as WithHope says, I too just purchased a mobility scooter but can’t go out with it unless someone goes with me. So even so I am independent with the scooter, I have to spend another thousand dollars for a lift, etc. I love your little car and it is on my “to buy” list if I ever get to that point. If you are first titled, I would fight this to the end and contact whatever media you can. I don’t believe Honda would like that kind of publicity….good luck! Gabrielle

    • Anonymous
      September 6, 2008 at 10:42 am

      I had a similar, though much less costly, experience with Toyota. I bought a new Avalon and was told Toyota would reimburse me the cost of having my lift moved from the back of my old car to my new one. I paid to have the work done, dutifully got all the required paperwork completed and mailed it to Toyota. I got a notice back that they would not reimburse me because the car was not rated for the size hitch required for the lift! Rather than get my blood pressure up, I just dropped the whole thing. I hope you will keep fighting. I get really disgusted at how everyone seems to want to take advantage of the handicapped. It seems everything we must buy is incredibly overpriced! Good luck.

    • Anonymous
      September 6, 2008 at 11:41 am

      Hi Norb-
      This is horrible! I can’t believe they did that to you!
      Since your daughter lives in MI maybe she could call the local news stations,like the ones in the Metro Detriot area. They are really good at putting pressure on the people/companies who do these kinds of things to people. There is one reporter on WXYZ7(the local abc affiliate) who has done a great deal with uncovering all the scandals of the Det Mayor. And he also has done investigations dealing with companies/corporations. I will post the link of his bio and maybe he could help you and everyone else who is affected by this!

      Hope this helps.

    • Anonymous
      September 6, 2008 at 12:17 pm

      thank you all for your support, it feels good to have a family like this one with people who care.
      To clear up a misunderstanding: we are not dealing with Honda in Michigan but with Honda Corporate in California. this whole issue goes beyond states.

      WithHope, we took your suggestion and posted it with AARP also in addition to the Element Owners Club forum. we may not win in the end but at least we know that we’ve put out a warning to others who might consider getting a Honda and convert it – and that we did not just roll over.

    • Anonymous
      September 6, 2008 at 1:41 pm

      Norb-agree with Jessica on something I forgot about till she mentioned it-Grand Rapids has a target investigator that looks into complaints like yours and interviews you and they do the digging and get answers and resolutions. Does Denver or a closer station to you have anything like that? Even though Calif. is the target, maybe you could start local, and the national networks would pick that story up and broadcast it? Go get em!!!!!! Is John at ABC news that you wrote your story to local or national? We could take some signs and picket Washinton-George needs a good story to bring his ratings up……

    • Anonymous
      September 6, 2008 at 3:14 pm

      Norb, I have spent many years supporting people affected by disabilities and have witnessed first hand a lot of the injustices they encounter. Do not give up this fight. You appear to be entitled to the rebate. Go for it! Take on the Honda giant! Good Luck.

    • Anonymous
      September 6, 2008 at 11:10 pm


      Forward your problem to all news groups on the internet!

      You can forward to many TV, radio and newspapers right from your home!

      Don’t give up, keep fighting!

      Rhonda from Canada

    • Anonymous
      September 7, 2008 at 12:00 am

      Norb, thanks for the warning. I was planning to purchase a Honda Fit. After what happened to you I taking my business someplace else.

      Feel free to forward this on to Honda.

    • Anonymous
      September 7, 2008 at 5:44 am

      I won’t buy a Honda either! So they have two people now that won’t do business with them! Hugs

    • Anonymous
      September 7, 2008 at 12:30 pm

      What is going on with comsumer protection? This is at best terrible.

    • Anonymous
      September 7, 2008 at 6:15 pm

      You are right in contacting the news media. They are a powerful tool. We had a situation through GM. We bought a new dodge ram pickup truck and the salesman told us there would be a $1000 rebate toward special disability equipment. Well they reimbursed us and the sales man had made a mistake the rebate was for $750 not $1000 like we were originally told. We did get the $750 check but we had a form we had to fill out. We had to get a note from our dr. stating that my husband is disabled and of course the receipt. I think the receipt should have been all we had to show. A non disabled person is not going to put a lift on their vehicle. We were just a little dissapointed when the rebate was smaller than what we were told. $250 can go a long way toward something else he may have needed. I thought it was a little silly that we had to get our Dr. involved just to get a little check. Sometimes I think car salesman tell you what you want to hear to get your business.

    • Anonymous
      September 7, 2008 at 6:27 pm

      [QUOTE=Dawn Kevies mom]Norb,
      Sorry for your problems. Maybe you could try your local paper too. I know the Tribune also has a section in it on Sunday’s where they help people to get their problem solved. At this point, I might even contact Sarah Palin, I bet they would love a story like this, she said she wants to help special needs people. Good luck.
      Dawn Kevies mom[/QUOTE]
      I agree in her speech the other night Sarah said she is here to fight for special needs. I believe her. She is a go getter from what I can tell.

    • Anonymous
      September 7, 2008 at 10:16 pm

      Hi Norb: Another thought for local support-you might try calling Tom Martino on his trouble shooter show because he sometimes knows things you might try when dealing with this big corporations. In any case, I think its great you are fighting this rotten deal and the attitudes behind it. Good luck and hope to see you next month at the support group. Jeff

    • Anonymous
      September 8, 2008 at 3:41 am

      Hey Norb? Have you contacted the American Disibilities Act. I really think they need to reform some things for the disabled. I just love seeing places that are handicap accessible and yet they make you park your car at the end of the parking lot farthest away from the front entrance. And then making a door that you have to pull out instead of in! I don’t know? Sometimes I wonder! I really wonder! Hugs:confused:

    • Anonymous
      September 8, 2008 at 6:01 pm

      Linda, we just wrote a letter to the Honda VP Public Relations requesting proof that our car was owned by Freedom Motors they have been claiming we bought it from. We also told him that we would be contacting the ADA office if we don’t hear from him within 30 days.

      Jeff, who is Tom Martino and what channel? Yes, of course I’m planning to be in Denver for the next GBS/CIDP regional meeting beginning of October. See you then.

    • Anonymous
      September 8, 2008 at 8:20 pm


      I am sorry to hear about this crap, I swear they think those of us with disablilities will just give up. Little do they know the persistant bunch that we are. I know you said it’s a corporate Honda issue, but since it involved Michigan also let me know if I can be of assistance. I enjoy helping.


    • Anonymous
      September 10, 2008 at 11:41 pm

      Hi Norb: Tom Martino does a trouble solving show in which he gives legal and other advise, or calls offenders on the phone to confront them, etc. He is on KHOW from 9-11 every week day. He seems to help a lot of people, especially underdogs. See you in October, Jeff