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I have tried to be as patient as possible, but I may have hit my limit today. Please read the following (especially any dealers out there) as I need to know if I'm just being ridiculous, or if I have a beef:

March 18, 2003 I put down $500 on an SOP EX 5spd AWD. Dealer says they can't order them yet, but they will most likely have it for me anytime from May to June, but might be pushed back until July. I'm fine with that, as the VW Jetta Lease is up July 1st.

From March until April I stop by once in a while at the dealership (a well reputed, no-haggle place that is very impressive. They offer a free extended warranty for 7 years, 100K if you service vehicle at dealer- I like that a lot). I am told that around Mid-April they were allowed to place an order for my Element. I'm excited. Still projected as mid to late June.

May 21: I email salesman, asking for any news on a specific date I can expect Element, saying that we'd like to take the new car on our road trip to Durango the week of July 4th.
May 23: I get this response:
" Good news!!!!! Honda has issued the build date for your Element. It will roll off the production line between June 1st and June 5th. Based on that, we should see your Element somewhere around June 20th to June 25th. Perfect timing for the 4th of July weekend!! Just a note, the Element they built for you includes the side airbags and usually increases the cost by $250. A small price for increased safety. They also released pricing information. The MSRP is $20,760. That is the EX 4WD Manual Transmission with Side Air Bags in Orange. We are giving a discount on the Element of $750 so your vehicle price is $20,010. I hope you don't mind the discount!!!! What other dealer would give a voluntary discount when the customer had agreed to pay the MSRP?? That's what happens when you work with an ethical dealer..."

I'm pumped. Although I didn't want the side air-bags at first (I really didn't think I needed them and I thought the seat covers would be cool), after talking to my salesman, I was comfortable with the change in my order, as he told me I could wait for the next order and that would be another month.

Last Monday- June 16, I visit dealer to ask about an option I'm interested in. He says things are right on schedule. On the way out, I see an Orange EXS 5spd manual. I wondder if it's mine, although there is no "sold" sign on the vehicle.

The next day my wife tells me we have a date to turn in the Jetta. I email My salesman, saying I need to know what's up for sure. I get him on his cell phone as he is leaving work. He says he will call me Thursday morning, but he says it should be in any day next week. I don't hear from him on Thursday or Friday. My wife and I make arrangements to turn in the Jetta, we schedule maintenance for the car so we don't get charged excessively at turn-in.

Today, June 23, Monday morning, after we've already let our insurance know what we are switching to ($18 cheaper than the Jetta!) I call my salesman (who I really like, he has never applied pressure, he has never oversold the vehicle. He has been a very classy and non-pushy salesman). He says he was just about to call me. He says that they've had some trouble figuring out where my car is and they don't know when it is going to come in. I say "What about the one you had on the lot?", He says, "Really? They came out? Let me look into it..." and he says he'll call me back.

At home I get an email in which he says that the one I saw was for someone else who had ordered it a week before me. He also says that Honda has issued a new build date of July 16, meaning it will arrive July 23 at the earliest, plus a couple of days to do the accessories. He is trying to get me alternative transportation for the time between, but I can't say I'm holding my breath. He suggested I extend my lease. He is also trying to acquire one from New Mexico.

Here are my questions (Please let me know if any of them are valid, or if I'm just overreacting because of the long wait and having it be so close and then snatched away!)

1. The MSRP is listed on Honda's Site as 20,300. His email suggests otherwise. I know I'm still getting under MSRP, but it doesn't seem to be $750 under. DId the MSRp ever change?

2. I wonder why that car had a sticker on it and it didn't say "sold". It just seems odd, as other cars were labeled that way. I wonder if they forgot about my car and sold it and then realized their mistake. Would it be inappropriate to ask if they can show me paper proof that the car was sold to someone before me?

3. Is it believeable that the build date of my car was pushed back from JUNE 5-10 to July 16 AND they just found out about it today? If Honda really did this, I could forgive the dealer, but it just seems unbelieveable. He said when it comes to shipping cars, this kind of thing happens all the time.

So I am now screwed. We have to take a car with 55,000 miles on it that we want to last another 5 years on a major road trip around the state of Colorado. I am basically without a car. Is it unreasonable to demand that they supply me with a vehicle as they inform me less than five days before I'm scheduled to turn in my other automobile that the car has been delayed more than a month?

If anyone is still reading, please let me know what you think. This board has been so helpful as I prepared to make a decision on a vehicle and I have learned so much during the past three months. My wife is talking about other cars (Toyota has 0% financing for 60 months) and I can't say I blame her. But I really have my heart set on the element, especially the one I have ordered. Thanks for reading,

Mark

(I'ver posted this in several forums, so I can hopefully get some feedback before I talk to my dealer tomorrow morning! thanks for your patience if you have read this elsewhere!)
 

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Sounds to me like it was PROBABLY an honest mistake somewhere along the line. Who knows where? Unless you want to pull out of the deal entirely, I would recommend being a friendly, persistent PEST until your E arrives. That will keep them on their toes. Sounds like you are getting a wonderful deal and a great mix of features.

yelapa
 

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I also vote to hang in with the dealer. Just demand a VIN # after the build date this time (tougher to lose a car with a VIN).

I had a similar experience here in Seattle: Ordered an SOP, 5spd, 4wd, SRS for June build. Honda accepted the order, but then substituted a car without SRS.

I passed and am now promised a build-date of 7/12-7/16 for my new car.

They're probably coming off the same run of SOP's!

Good luck.
 

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How can you find the build date of your car if you already purchased one?
 
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