While I agree that the customer is king, there is such a thing as being realistic. If these defects happened at say, 5000 miles, then he has all the reason in the world to complain. But at 43,000 miles? parts do break down, in case you forgot. Even Rolls Royce parts do break down ocassionally.
I owned a 1997 Honda CRV ESi for three years, and in that time it was bomb proof, only having to replace an anti roll bar link, which costs peanuts at my main dealer.
I upgraded to a 2002 SE in Feb 2005 with 39000 miles on the clock, and I am not impressed.
The car runs excellent, is comfortable and has a good amount of kit, but I have had to have the water pump and alternator replaced due to a 'grating' noise from the driver's side wheel arch. Luckily the alternator was fixed in warranty, but the water pump repair cost 250 pounds because the mechanics could not identify the fault, and when I suggested they replaced the water pump, the car was four weeks out of warranty.
I have found on www.parkers.co.uk website that somebody else had the same problem on a 2003 model. The car is running fine at the moment with the exception of an annoying squeak from the rear door, but I have sent a strong letter to Honda and am seriously considering switching to a Nissan X-trail instead... c'mon Honda, get your finger out.
2002 CRV bought brand new. Immediately had defective parts. Back latch didn't shut right so back light always came on. Occasionally ran battery dead (1:00 a.m. at airport - real fun). Fixed 4 times. Front driver's seat began to rock. Fixed 3 times. Tray table broke and had to be replaced. Dome light burned out within 5000 miles. Insane dash rattle from day one. Mechanics could never find it. Numerous recall notices. All of these on warranty. Now my cruise control switch won't work and its finally off warranty. They want $128 to fix. I'm tired of the nickel & diming of all of these parts. I feel I should be reimbursed mileage towards my warranty for all the trips I've had to make to get things fixed, fixed again, fixed yet again, recall notice repairs, etc. So far no major mechanical, but with the constant pain in the arse problems, I expect something to go wrong all the time. I won't buy a Honda again. In all the cars I've ever owned in my life, I have had the Honda in to get things repaired more times than all of my other cars combined. And my first car was a new 79 pinto! Live & learn.
I am the originator of this review. The CR-V now has 60,000 miles and hasn't given a bit trouble. The gas cap, cruise control switching mechanism and dome light switch were defective. Otherwise the vehicle has been trouble-free and STILL has no rattles. Highway gas mileage is in the low 20s at 75 mph.
"Even Rolls Royce parts do break down occasionally."
Rolls Royce parts break all the time!
Update... I am the originator of this review. The car now has 117k miles on it. It developed a minor oil leak at around 100k. A major problem developed... we live on a dirt road and during a massive rain and snow storm... so much mud and slush accumulated behind the gas tank that the entire evap-canister assembly fell out and the dangling wires shorted out the PCM. Cost about $1200 to fix using new and used parts. Honda wasn't kidding when they said the CRV is not recommended for off-road use. If you live on a dirt road... get an off-road package. Otherwise no major issues... new plugs... filters... drive belt... alignment. The dealer replaced a defective seat belt buckle at 117k miles for free... warranty.
The CRV shouldn't be recommended for ANY use. I just helped a good friend trade one of these lemons for a Ford Escape hybrid (the highest rated small SUV in the world). The difference is immediately obvious. Better warranty, better build quality, can be drive anywhere, and doesn't require a transmission replacement every 30,000 miles. The fuel mileage also is much better. The CRV averaged 19. The Escape averages 30+.
Another update... I am the originator of this review. Regarding the evap canister falling out. I found a replacement evap canister on EBAY Motors for 75 bucks. What a surprise. The used replacement looks like it had also fallen out of another Honda CRV. It had scrape marks on the edges of metal chassis, and the chassis was bent and deformed from striking the ground. I also noticed fatigue on two of the remaining rubber bushings that isolate noise and vibration in the unit. It appears the the wrong-sized bolt washer combinations were used to fasten the canister assembly to the vehicle. The bolt washer combinations were too small... the rubber bushings failed and the canister assembly fell to the ground and dragged behind the vehicle until the wires let go. So I conclude on certain assembly dates, the wrong bolt washers were used.