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My recommendation is to go with your gut instinct. If you are afraid that you'll encounter significant issues, then your radar will always be looking for problems and you'll have a tough time relaxing and enjoying the Element. If you can take a look at the overall tone of this board, which is extremely positive, and feel like you are making a good, well-informed decision to purchase, then go for it.

This is the fourth 'first year' vehicle I have owned (MR2, Accord, BMW 330CiC being the others) and the second 'first year all new model', the other being the '86 MR2. Yes, there are risks to being an early adopter. But I have found that companies such as Honda and Toyota are very eager to receive feedback and quickly work to correct issues that occur. Of course, there are caveats; some service departments are more responsive than others, your mileage may vary, etc. blah blah...

The bottom line is, you need to decide for yourself whether you can pull the trigger on the purchase and take what comes without revisiting the decision with regret the first time an issue pops up.
 
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