Does Honda India Care More About Dealers than Customers?

Lifestyle ProBlog

Hi all, first of all I would like to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to all my family, friends, readers, blogger friends and acquanitances who shared my Experience with Arya Honda on social media. My blogging family is wonderful and shared the incident multiple times and across multiple media. The good thing that came out of that was

We caught the attention of Honda Cars India!

Let me tell you everything from beginning. To read about my car’s accident and the subsequent unpleasant experience with Arya Honda, click here. The next day, we got the regular service feedback mail from Arya Honda. The rating system they follow considers 8/10 a poor service. Hubby rated them 1/10, pasted my entire blog post in the mail and sent it back to them. Following that, he was contacted by the office of Arya Honda’s GM – After Sales saying that Rajesh Porecha, the GM wanted to meet us. Hubby agreed to meet him the same evening. During the meeting, he cited that his team had used our car as a service vehicle since their service vehicle was unavailable. He was apologetic about his team’s behaviour and agreed that they were lying to cover up. He apologised and then asked us to give the car to him. Hubby said that we don’t trust them enough to give our car to them. He also mentioned how I was extremely upset about it and wanted as many people as possible to know about it. Hence, the blog post. Rajesh Porecha then spoke to me and fixed an appointment for the next day. He met me as well and Arya Honda’s official line to us was

We have conducted an investigation and concluded that the staff used the vehicle as a service vehicle to transport a battery  for another car that had broken down nearby. When we saw and questioned them, they panicked and lied. The situation escalated because they kept trying to cover up the lies.

 He was asking for the car again but I said we were not comfortable with that and our trust in Arya Honda as well as Honda India had shaken. I asked him to revert to the mail with the official response and we will take it on from there. In the meantime, we sent the car to my dad’s preferred garage.

The same evening, one day after the accident I got a call from Anish Gadkari, the Area Manager from Honda Cars India who looks after the relationship with Arya Honda. He also took Rajesh Porecha on conference and wanted to discuss about the issue. We agreed to speak on Friday, 25 March. Later, both Hubby and I received a mail from Rajesh as agreed. The same story that was verbally told to us was confirmed on email as well. However, the email stuck to the service vehicle story and staff lying to us. It ignored the falsification of documents and their inappropriate conduct toward us. However, hubby and I agreed to wait for the call with Anish before doing anything about it. I stopped sharing the incident on social media. In the meantime, the official twitter handle of Honda Cars India too had responded to some of the tweets asking to write to customer relations. Since the Honda guys were already talking to us, we did not want to start a new conversation. So we waited.

On Friday, when we spoke Anish Gadkari too had the same thing to say as Rajesh Porecha. He apologised and then asked for the car. During the entire conversation, we felt he was pro Arya Honda. While I understand that his association with Arya Honda is huge and necessary for Honda India to do well, as a long standing customer, I felt unvalued. We have had the car for 8 years now and have always used authorised dealers for service. When we questioned him about details of the investigation and the report given to Honda India, the following things came to light –

  1. The ‘investigation’ constituted of Rajesh Porecha speaking with the team members and them admitting to breach of process
  2. The action taken was to fine the said employees and tell everyone that the process needs to be followed
  3. The investigation report was in the form of a verbal discussion between Rajesh Porecha, Anish Gadkari and his boss, whose name we do not know.

This left us feeling irritated. At the very least we expected Honda India to have some sort of process to address this. They are trying to close the issue on verbal assurances by the very team that created false documents when questioned! They have not even looked at our car to check if it is okay neither did they ask for it. They kept asking for the car so that they can initiate the accident repairs. There was no mention of trying to ensure that there was nothing done during the time our car was with Arya Honda. When we asked for it, Anish Gadkari agreed for a third party check under his supervision. We closed the conversation with a promise from Anish Gadkari that he would share a documented investigation report with us with an official stand from Honda India. That mail is awaited.

Our disappointment with Honda is because

  1. Arya Honda is simply sticking to use as service vehicle and not addressing our fear of replacing parts at Chor bazaar and subsequent misbehaviour by the staff
  2. Honda India stands by Arya Honda’s version and does not conduct their own investigation
  3. There is no documented report and the entire thing is happening via a verbal discussion
  4. There is no importance given to the false documents created or misbehaviour with us

After the entire proceedings, I want to know –

  1. Is it that easy for employees of a dealership to flout rules and use cars as per their wishes? 
  2. If it is so easy to take the car out of the workshop without documentation, can it not be used for someone’s personal need tomorrow?
  3. Does Honda India care about winning back a customer’s trust?

Hubby and I had believed that when Honda India takes note of this incident, they would keep the interests of the customer at the peak and try to win back our trust in their brand. I want to give them a fair chance to come back with the official response and suggest the right course of action. To me, that was a big disappointment. If they continue to favour the dealer above the customer, then I think we are done with Honda. No matter how valuable the partners are to the organisation, the ultimate source of their revenue is the end customer and that is something each organisation needs to remember.

I sincerely request you to share this on social media as well. Also, if any of you have contacts within Honda India, please write to me on [email protected] . I would really appreciate help here. Thank you all!

Read about the accident and the horrible experience we had with Arya Honda here.

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  1. Hemal from Indianomics

    I read the first post and realized it was a big deal. Shocking, in fact.

    It is never common or a practice that a vehicle is moved out of service premises unless the car is serviced / repaired and is out for a brief 5-10 minutes testing to check if it is functioning normally.

    But to use the car without fixing why it was sent to service center at first place as a service car, without your information is down right ugly.

    I know bikes being treated this way some times, not so much for cars, which is equally bad.

    Since in this case they were caught in the act, there is no guarantee that this will stop.

    Honda’s response is pathetic. Will wait for updates and share it in my network.

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      I know right!! There were several calls but nothing really came out. The best part was that we did not even ask for any compensation or stuff, just to know the truth about what happened and what action Honda took. Eventually we lost faith in the company and the dealership and switched cars.

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    I somehow am not very happy with Honda Customer Care. They don’t even take a post service feedback.

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