For the last couple of years
Honda Marine has offered a 5-year, non-declining warranty, on-and-off, as a
promotional special. It got everyone's attention and prodded other outboard
makers to suck it up and proclaim their own "better-than-standard" warranties as
boat show specials, winter-only incentives, spring last-chance bonanzas, and
summer one-more-last-chance bargains. Extended engine warranties or service
contracts have been used by outboard makers and boat builders alike to get
customers off the dime. Now, Honda
has flung down the warranty gauntlet by making their 5-year warranty standard
and permanent. It will be interesting to see how the outboard makers respond.
Honda, which stops at 225-hp, may not have the biggest outboard engine, but it
has the biggest warranty -- and it's from the factory, not a service contract.
USCG picked the Honda 225 to power its small search and rescue (and terrorist intercept)
On Monday July 14, Honda Marine announced that its
5-year, factory-backed, non-declining limited warranty is now a standard feature
for all Honda outboards (2-225 hp) purchased on or after July 1, 2008, for recreational
use. Honda Marine says its warranty is the "industry best" and is a "True 5" that
offers full Honda backing in comparison to the outsourced, extended service contracts
typically provided by other manufacturers. The company says that "coverage under
the program is the same on the last day as it is on the first."
Several dealers that we have spoken with have praised Honda's prompt and fair handling
of warranty issues.
A Word from the Company
John Fulcher, senior manager, Honda Marine, said, "With full Honda backing and non-declining
coverage, True 5 keeps Honda Marine customers where they want to be -- on the water."
Honda Marine was one of the pioneers of outboard 4-stroke engine technology, and
it is generally accepted that their engines have a good reputation for reliability.
The larger Honda outboards are the same blocks as used in the company's automobiles,
so they have millions of units in use under much harsher conditions than those of
recreational boating. Fulcher said, "Honda's outboards share the same unparalleled
durability, quality, and reliability of its legendary automobiles."
With models ranging from 2 to 225 horsepower, Honda Marine's full line of current
production models meets rigorous California Air Resources Board (CARB) 3-Star standards,
ensuring their availability and regulatory compliance in all 50 states.