Overall Satisfaction Rating
2.86/5
  • 5 stars
    10
  • 4 stars
    2
  • 3 stars
    0
  • 2 stars
    6
  • 1 star
    10
Based on 28 reviews that contain star ratings
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Honda Element

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Last updated: Aug. 20, 2017

50 Honda Element Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 20, 2017

I loved my Honda Element! I had a Honda Element 2004 before I sadly rolled it three times this last winter during freezing Rain here in Minnesota. But don't think for a minute that what I'm saying is it bad for winter driving. No the element drives great in the winter. I only rolled due to the fact that I couldn't afford new tires at the time and mine on the element were bald as hell. Although it was totaled and after being upside down in the ditch for an hour. This bad boy still fired right up.

I recently purchased a Honda Element 2003 about a week ago with a bad piston because somebody before me decided they didn't need to ever change the oil and then wondered why it broke??? I bought it off of him for $500 and just finished pull the engine out of my 2004 element to switch over to my new one. I was in shock when I started the engine up on the totaled element 6-7 months after the accident and it ran beautifully aside from the smoke due to it burning the oil that ran to the top of the engine.

The smoke cleared and the engine runs great. Even drove it onto a trailer and into the garage at my new place. I cannot say how impressed I am with how much these engine can handle. The only thing I had to replace was the starter and o well the element was at 150,000 miles. Things are gonna need to get fixed eventually. I would recommend a Element to anyone. Good job Honda! O did I mention that there is awesome leg room in this bad boy and you can lay down the seats into a queen size bed?

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 27, 2017

I own a 2005 Honda Element EX with 187,000 miles on it and it will not die. It's the most practical vehicle I've ever owned for a variety of reasons. I have tested the MPG on various occasions and I am getting 25 MPG combined city/highway. I don't know why I am getting on the high end of the scale, but maybe it's because I have a feather foot. Nevertheless, for a 4WD SUV it's not bad with the exception of the gutless engine. I wish it had a bit more power. With the plastic floors and rubber mats I am now a firm believer that cars should never have carpet. It's the easiest vehicle to clean. You can literally wipe your floors spotless. No stains. The fabric for the seats could have been more durable. I think everyone has had the same problem on the drivers side seat where it is torn from getting in and out of the vehicle.

I love the range of view I have while I am driving. The boxy shape makes the windows nice and flat to see out of, although it does create a bit of wind noise because it lacks in aerodynamics. Also, the more upright windshield is susceptible to rock chip damage. I'm one of the lucky ones who has never had to replace a windshield. All of the seats go down flat and you can make a decent bed on long road trips if necessary. The rear seats fold up against the walls of the element making enough room to put three bikes upright in the back of the element, four if you remove the seats out of the car completely, which is quite easy. It's just a latch and carry them out.

The cargo room in the back of the element rivals a small truck. It's really brilliant. The doors on the element are both a pro and con. They are great from loading cargo, but they are horrible for loading passengers. It's quite the dance between rear seat and front seat passengers when entering and exiting the vehicle in parking lots. Also, the windows do not roll down in the rear. They are the old style latches that pop out that you'll find on minivans. I think that's why they added the moon roof in the back. It helps passengers feel like they are in a nice open space. Also, the legroom in the back is incredibly generous. You really can stretch out your legs back there.

The rear hatch to the element is really nice because it has a tailgate, just like a truck. You can use it to sit on or cook on if you are tailgating or camping. The built in roof rack bolts were a great idea, but they should have been made out of better material. The front brackets to mine were busted off from the previous owner, so my brother and I welded on our own custom brackets, which are much better than the original. I built my own custom roof rack to bolt on. It's nice because you have the ability to customize a roof rack to fit your needs. I installed a tow package and even did the wiring in about 30 minutes.

I've made one repair on my Element since I've owned it. I replaced the rear right upper control arm myself for $12. I do all the maintenance myself, including changing the oil in the rear differential every 20-30,000 miles. It's a very easy car to work on. I probably should have changed the shocks back at 120,000 miles, but at this point I'm just going to drive the car until it dies... if it ever does. Also, check out my parallel parking picture below. This thing has a turning radius that is unbelievable. I promise you I got it into that spot without touching any of the cars.

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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: May 11, 2017

    I just had an awful experience with my Honda Element 2006. As I was driving home, I experienced smoke inside the car. I was at the end of my street, so made it to my driveway. When I opened the passenger's side back door, I could see the fire in the wall, next to the back seat and in front of the wheel well. All I could do was pour water in there with the garden hose. Large hole in the wall, plastic cover melted, passenger seat partially burnt. Smelled like wire burning. I was very lucky to get out of the car. Luckily I had just dropped my 10-year old granddaughter off to her mother. I am so upset, as I love this car. Best car I've ever had. I keep up the maintenance and care of the car. I am waiting for the insurance adjuster today. So no repair number at this time. Will keep in touch.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: May 6, 2017

    2005 Honda Element EX: I will never buy another Honda vehicle in my life. Driver and passenger vehicle windows broke years ago like every other Honda Element. The key locks won't turn. The AC motor broke twice. The driver side seat is badly torn. Honda has no pride.

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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: March 15, 2017

    I love my Element❤❤. It is a 2006 and these are the repairs I have had done. Windows automatic... first driver's side and then much later passenger side. Brakes have been redone, normal maintenance maintained, have driven it constantly for 170,000 miles. It has great headroom???

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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Feb. 15, 2017

    The Element LX is the ugly duckling in the family. We bought it new in 2008 and we now have 52,000 miles on it. Ugly is almost the only negative we have for it. The low gas mileage threw us a curve. We have a 2000 Chevy suburban, V8 that gets 20 mpg, so it blows our mind that our 4 cylinder Honda also averages 20 mpg. We did have a window regulator go out in 2016, but that is it for parts and repair issues. We keep it clean and serviced. It is a fun car to drive, easy to handle roomy, perfect for camping, easy to keep clean. It is solid and we often refer to it as our little tank.

    Original review: Oct. 25, 2016

    I truly loved my Honda Element 2003. I still own it to date with 83,000 miles. I have to be honest and will never purchase another one. I have replaced the starter 3 times, the struts 3 times, the key locks about 3 times, they are currently not working again and can't afford to replace. I have electrical issues, not sure why, radiator went, replaced that, the ball joints twice, cd player stopped working after 6 years and now I have to replace the control arms and muffler. I do get oil changes scheduled. Don't understand why this vehicle has so many problems. I loved the design and I love my element, but I honestly would not buy another. I have only 83k miles and I don't use the vehicle often.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Dec. 10, 2015

    Replaced the catalytic converter twice because it stolen 500 deductible second time. Not so lucky, 800 dollars third time. Husband took to guy for 300, just straight pipe, passenger side window, regulator broke 2 times but during replacement handle broke. So now have to let people out, real pain. Everything breaks easy.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Oct. 26, 2015

    I had brought in my 2010 Honda Element to three different Honda dealers to fix the 12v accessory power plug since no matter what I plugged into it, the item was very very loose and would many times lose connection and just about fall out on its own. Obviously it is not functioning as it should. The worst place I brought it to was Honda of Kenosha, they were the rudest people I've ever dealt with. Not only were they being very sexist and whistling at me calling me "baby", but they said the power plug is working "fine" and they cannot fix it since it's working fine. I even showed them the issue and then they made excuses how it must be my fault, etc. They refused to fix the issue and were the biggest jerks known to man. I even reported them to Honda corporate who didn't care (official letter to upper management). I will NEVER buy another Honda EVER again.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: June 23, 2015

    Honda Civic constantly overheats after driving on interstate for over 30 minutes, then get off. It's fine in stop and go traffic. Fine on highway. Only when I get off highway. Looked online & MANY, MANY Hondas with same problem!!! No one has an answer. :( Called Honda service, and guy sounded like dumb **. I had more brains than he did when I was in high school!! Last time I buy a Honda.

    Original review: May 19, 2015

    I bought a 2003 (yes, old) Honda Element a month ago. The passenger window regulator (motor) suddenly broke. So I went to AutoZone and bought a new one (lifetime warranty from AutoZone). Took about 1 hour and it is as good a new! I really like the interior and exterior design of this car. I wish it got better MPG, but oh well. I have been getting other parts (like the plastic piece I broke when removing the window $12, and a new tailgate weatherstripping $15) from a local Honda dealer. It's amazing that I can get the parts from a dealer for less than I can buy them online!!!

    Anyway, the window regulator is a common problem, but a fairly easy fix. Youtube has instructions on how to replace it, so it is VERY easy. I am very familiar with Hondas (I have had a 94 Civic EX and currently a 98 Civic EX). I have driven them for a long time and would recommend any of the older ones to friends. I'm not as familiar with the newer ones because the older ones last forever. And they are very easy to work on. Thank you Honda!!!

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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: April 23, 2015

    I have been so thankful & proud being an owner of this Honda Element 2008. This is my second Element. It has been reliable. Great on gas mileage. All I do - keep it's maintenance current. Only recently, the Catalytic converter was stolen. Resilient.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: April 3, 2015

    Purchased my 2003 Honda Element in December of 2012. LOVED the car, put over 260,000 miles on it. Got rear ended on the hwy and totaled my car. Best car I ever owned and want to find another.

    Original review: March 14, 2015

    I love my 2003 Honda Element. Truly it has its small things here and there but tonight for the first time it left me sitting on side off the road and I don't know what happened. First it acted like it didn't want to start but then it did then the radio went crazy and stopped working a few mins. After that all the gadgets went crazy and it acted like it was losing power? I thought it was the battery but we tried to jump it off and it still won't start back but the radio came back on. I had to leave my baby on the side of the road tonight and I don't know what's wrong with it! Any ideas? What could it be?

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Feb. 6, 2015

    I bought my 2006 Honda Element with just 3 miles on it. Now it has 144K. I LOVE this car. I pull an aluminum trailer every year when I go camping. Throw in a couple of kayaks. I do have the roof rack, but I just move the seats and there you go. I love the floors, easy clean up. I just wish they would make them again. I want a new one. Exactly the same as mine, just newer. The seats are ripping on the driver side, which I have never experienced with any other car. Is it a big deal, just aesthetically. I can cover with a seat cover, eventually. Oh I forgot, the lights for the shifter and wheel went out a long time ago. It is so expensive to get them fix that i just don't bother. They really should fix that.

    Original review: Jan. 20, 2015

    I own a 2005 Honda Element. I bought this car a year ago from a private seller with 93k miles. It is a great car, very strong and roomy. I had no issues with this vehicle, good maintenance and the car will run for a long time. I am sorry about every complaint I read here, but my experience has been the best with Honda and Toyota.

    Original review: Dec. 2, 2014

    Great car. 70k miles. Reliable. Dependable. Does everything I need it do with excellence. 2007 ex, purchased new. HOWEVER, worst brakes ever fitted to an automobile in the history of man. I am in the shop waiting room as i write this, getting, you guessed it...brakes. Third set of front rotors. Second set of front calipers. Fourth set of rear pads. Possibly rear rotor replacements. I have a manual gearbox and do a lot of engine braking. All brakes "should" last a long time. Instead, the element has brake components apparently made of cheese. I've spent a fortune them. Please find the man or women who designed this braking system and throw them out of automotive design forever.

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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: June 20, 2014

    Bought car New from dealer and did not know the air condition was put in after factory. Never do that again, I think they put it in wrong or put in with after market parts. Had it in about 6 times for different parts they claimed it needed. Also until this day, the cable is broken and will not pay $700 to fix. I use my finger to switch over to Air and Heat. Also would never buy 4-Wheel Drive again, went through a lot of tires. Rough drive, a lot of noise in front. Went though many batteries too in 11 years. I guess Honda gets away with a lot of recalls.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: May 28, 2014

    Plenty of issues. My 2006 has 70145 miles during first year the fabric on seats on passenger side was falling apart. They put a new cover that's when they were nice. Now 2014, my window regulator on right side dropped really, looked it up on web they have so many complaints about this defect. They are playing dumb which makes me angry and the so called seats are cracking and ripping,,, It's crazy the battery went bad after 2 years, 3 major things and this is suppose to be a tough car? Put bikes and camp and surf boards. I HAVE NOT TREATED MY CAR TO THAT AMOUNT OF FUN... I WILL NEVER BUY A HONDA AGAIN EVER. Money grabbers customer service are infinite in ignorance. I could do that job what? Huh? I don't know...

    Original review: Feb. 11, 2014

    Purchased a used 2008 Element from a Honda dealer, bought over the internet, car sold with warranty, thought I was doing the right thing by buying a Honda from a Honda dealer. What a mistake. Picked up Element, after two days noticed some rough driving, brought it into local Honda dealer to find out the front shocks were shot and the suspension had been modified. Called dealer/seller, they blew me off. Complained to Honda Customer care several times to no avail. DO NOT TRUST HONDA DEALERS FOR USED HONDA cars/SUVs. The safety inspection that the dealer did was incomplete. They did not fill out the documentation required in system, they missed out on some things and intentionally hid other issues. Worse is the owner of the local dealership who had car on the lot for 90+ days knew the prior owners of the car and knew history. Honda DEALERS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE PROFESSIONALS yet are anything but.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Oct. 21, 2013

    I've read a lot of reviews on here regarding the Honda Element. Across the board, I have found that almost every single negative review is pretty ridiculous. I firmly believe that when people buy a Honda, they expect to not have any repairs or problems. This is very much inaccurate information. Of course, it's going to require repairs at some point. One individual complained about having to do compliance bushings with 196,000 miles!!! Really? How miserable is your life if you get online to complain about ANY repair with 196,000 miles.

    I have owned three Elements. First was a 2005, then a 2008 and now a 2007. All of them are EX models with AWD. I myself replaced the compliance bushings on my current 2007 Element just this past summer. It's a wear and tear item. No big deal, it needed to be done. Sure it's no fun paying for vehicle repairs. I'd like to see anyone buy a car that won't need repairs. The Element is a fantastic vehicle. It's incredible in the snow and rain, acceleration is good and the ride is EXACTLY WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT from a truck. Too many whiners on here writing reviews, definitely not enough fair-minded consumers.

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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Aug. 10, 2013

    I took my 2003 Honda Element to Jay Wolfe Honda today because I have been hearing popping noises when I turned. They told me it was the compliance Bushings and the sway bars were loose. For the repairs it is going to cost me $475 for the bushings and additional $243 for the sway bars to be fixed, then another $99 for the front wheel alignment to be done. I came home and looked online for a cheaper place and I found that this is a common problem with these cars.

    Why isn’t this a recall???...We pay so much for a car then it costs another $ 1000.00 to get this issue resolved. This is ridiculous...I don’t think I will be buying a Honda again...I loved my car at one time...I am happy with the performance of the car...I have 196,000 miles on it...The engine is still running great...I got it used, so I only paid $6500 for it...and it never lets me down in the winter months...starts right up and goes after just a minute or two...but the suspension sucks...

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    Original review: July 30, 2012

    Honda customer care reeks! First, the passenger door wouldn't turn when I put in the key. Now I'm stranded with no car in the mountains since the ignition will not accept any of the keys (3). I looked online, sure enough, others have also been stranded with no means of moving the car. I can't even have it strap towed to my local mechanic because it's nosed in at my home and locked into gear. My closest dealer is in Flagstaff, AZ, over 2 hours away ($600 tow). I have to get to work, but now have a two ton paperweight sitting outside my apartment 7 miles from work. So I called Honda, described in detail what the car was doing and the guy told me the dealer could help me (just to get me off the damn phone).

    When I called the dealer, he said the issue I was describing ($725) was not covered under the ignition recall, but was a separate issue, that there is no overlap in the two ignition repairs. What a load of crap! So I called back Honda. The new person told me to ask for the technician to contact their regional Honda rep to ask if a portion of the repair could be covered as a warranty repair, but I could not talk to that person myself. I have to rely on the technician to convince the Honda representative to cover my car. I have to beg Honda to do what they should be volunteering to do because they know this is a problem. This is exactly two weeks after spending my hard earned dollars on replacing a starter (which by the way is also an issue for numerous 2003 Honda Element owners). I am extremely angry.

    So now, I have the cost of a tow and a new ignition to be installed, which I cannot afford. This was my first Honda. I am never ever purchasing a Honda again and will tell every single person I know about the treatment I received from Honda. How dare they push me off on a dealer and take no responsibility when clearly, this is a known issue! Can anyone say class action lawsuit?

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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: June 6, 2012

    I have had 5 window regulators break in my 2006 Honda Element. I am told that it is no longer under warranty so it is not their issue. The first regulator went out on the passenger’s side 2 months after the warranty was out. The driver’s side regulator went out 8 months later. The dealership replaced both at no cost to me and let me know they were Honda parts and would be fine. Eight months later, the passenger regulator went out and they refused to help me and wanted to charge me over $400.00 to replace a part they put in.

    I went to an auto repair shop and they ordered the part from Honda and installed for $180.00. Six months later, the driver’s side regulator went out and again Honda dealership refused to help and wanted again to charge over $400.00 to fix. I again took it to the auto repair shop and they ordered the part from Honda and installed for $180.00. One year later, the passenger regulator went out again. This is the fifth window regulator and so I went to the dealership again. The service manager told me I have bad luck and again wanted over $400.00 to repair. I continued to complain that this had nothing to do with luck or a warranty, and they finally did the repairs and charged me for service only.

    I fully understand warranties and understand that the warranty is out on my 2006 Element. But this is a problem with a part that you can only buy from Honda that does not appear to work. I think Honda should take responsibility for a faulty part and replace when it breaks at no cost to the owner. I love my Element and would purchase a new one if they made them. But this is putting a very sour note in my mouth toward Honda. And I am not sure if I will buy a Honda again when the time comes that I need to replace my Element.

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    Original review: Oct. 13, 2011

    The Honda Corp showed absolute disdain for the rights of their customer and total lack of willingness to stand behind their product in my recent dealing with the company.

    The speedometer needle fell off my 2007 Honda while I was driving. I have never seen this happen in all my years of driving and could find no one else who had experienced this, so I assumed it was rare. I went to the Honda chat sites and found that this has happened often with the 2007 Element. (Often enough that they had provided a fix which ended in Dec. 2010).

    So I called Honda expecting that since this is obviously a design flaw, they would provide a fix. I was told by a customer service representative to get an estimate from the dealer. And so I did, the estimate was a total of $963.00 dollars to fix the problem. This much for a needle that has fallen off the speedometer!

    When Honda customer service called me back they said this is my problem and they will do nothing to assist. I asked to talk to a supervisor and was told that it is not possible, case closed.

    In the past I have dealt with Chevy, Hyundai and Toyota on minor issues ( which I thought this was, it's a speedometer needle falling off O.K.! ) and was treated with respect and the issues were resolved easily. This is the kind of hubris that one would expect from one of the more shadier businesses that are out there, not a company with the supposed reputation of Honda. I felt that there was lack of integrity and failure to stand behind ones work that exists at all levels.

    I will never buy another Honda product or deal with our local dealer (Zigler Honda) again. Which by the way matters little to them since they can easily write off one customer rather than stand up for their product in the way a genuinely honest business do.

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    Original review: Sept. 15, 2011

    Upon starting the ignition on my 2005 Honda Element, smoke began to emit out of the driver side door. After some electrical crackling noises, the power window master switch caught on fire and continued to smoke out the vehicle without any ability for me to open the windows. My 12-month-old daughter was also in the vehicle.

    I brought my vehicle to a nearby Honda Dealership and despite learning that a half-million other Honda vehicles, Fits and 2006 CRV, were recalled for this exact reason, Honda refuses to provide assistance or take any responsibility over the factory defect, thus, billing me over $900 for the repair.

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    Original review: Aug. 23, 2011

    I bought a brand new 2006 Honda Element from Stephen Wade Honda in St. George, Utah. Within 2 years, the battery died. It was still under warranty so they replaced it. It was a 100-month battery. The battery died again in 2011 and I took it back thinking it would at least be prorated. They charged me $80.00.

    I am extremely unhappy with this problem. I do not have confidence in Honda's ability to produce a reasonable product. I was told today by Honda's regional representative (Lauren --it was the only identification she would give me). In fact when I asked who was her supervisor, she told me that she was the one who makes these decisions for corporate. I'll just keep climbing the ladder.

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    Original review: Aug. 22, 2011

    I have a 2006 Honda Element with vinyl upholstery. The car has been well maintained but the upholstery began cracking on the driver's seat in 2009. Now the seams are split on the passenger side on the back and on the seat. Foam and wires are exposed.

    I took my car to Muller Honda twice in 2009 (or 2010) and they said that they would cover a portion of the repair. I did not pursue it further, as I did not think that I should pay for a problem that was a manufacturing defect. I took my car back to Muller Honda in August 2011 and was advised that it would cost approximately $2,300 to repair the seats.

    I have spoken with other Honda Element owners who have experienced similar problems. I called Honda America and spoke with a customer service representative about my dilemma. I asked if this was a common complaint, he stated that he didn't know.

    Having managed large customer service organizations with AT&T, I find it hard to believe that Honda does not track the types of complaints they receive.

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    Original review: Sept. 16, 2010

    This is not an actual complaint. I own a Honda 2008 Honda Element. Even with the hood down, there is easy access to the engine compartment from the ground. I recently found the neighbor's cat huddled on the engine. The situation is not amusing because if the engine is started, the animal could be injured or killed. Has Honda considered adding some form of barrier to prevent such occurrences?

    Original review: July 14, 2010

    Following is our "Honda certified" story. This spring, we purchased a used Element from the Honda dealership in Traverse City, MI. They said it was "Honda certified" and we had no reason to doubt that, but after driving it for a week, its rear brakes made an inordinate amount of noise. We also found a dash light that didn't work plus it needed a minor recall service completed, so we traveled to our local Honda dealership to get this all done. While taking care of this, the service fellow came out and said the rear brakes were completely gone and the Element shouldn't be driven in its current state. We of course had them repaired, which came to $150. The service fellow also said, "Call Honda Motors and tell them about this. These brakes should have been replaced by the dealership who sold it to you". The reason we took the Element to a different dealership was because it's a 7+ hour drive to the dealer we had purchased it from.

    To date, we're made 3 calls to Honda Motors North America in California to get this resolved. Each time among other things, they've always came around to say we need to see the Honda Certified papers which the dealership never gave to us when we purchased the Element in the first place. Honda seems to think that they did and I wonder why they don't call the dealership themselves. I say this because we apparently have no pull with the dealership in getting the papers or the $150 out of them.

    We can say this in confidence after sending them 2 emails and calling them 4 times plus speaking with different people including managers there. After speaking with this variety of people plus leaving messages, we're currently at zero responses from the dealership. Among these we've asked for the certification papers and separately asked for the $150 for the brake job. We get the run around from the dealership and from Honda Motors North America.

    I'd like to add that we love our bread box Honda Element and still glad we purchased it. It's the 6th Honda we've purchase and I'm including our lawn equipment in that. The $150 for the rear brakes was certainly not a costly repair, but it makes us wonder, what's the point of "Honda certified" if the dealership or Honda Motors won't back it up? Oh, well.

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    Honda Element Company Information

    Company Name:
    Honda
    Website:
    www.honda.com