A car journalist asked Honda PR about the door chime and I’ve got their definitive answer.
From roughly 1985 to 2013, Honda vehicles (Civics, Accords, CR-Vs etc.) shared the same *beep beep beep beep* door chime.
Yes, even Acuras including the NSX
Here’s a video chronicling the evolution of the Civic door chime.
*Beep beep beep beep* or …. also happens to translate to H in Morse code.
Ever since a Honda owner made that door chime to Morse code connection it’s become an anecdote of Honda’s clever engineering, how they snuck in an Easter Egg.
Oh, those Honda engineers. Much clever. Very Japan.
It’s a quirky, little story that’s persisted ’til today.
Hagerty’s Jason Cammisa even ‘gramed about it, highlighting his Honda Beat’s door chime.
So, is there any truth behind the anecdote? Did Honda engineers really program their door chime like that on purpose?
The short answer is no, it’s just a coincidence.
This question’s been brought up to Honda PR before.
In the Feb 15, 1999 issue of The Sun (Baltimore, MD,) Nathan Cobb published an article titled, “Things that go beep in the night; The chirps, bings and bongs from electronic devices offer a unique way of communicating.”
Cobb asked Honda PR the same question, if their door chime spells H on purpose and got an answer.
The article is no longer available on Google Cache, the internet archive, or even viewable on ProQuest, but I screenshot that portion of the article two years ago and tweeted it out to quash said rumor.
“That’s true – four beeps, or “dots” – but it’s purely a coincidence, Honda says.”
There it is. I’m invoking stare decisis. Four beeps does spell out H but Honda engineers did not do it on purpose.
You can call me a hater or say “Gee, you must be fun at parties” but facts are facts, and I’ve successfully put that rumor to bed.
I’m sure it will come up as true, time, and time again henceforth, but I had to blog that off my chest.