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By reviewing what the internet has to say, it seems as though this is a fairly common problem. Honda refuses to do anything about this design defect unless the vehicle is still under warranty.
I know the Element is AWD, but don't take it on a bumpy gravel road as I had or else risk having the gauge needles totally fall off. Obviously something that shouldn't happen in a vehicle meant to be taken off-road and if it happens to you, you are screwed. You can't just put them back on (doesn't work as the tachometer and speedometer will never be accurate again).
- Mathew D.,
Hilo, HI, US
Just yesterday I was on driving on the freeway and the speedometer gauge needle fell off. Now I have a bright LED looking light right in my eyes which is really bright and is dangerous to drive. I called a Honda service location today and they said it was a recall in 2008 and it is now expired and they will not do it unless I pay 980 dollars out of my own pocket. They told me to call American Honda which I did and they were no help. Guy said it's not covered anymore and I have to pay out of pocket. That's rediculous. It's a Honda defect therefore no matter when it happens they should cover it.
Hemet, CA, US
Drove through a construction zone, next thing i noticed was two bright lights came out of the gauge cluster, and then saw both needles of speed and tech fall off. WTF? The vehicle has never been involve in any accident or even any fender/benders.
I remember receiving a recall notice a while back but didn't do anything with it (didn't want them teardown the dash). Called a local dealer today, but was told couldn't find any recall on this. So because it is expired? How can a recall expire?
Made a service appointment anyway. will post what the dealer says.
Bayside, CA, US
I hit a speed bump and when I looked down both the Tach and Speedometer needles had fallen off. What is worse is there now a very bright light from the dash that is very blinding. Especially at night. This is a KNOWN defect on this model and they were fixing it for free but stopped December 2010 and now require the customer to foot the bill on A KNOWN DEFECT with their car. I now will have to spend at least $600 to get the gauge cluster replaced or drive a car that is not safe to drive. Their customer service is worthless for all they can say is we sent you a notice. Well they NEVER sent me a notice on anything for their Honda dealer never signed us up to get them. When I asked them to confirm that they sent me a notice they said that was not their responsibility. I asked who responsibility is it? They could not answer the question. Will never buy another Honda again based on this poor customer service attitude and their inability to take responsibility for their DEFECTED car.
Lamy, NM, US