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Auto blogWed, 05 Nov 2014 11:30:00 EST
Honda is displaying a heap of customized Fit hatchbacks at this week's SEMA in Las Vegas. Nine of the modded little econoboxes are on the floor showing off wildly divergent takes on the Japanese automaker's most affordable offering. The company has reason to celebrate the new vehicle, too, because it's been dubbed this year's "Hottest Sport Compact" award at the event.
Six of the custom Fits come from a contest that Honda ran online challenging various tuners to come up with their own take on the new model. People could then follow along online as Tjin Edition, Bisimoto Engineering, Kontrabrands, MAD Industries, Spoon Sports USA and Kenny Vinces worked on the cars. In the end, the version from Tjin (pictured above) with its subdued green paint, huge fender flares and ground-hugging stance was named the fan favorite.
In addition to those cars, Honda also has three other modded Fits on display. Honda Performance Development is showing off one in full B-spec racer trim, Honda Genuine Accessories has an example displaying all of its dealer-installed parts, and there's another model tuned by Bisimoto, as well.
Without looking under the hood or at a vehicle history report, one of the easiest way to tell if a car has had body work done is to check the location and placement of the exterior badges. A crooked, misplaced or missing badge can be a telltale sign that there has been some sort of body or paint work. For this reason, Honda is suggesting that some owners of the 2014 Odyssey take their vans into the dealership for a little rebadging.
The topic was brought to light after Consumer Reports received a notice from Honda saying that the "Odyssey" badge on its test vehicle was incorrectly installed at the factory. The badge is supposed to go on the driver's side of the liftgate (as shown above), but the customer vehicles had it placed on the passenger side of the car. Not a huge deal unless an owner is trying to sell the vehicle and the improperly installed badge leads potential owners into believing the vehicle may have been damaged in some way. Here's what Honda said in its letter:
On some 2013 Odyssey vehicles, the Odyssey emblem was incorrectly installed on the passenger's side of the rear tailgate. The emblem should be installed on the drivers' side of the rear tailgate. American Honda Motor Company highly recommends that you participate in this Product Update. The placement of the emblem may indicate that the vehicle has had repairs performed that are consistent with it being in a crash. This could affect the resale value of the vehicle.
Generally, the best policy in life is to admit when you're wrong and just accept the consequences. However, that attitude generally seems to be a bit less common in the world of business - at least without some government or legal prodding. So, it's especially surprising to learn that top Honda executives in Japan are taking a pay cut for the next three months following the fifth recall of the Fit Hybrid (pictured above) in the last 12 months.
According to Reuters, Chief Executive Takanobu Ito is taking a 20-percent pay cut to make amends for the quality issues. Also, 12 other high-ranking executives are taking 10 percent drops in their salaries. In addition to those temporary changes, Honda is creating a new position in charge of monitoring vehicle quality.
The latest recall fixes "noise-related defects," according to Reuters, on both the hybrid and naturally aspirated versions of the Fit, both variants of the Vezel (the sibling to the future HR-V in the US) and the N-WGN. There have also been three recalls for problems with the hybrid's seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. None of them have caused reported injuries or deaths, and these issues haven't affected US models.