Canadian drivers with cars not fit for winter told "try not to stop and start."
If there's one thing you can be assured of through most of Canada, it's the long freezing winters. There's a reason a lot of spy shots we publish are caught winter testing in snow and icy conditions. Unfortunately, according to Canadian news publication CBC, some Canadian Honda owners are finding their cars aren't up to heavy winter standards. The problem appears to be with heating systems on popular models. There have been complaints posted to Transport Canada and consumer advocacy groups from "hundreds of Honda owners stuck with a heating system that doesn't work properly when the temperatures dip on certain popular models - some 2017 and 2018 Honda CR-Vs and the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Honda Civic with the 1.5 L turbo engine."
It's also worth noting that the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Consumer Reports have also received similar complaints.
CBC highlights two Canadian Honda owners' experiences and says that "they went back and forth with Honda looking for a solution. Both were told if they want their cars to warm up, they should take long drives without stopping." It's not clear if the back and forth was just with dealers or corporate Honda, but an owner reported that a dealership told him that highway driving is the best way to get the heater to "kick in."
"Honda gave me tips to get heat; they suggested I don't use Eco mode, I don't turn the fan up too high … and try not to stop and start while driving," one of the owners reported.
It appears the problem comes down to oil dilution problems where gasoline seeping into the engine oil. It's a problem Honda addressed in 2018 and added an update while extending warranties by an extra year. However, the owners highlighted in the report have had the update performed on their vehicles. The issue is also the subject of a class-action lawsuit filed in Canada and settled in March. The owners from the article rejected the settlement, and George Iny of the Automobile Protection Association in Canada says the settlement is a raw deal for owners and leaves the owner with no real fix for the problem.
A problem Canadian drivers have is that the country's consumer protection laws are antiquated and don't feature any form of the US's Lemon Law. This effectively enables Honda in Canada to settle the case and move on unless the automaker decides it should do the right thing and fix the issue properly.