I work at a dealership, always have. I’ve worked in service departments, though that’s not my position currently. According to my resume I once ran a service department, though probably not very well. If anyone has sympathy for the dealer, it’s me.

I currently work at a GM dealer, so I have some experience with massive recall procedures. When the ignition recall came out, we hired on personnel specifically for that purpose. We got dozens of calls per day from genuinely frightened folks concerned that their car might up and kill them. You take that call.

When I got the notice from Honda that my 2001 Civic had an airbag recall, I was hardly surprised. I follow car news, I know the deal. This is only a car that I bought to flip, so I’m not that concerned, but figure it will sell easier if the recall is done, so I dutifully call my local dealer, as instructed in the letter.

“Honda dealership, how may I direct your call?”

Honda service, please.

“Uh, what is the nature of the call?”

I have a recall that I need to get scheduled in.

“Oh, uh...ok. What I have to do in that case is send you to Patsy’s voicemail. Just leave her a message with your concern.”


So I get Patsy’s voicemail, and it states to leave her a message with my information and to “PLEASE REFRAIN FROM LEAVING MULTIPLE MESSAGES.” In other words, she’s telling me upfront that she’s going to ignore my call for so long that I will feel the need to call again. And when I feel that need, because I have realized that nothing is happening, I’m to remember NOT to call and bother Patsy again. Really?!

Now I’m not upset, I’m equipped to deal with this and can keep it all in perspective. But from a PR standpoint this is terrible. My Honda dealer will not even take my call about a deadly airbag recall on my car! If this was a car that my child was driving, or was my wife’s daily commuter, I would at least want to speak to someone who could reassure me that parts are on the way or they’re doing the best they can, or whatever. But THEY WILL NOT EVEN TAKE MY CALL.

Shame on them.