I was driving my brand new stick-shift Honda Accord home from work and got tangled up in heavy traffic that was heading to a Tribe game.I went to put the car in neutral as I approached a stop light. It had felt ‘odd’ leaving the previous light. The clutch pedal went to the floor and stayed there. The gearbox locked up so I couldn’t shift into any gear. The motor was still running normally. I was stuck with Tribe fans honking at me, and cars ducking around me. Eventually, a motorcycle policeman came to help me and he couldn’t get the clutch or gears to work. As we waited for a police car to arrive to nudge me out of the way, I checked the clutch pedal. A gentle tug and it came back up. I restarted the car and was able to drive it home, a couple more miles, without further problems. The car had 900 miles on the odometer.

I consulted an online Honda certified Technician and received this response:
The problem is the clutch master cylinder . There are issues with the rods getting stuck . The dealer will need to replace the clutch master and bleed the system to fix this issue. Have done a few so far . No bulletin or recall yet.

I took the car to the dealer. They confirmed this diagnosis and replaced the clutch master cylinder. The service rep also said their other service department had also seen the same problem a number of times.

This incident was very distressing and quite costly. I was in heavy traffic when my Honda failed completely.  I could have been rear-ended. I could have been hit by a car when I exited the vehicle. If I had been on a railway crossing, I would have been in deep trouble. I wrote to Honda describing the situation and asking for compensation for the rental car and the day I had to take off work, while the car was being repaired. They called me and told me to pound salt.

Over the years I have bought or leased a dozen Honda Accords. Never again. Next time I’ll check out Ford, Subaru, Mazda and Hyundai. Honda just lost my business forever. Toyota lost any chance of my business 20 years ago. When you lose my business, you lose it forever.

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