2003 Honda Element EX AWD from North America - Comments

7th Jun 2004, 07:20

I had my Honda Element for one month and a rock popped up on the windshield and cracked it. The glass company replaced it with a non-Honda windshield. Two weeks later a little rock popped up again and put a chip in the windshield. I haven't replaced the 2nd windshield again since it hasn't cracked. I have had my Element for a year now and still love the car, but the windshield problem must be a design flaw that Honda needs to address.

10th Jun 2004, 11:28

I have had my Element for 14 months, and the windshield cracked the first time after 1 month. This crack was not from any kind of projectile, but just cracked due to extreme temperature changes, according to the Honda Dealer's Service Department. I have had several rock chips since having the windshield replace the first time, with one resulting in a crack all across the bottom portion of the windshield. I have not had this windshield replaced since I can still see out fine, and just figure it will crack again in short time. I agree with the other commenters here, that the design is faulty, and Honda needs to address this. I have had two other Honda's, both Civics, and their windshields never cracked, despite multiple chips.

21st Jun 2004, 16:55

I have my element for 3 weeks and I noticed a crack growing right before my eyes. I took it to the dealer who showed me a nick that fit the size of a pen tip which he claims started the crack.. The manager wasn't there at the time, but I am returning to have the windshield replaced.. I was not aware this was a problem with elements until I read this website...

19th Jul 2004, 21:16

For fun and utility, I really do enjoy this car, but this morning I got introduced to my first windshield crack.

Yeah, this was definitely caused by a pebble kicked up around a construction area. I just figured that the damage would match the 3 other small nicks that I've neglected to repair after repairing two previous mini-bulls-eyes. This car isn't even a year old.

Of course, what was a tiny bullseye at the edge of my window in the morning, turned into an 8-inch crack by the afternoon ride home. I also live in the DC area, but out of all the cars I've owned here, I've never had this kind of persistent windshield problem. Bad luck is bad luck, but I'm now I'm worried that glass repairs will have to be a part of my overall cost-of-ownership/budget.

27th Jul 2004, 12:51

My 2004 Element, with 4k mile, got a small rock chip that has now spread to a 2 foot crack. I'll see if my dealer will help.

1st Aug 2004, 06:34

Yes. I, too, have shelled out more than once for windshield repair/replacement on my 2004EX model. On a few occasions, flying pebbles have caused the damage. But I am certain that a traveling crack that began just below my dashboard line was NOT the result of a chip.

Other than this problem, I love the Element. I think Honda needs to make good on this issue, or this will definitely be my last one.

5th Aug 2004, 22:48

Although I appreciate the severity of the issue and potential for associated costs involved in replacing windshield glass, I must ask myself what I would do in similar circumstances -- I am about to purchase a new Element EX and am glad to have found this thread.

I understand that the windshield is in a "new" position for the driving public, being somewhat of a unique body geometry placing the front glass closer to the front and lower to the ground, as well as the angle of attack being rather sharp to the direction of travel; however, having the glass broken by objects thrown up from leading traffic leads me to believe that the following distance is far too short to accommodate those geometrical nuances. In other words, I believe maintaining a larger safety zone may indeed alleviate these inconvenient damages.

I know of no auto manufacturer that would warranty a part damaged by outside objects, do you? Or am I being overly optimistic in believing that anyone utilizes the "one car length for every 10 MPH safety zone" practice anymore?

I will post my personal findings once I have the chance to "break" my Element in ;-)

20th Aug 2004, 14:34

I have had my Element for 11 months now. I have replaced one windshield after 3 months of owning it and then it cracked again after 3 months of replacing it. I didn't replace the second one yet because I figured as soon as I did, It would crack again... guess what It did. I came across a TSB that Honda issued about the cracking in the lower right corner of the windshield (where two of my windshields have cracked). I brought it to my Honda dealership and they refused to fix it, they said they were both caused by pebbles. He pointed out one small hole the size of a pen point. How can something so small cause a 2 foot crack? I'm very tempted to sell my Element.

19th Sep 2004, 19:33

In June on one of our first warm days I came out and the windshield was cracked. There was 3k miles on the car. I took the car to the dealership and complained it was a factory defect. The manager told me it was from a small rock chip. He said the chip in the black section was expected as it is weaker. I had to replace the windshield with my own cash.

Now that I have read these reviews I realize this is a design problem with this vehicle.

I like the car, but there are some major blind spots and I am worried I am going to run into another vehicle.

Two times the car idled very violantly after 20 minutes of drving and was totally warm.

I will trade this car in for something. Too bad, it meets my needs very nicely.

4th Oct 2004, 11:08

We just got our first crack that has tripled in size in one day. The dealer has not given the OK yet to fix it. It is a year old with 15,000 miles on it. We bought this car because we wanted a reliable Honda. I don't know why Honda is not dealing with this problem and recalling the windshields. I hope everyone on this board has put in a complaint to your state consumer protection agency. Also, try the DoT office of auto safety research at 1800 424 9393; file right over the phone. We have to keep complaining so Honda finally does something!

6th Jan 2005, 11:29

I also got a chip the first 3 months of having my car. yesterday morning I woke up and saw a 6 inch crack that starts in the lower right corner. my honda dealer was rude and told me to call a lawyer. I called honda america and my local BBB. I find this amazing that so many people like us have all in countered then same problem. I think honda should address this. maybe a class action law suit is in order!

2nd Mar 2005, 16:36

We bought our Element two years ago and just had our first windshield crack after a truck in front of me kicked up a rock and some cold overnight weather. I feel this is pretty good after 60,000+ miles. Anyways my question to everyone is now that the windshield has been replaced the interior noise level has double, no quadrupled at least, especially when driving on the highway. Has anyone else experienced this? Could this be because the installer did not use a factory windshield?