Learning the hard way: Don't hose out your Honda Element.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Apr 01, 2005

Dear Tom and Ray:

I recently heard you recommend a Honda Element to someone with a dog. One of you mentioned that the cargo compartment of the Element has a rubber floor and can be hosed out. This is absolutely not true! We hosed out our Element after a bottle of bleach fell out of a shopping bag. Not only did the car get stinky because there are no drainage holes in the wheel wells like we'd thought, but the water shorted the SRS (air-bag) computer, which is situated under the urethane floor. The repair cost $566, and Honda refuses to pay. They said that it is not a manufacturer's defect, so they aren't responsible for the damage. I sent them a lot of published information about the hose-ability of the Element, but to no avail. They said that none of the information was published by Honda. The only information I could find from Honda was a press release saying that it had isolated all low-sitting electronics from moisture to prevent damage. This wasn't enough to persuade them to pay for the repair. So, to prevent others from getting the same huge repair bill, please stop saying that the Element can be hosed out. Thanks. -- Jackie

RAY: Thank you, Jackie. Sorry you had to be the guinea pig on this one. Your Element got hosed out, but you just got hosed.

TOM: But thanks for letting the rest of us know. Damp mops only, from now on, for you Element owners!

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