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 Post subject: proposed recall -- rebel 2004
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Aug 28, 2003
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State/Province: CA
City: San Dimas (la County)
here's your chance, sports fans.

the feds got back to us following up on my e-mail message regarding the 2004 clutch issue.

but they want to hear it from the individual 2004 owners who have had clutch problems so they can build a case.

we have had people with 2004's who didn't even know about the problem until they found the threads on our site. the advantage of members of this board filling out the nhtsa on-line form is ALL 2004 250 owners would be notified if it goes to recall, making it easier for them to get repairs AND preventing a possible safety issue.

i encourage all of you who have had clutch problems to click on the link below.

thank you.

following is their response i just received by e-mail:


Dear Mr. Schenkel:

This is in response to your e-mail to NHTSA's Webmaster with regard to the alleged clutch failures on the Honda Rebel 250 motor cycle. NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation received your e-mail on September 30, 2004.

NHTSA is the Federal agency responsible for improving safety on our Nation's highways. We are authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles or items of motor vehicle equipment when our investigations indicate that they contain serious safety defects in their design, construction, or performance. We also monitor the adequacy of manufacturers' recall campaigns. In order for the agency to initiate an investigation, we look carefully at the body of consumer complaints and other available data to determine whether a defect may exist. We cannot act on isolated problems or resolve disputes between individual owners, dealers, or manufacturers.

We appreciate the information you provided. Reports from motorists are a very important source of information for us. Each report is analyzed and entered into a database to determine whether an investigation into a possible safety defect is warranted. However, we need that the owners of those motor cycles to report the problem they experienced directly to the agency. If you can influence them to report their experience to the agency via our Internet vehicle owner's questionnaire at www.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq the problem will be reviewed to determine if there is sufficient evidence to open a safety defect investigation which may result in a recall.

If further assistance is needed, please contact Mr. Michael J. Jordan, Safety Defects Program Assistant, Correspondence Research Division, Office of Defects Investigation, at (202) 493-0576.

Sincerely,

Alberto A. Jimenez, Chief
Correspondence Research Division
Office of Defects Investigation
Enforcement



southcoastmedia@compuserve.com

From: jeff schenkel
Comments:
good morning.

as a member and frequent poster on an international unofficial honda rebel motorcycle website forum, it has come to my attention that there is a significant problem involving a late model honda rebel 250 (cmx250) -- the model manufactured in 2004 -- that needs attention -- and a possible recall mandate -- from your agency.

you can go to this link to see the latest thread among many on this board:

http://www.rebel250.com/rebelforum/viewtopic.php?t=2647

the problem is very premature clutch failure, often at as early as several hundred miles. the clutch cable is adjusted once or twice and then won't help -- needs to have the entire clutch assembly (clutch plates, springs) replaced.

some dealers are doing this as a warranty item, sometimes while the customer waits. some are making the customer wait four weeks. others are telling the customer they don't know anything about a "problem" with this among the 2004's, and try to blame the customer (the rebel is a bike often purchased by new motorcycle riders and they blame it on the learning process -- however, there has never been this type of a problem in earlier years).

many of our members have been in touch with the 800 telephone number on the honda web site where they have acknowledged a problem (some mechanics around the country also have acknowledged this, to the point that the parts are now in short supply, contributing to the added waiting time). the 800 customer service number told us the problem discovery was mentioned in a newsletter to dealers, but not in any official service bulletin or recall notice. from our experience, many dealers simply don't read their newsletters because they often don't know about it.

we have even determined what we feel is the specific problem with the clutch. honda motorcycles are manufactured in a half dozen or so factories in japan. we're guessing that one factory, one shift or even one individual is responsible for this one -- it appears a part in the clutch "basket" called the judder spring was placed in the "stack" of parts backwards, contributing to the premature clutch failure. we can understand this because from all the repair manual photos available, it is very difficult to determine -- and we have had many on-line discussions regarding this -- which way in fact the judder spring should be placed. however, in the words of my favorite honda dealer's mechanic, if it is placed in there backwords, "it won't work."

we have become concerned from the safety aspect on this -- many new readers have visited our site and one just yesterday indicated he would not have known about the clutch problem were it not for our site. it occurred to me at that time that honda should be required to communicate information of this problem to 2004 buyers by mail -- in an official recall notice -- as a safety move.

we all appreciate anything you can do to make this possible.

feel free to contact me at any time with any questions.

jeffrey schenkel
san dimas, california


[EDIT:
Many states provide legislated leverage you can bring to bear against your dealer should your bike be out of warranty. You should consult your government's official source of this information, but this site may offer you some solid tips:

http://www.lemonlawamerica.com/state_laws/index.htm

Good luck. Duke]


Last edited by jeff schenkel on Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 5:19 pm 
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KUDOS - above and beyond on behalf of others

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 5:43 pm 
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State/Province: VA
City: Lucketts
Jeff,

Thanks for your efforts. Although I have an 2005, it was built in April, 2004. If this was an assembly error caused by an assembly technician or the misloading of an assembly robot, then early 2005s might be prone to the problem also. Your database of affected engine numbers will prove to be extremely useful to us if the problem is widespread. You can be sure that Honda is scrutining the warranty repair records to determine what failures the field is experiencing. I applaud your efforts a trying to rectify this matter for all your fellow bikers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 5:58 pm 
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thanks for the nice comments, guys.

it is obviously a serious and widespread problem and, as you know, as a PR guy in my business life, i'm never at a loss for words (especially around here), so it was an easy e-mail to knock out.

hope it does some good. and wouldn't that be something if through the efforts of members here this board was responsible for a recall!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 6:57 pm 
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here's one more thought --

somebody might want to volunteer to go through the old threads and p-m and/or e-mail everybody who has had a 2004 clutch problem, copying in a link to this thread -- just to make sure everybody sees it and takes action.

some folks don't come around here as often as others to read the latest posts.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 10:49 pm 
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Outstanding, Jeff!

You took the initiative for other Rebel owners & it looks like your efforts have definitely paid off. Here's hoping that all '04 owners with clutch problems take advantage of this opportunity to be heard.

Respects to ya, Jeff! Ya done good!

_________________
"Choppin' In The Free World"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 12:45 am 
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thanks, guys.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 12:27 pm 
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Thanks Jeff for all your work. I will e-mail NHTSA tonight at home when I have time.

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Rebels, Nascar, Cold Beer ain't life fun!
2004 Rebel


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 3:00 pm 
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State/Province: OH
City: Cincinnati
Hillbilly, don't email them, go to their site and fill out the form.

I went there for my 2002 Focus and filled out a complaint about the back door latch sometimes not working. So far they were just investigating the 2000 model until a few of us with 2001's and 2002's posted the same problem.

After filling out the form, I got a call from them within a month and went over the details of my problem in depth including having me look at the door latch while looking for things he was describing.

He said to expect a call from someplace here in Ohio from another guy at their lab and he will either come out and inspect the door or have me go there to check it out. They seem to be on top of it. They are including my car in a report to ford to try and get a voluntary recall done, but I doubt Ford would do it since there are soo many cars involved.

They will probably have to get more accounts of this problem to get a mandatory recall so it would be best for everyone with the problem to report it to their website.

Thank you Jeff for getting the ball rolling on this.

_________________
2004 Rebel


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 4:09 pm 
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Yes what I should of said I will fill out the form at their site tonight.

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Rebels, Nascar, Cold Beer ain't life fun!
2004 Rebel


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 11:19 pm 
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just thought i'd bump this (i guess all bump does here is change the color) to help make sure all the 2004 guys noticed it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 7:43 pm 
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Hi, just bought a 2004 Rebel form a dealer that took it in on a trade. Bike had 1711 miles on it. Now I'm not a expert rider, I haven't rode a bike in 20 years, but I do know how a clutch works. Anyway wished I saw this artical before buying the bike, it may have saved me workout. Luckily the first thing I did after buying the bike was to go down the street to the Honda dealiership and transfer the warranty. It was probabily one of the smartest things I could have done. The next morning I took off headed to work. Looking back I did notice that shifting didn't feel quite right and takeoff was a little sluggish. Anyway at the third traffic light, released the clutch and nothing! the bike would barely move. The mechanic said that the guy before me may have burnt the cutch during a Safty Course or just learning to ride.

To make a long story short, I just got the bike back out of the shop where the replaced the clutch assembly. Shifting is smooth and effortless. Best thing of all it was covered under warranty.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 7:51 pm 
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welcome to the board, islandboy.

do everybody else with 2004's a favor and go to the link (above) and fill out the form for the feds telling them your experience.

every e-mail helps!

thanks and hope you stick around.

glad it worked out ok for you.


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 Post subject: Clutch problem?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2004 11:51 am 
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I just purchased on 11/3/04 a used 2004 Rebel. I am learning how to ride and would appreciate someone explaining in novice terms what I should be looking for with this clutch problem


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:03 pm 
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well, i haven't had the problem -- i have a 1985 250 -- but as i understand it, you get clutch slippage -- you engage the clutch, but it just keeps revving high and not delivering power to your transmission.

somebody who has had the problem might come along soon and explain it better.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:24 pm 
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Yes Bccoach had the same problem you might want to PM him

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85, 250 REBEL
Build it,Ride it,Try not to Destroy it and if you do THIS forum can put it back together again


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 Post subject: My clutch experience...
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2004 7:47 pm 
I bought a 2004 Rebel in August of 2003. The clutch began to slip after only a few thousand miles (I think it was around 10,000). It was repaired at a cost of something like $330. The bike has always used about 2 quarts of oul avary 1000 miles or so. Being a new rider, I didn't realize this was abnormal until about the time the clutch was replaced. What do you do with a Rebel that has less than 16,000 miles on it and smokes like a locomotive? Currently, I feel like trading it in on a Harley. If a Honda is going to run like this, I might as well have the Harley!

May God Bless!
Professor


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2004 11:58 pm 
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hey, professor. welcome to the board.

we'll have to get you in on one of the l.a. area rides next time.

but from the sound of it, you'll have to bring up the rear or the rest of us won't be able to see the road because of the smoke! :)

if you get a chance, you might fill out the feds recall form mentioned at the top of this thread -- might help get a recall going so all 2004 owners will know about it.

hope to hear from you soon.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2004 4:14 pm 
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here's a little update.

i just called the feds to see how many people submitted on-line 2004 complaints. he did a computer search and apparently only three have so far.

that may not be accurate, however, since he was not sure their listing had the right model number for our people to submit.

he is checking that out now and will update their boxes to check if need be.

also, i e-mailed him his boss' e-mail to me and my original e-mail to him, etc., to get the file started at that level. he said he will forward it on to the right guy (see his e-mail response to me below).

he also said the acting division director is a motorcyclist and is sensitive to our safety issues, especially since the reason he is acting is his former boss -- also a motorcyclist -- appraently was killed in a recent motorcycle accident related to an equipment safety issue.

also, the guy i talked to mentioned he was involved in the honda goldwing recalls on two issues -- one an engine overheating issue and two a frame cracking at a weld issue.

if anybody cares, the acting division director rides some kind of bmw and a couple of harleys.

here's his e-mail response:

Dear Mr. Schenkel,

Thank you for your e-mail correspondence concerning a problem multiple owners have encountered with their model year (MY) 2004 and 2005 Honda Rebel (CMX) motorcycles. The information you submitted has been forwarded to the Office of Defects Investigation's Defects Assessment Division for further review.

Also, I e-mailed the appropriate agency staff who oversee the product tables for our database system to ensure that MY 2004 and 2005 Honda Rebel (CMX) motorcycles are available when a consumer reports a problem to the agency.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have any questions, please contact me by e-mail at Michael.Jordan@nhtsa.dot.gov or by telephone at (202) 493-0576.

Sincerely,

Michael Jordan
Safety Defects Program Assistant
Correspondence Research Division
Office of Defects Investigation
Enforcement


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2004 4:51 pm 
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We might not have heard anything until now because they ran out of money for the fiscal year. I heard from them today finally about my Focus. He is having me call his Ohio investigator to have him inspect my door.

_________________
2004 Rebel


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