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Honda Civic Hybrid IMA Problems



  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    >but then the SoC began dropping rapidly from a good charge to 1 or 2 bars. It would recover after 2 to 3 miles of driving

    It takes about two-three minutes to complete a recal (a little longer if you're pushing the engine). That is probably equal to your 2 to 3 miles of driving.

    >Until stored DTC can be pulled indicating IMA battery needs replacing no replacement authorized by Honda at this time

    Right. That's what I was saying. Often times, it does improve, so they don't take any action until it actually fails. Of course their definition of "fail" is probably different than yours. They're trying to avoid an expensive warranty repair if they can (just like any company).

    >The Honda reps made verbal statements such as the IMA function was well within the remaining useful life of that system but did not back anything up with evidence.

    That is based on the fact that the car will throw a P0A7F error code when it drops below 10% of original capacity and light the IMA light. Since you had no light or DTC's, it hadn't reached that point, so they consider it to be within the useful life. The problem that you are experiencing is the recals messing up your driving, not the reduced battery capacity.

    As to the 3/36 warranty, I'm not sure you aren't covered by a federal 8/80 warranty for the battery. I'm really only familiar with the Insights and the 2003-2005 Civics, but if the IMA system is classified as emissions related then federal warranties kick in (like the 8/80 on the catalytic converters).

    I'd like to reiterate that I do not work for Honda or represent them in any way. I'm just explaining what is going on technology-wise which is more than a dealer will tell you. Honda (and Toyota) are in a tough situation because some owners have massive problem with their cars (like you are) and others drive 150,000-200,000 miles before they have any battery problems. The problem is that they can't afford to replace all the batteries, especially when a good percentage of them will respond well to the new software (which makes the car recondition the battery).

    Toyota goes as far as saying that their batteries don't die at all. This is news to my counterparts in the Prius world who have to deal with all of this AND batteries leaking acid and corroding things as well.

    You aren't the first to get an IMA replacement with only recals, but it's fairly rare. Congratulations! Is the new pack behaving better?
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    > I’m not sure but I think the following documentation I had from my dealer was one of the key factors in my case.

    Actually, in another case, the owner submitted video footage of the recals to prove that the car was having problems. That might be a good solution for those here having frequent recals.

    Just be careful not to have an accident while you're filming.
  • mainiaxmainiax Posts: 12
    Honda did not replace the IMA. I went through a Better Business Bureau Arbitration Hearing and the decision of this hearing was that my car is a Lemon under the Lemon Law rules and Honda was ordered to REPURCHASE my vehicle.I really lucked out!!
  • danielrdanielr Posts: 8
    Service Manager just call and said there is a brand new Honda Service bulletin dated today for a software update for 06-08 Civic Hybrids that is supposed to address my problem. I am a bit skeptical given I believe that the underlying problem is battery capacity related, but I'll give them this last chance to resolve before going to defcon 5...

    They are going to call me when they have downloaded the software into their Honda Diagnostic System and are ready to perform the update.

  • Thanks for posting...and I'll look forward to what you find out. It would be particularly good to have a copy of that service bulletin, or know where to go to download it, if you get that information.
  • rosie2006rosie2006 Posts: 22
    Certainly hope this resolves the issue, can't wait to find out... good luck!
  • rd5418rd5418 Posts: 5
    I won't bore you with my story as it is the same as most. I purchased a new Honda Hybrid civic and after getting 55 mpg for the first 25K miles, it went down to 27 MPGs after the first service call.

    Yeah, I heard the excuses from Honda and the dealer... I drove too fast, had too much stuff in the trunk, used the wrong gas... everything but admit the product is faulty.

    Well, I brought them to a BBB hearing under the lemon law and they were amazing unprepared. It cost nothing to do this and you don't need an attorney. The BBB is now getting used to hearing about Honda and these problems so it is a really even playing field.

    I say all you file your BBB claim now and really push Honda over the edge, or you can drive naked, with the wind at your back being towed by a semi... I think that method gets good MPGs as well.
  • pmzpmz Posts: 26
    2006 with 71500 mi. Recently started losing motor support, battery quickly dropping too. Went to the dealer and got the software patch. Now the battery indicator hovers around 4 bars as opposed to one. The "fix" also seems to give me a short burst of motor assist then nothing.

    Now I consider this a full blown defect, We need the motor to power the car, the engine is simply too small. This is not the car which I purchased and had great performance for 70K miles. This is borderline unsafe to drive.

    Will be headed back to the dealer this week. I expect to hear much of the same as others. But need to start there then kick it up.
  • chongminchongmin Posts: 5
    I posted a couple of days ago about my 2009 HCH with 17,000 miles. I just discovered that my car also keep the charge around 4-5 bars all the time even with extensive driving (in the past it would become fully charged for sure). It also provided short burst of power assist at times, or no assist at all. I cannot tell in what situation did it provide the power assist since it appeared to be random. I did a software update on 06/30/10 after the state of charge dropped to Zero. It happened again on 07/22/10 and after that I start to loose the power assist with the car.
    My car is black and I park my car outside. The temperature in DC area is extremely hot this summer. I wonder if the battery was damaged by the heat (The owners manual stated the IMA battery will be damaged if the temperature is above 65 Celsius Degree).
  • shonda3shonda3 Posts: 42
    Welcome to the club. You've been cornholed. You'll see.
  • action21action21 Posts: 6
    edited July 2010
    Sorry for not mentioning Hybrid Battery Repair - nothing bad about them - as a matter of fact they DO OFFER a loaner so down time of car is minimal. I have not made a decision either way because although my lights are on the car is driving as good as normal with charging and uncharging of my hybrid batteries with A/C running cold. I apologize to Hybrid Battery Repair if it appeared I was favoring one over the other. Truth was I was just happy to find options and could only remember the one name when I posted.
  • brian2007brian2007 Posts: 9
    I was just contacted by my local Honda service manager to come in for the latest software update, which just came out. I'll report back if it actually helps.

    Here's the text of the service bulletin:
    DATE: July 22, 2010

    TO: All Honda Sales, Service & Parts Managers

    FROM: American Honda Service Division

    RE: 2006~08 Civic Hybrid Battery Software Product Update Campaign

    Basic Problem
    Some driving conditions can cause the IMA battery charge capacity to become low. When the battery remains in this low state of charge condition the charge capacity of the battery can be reduced and eventually require replacement. The software revision will help prevent the low state of charge condition.

    Campaign Information
    American Honda will issue a Service Bulletin to the dealer network tomorrow, 7/23/10. A customer notification will be mailed on 7/30/10. Units in dealer inventory should be updated using Service Bulletin 10-034.

    ALL unsold units should have the updated software installed prior to customer delivery. The update will reduce the likelihood of a MIL code being set and extend the life of the IMA battery.

    Note: This Product Update campaign will be limited to 3 years and will expire 7/23/13.

    Parts Information
    No parts are required for the update. The HDS tester will require version 2.022.101 (July 2010) or later to perform the update. Check the current version prior to any repair and update the HDS software version as needed. Also check that the Control Module update is Database Update 02-Jul-2010 or later.

    Warranty Information
    Warranty information specific to this campaign is included in Service Bulletin 10-034. All campaign repairs should be coded using the Warranty Information in Service Bulletin 10-034. This will insure the VIN is counted as repaired for this campaign and avoid confusion at a later service visit.
  • gregr2gregr2 Posts: 14
    I am skeptical. I had my 2009 hybrid updated and the mpg went from 42-45 down to 37-40. Now during the heat of the summer I am getting 36-37 mpg.

    I get about one second of assist when I accelerate from a dead stop and that is it.

    My plan is to sell this car. Why did I pay $5000 more for a hybrid when I am getting non-hybrid mpg performance?

    I did get the state tax credit however.
  • pastorkpastork Posts: 9
    My mileage on my '09 Civic Hybrid dropped from 42, consistently, to 27-29. I traded it in, since Honda was being obstinate and arrogant about it. I'll never buy another Honda product. I bought a Mini Cooper Clubman, non-hybrid, and am getting 36 mpg combined, 43 highway...basically, the hybrid from Honda was a joke, and their efforts to save themselves on replacing batteries at the expense of my mileage have caused me to distrust them, and to smear their reputation every chance I get. Never again.
  • I have had the same problems as everyone else on this forum. I used to get 42 - 45 mpgs. It dropped to 35! I replaced the 12V, and I can now get 38; but that is still a FAR cry from the original posted mpg rating.
    After leaving my car parked for 3 days @ the airport, when I started it, the charge displayed dropped from 6 bars to ZERO and I lost all acceleration. I was almost in an accident, because my acceleration disappeared in the middle of a right hand turn. I have filed a complaint with the NHSTA.
    This morning, I dropped my car off for its second software update. I told the service manager I had no confidence this would fix the issues, but I would give it a shot.
    From the service bulletin description below, it sounds like the software update will just further retard the hybrid capabilities of the car, so Honda can avoid paying warrenty claims. However, I firmly believe that my battery is already permenately damaged, so where does this leave me?
    The BBB and a note to my congressman will be my next steps. After all the crap that happened with Toyota, I cannot believe that Honda is not honoring their warrenty and replacing batteries that are not functioning properly.
  • :sick: Has anyone started looking into getting a lawyer for a class action lawsuit? I too have beed disgusted with Honda's customer support on this issue. I have a 2007 HCH with this loss of power, low to no battery levels and unusually low mpg. I had to basically threaten to sell my car to Toyota for my local dealer to do something. I got my IMA battery replaced over 2 weeks ago. I get 5mpg better now. But going from 30-35 to 35-40, really isn't anything to get excited about. For the first 3 years I averaged 45-50, sometime 55. I haven't see 50 in over 6 months, even with a so called new battery. After ready this thread, I am really pissed. This is unacceptable. I traced my problems back to around Feb 2010 when I got my oil changed and Honda did a software update.
  • mrlarmrlar Posts: 14
    edited July 2010
    Well it seems that Honda's battery problem is widespread enough now, where they are not just disabling most of the hybrid's power for those who complain or need new battery packs (as I did about a year ago) -- but EVERYONE now. Knowing that if they don't tone down and largely disable the hybrid in all their cars out there, they'll be changing hybrid batteries by the thousands.

    Just today I got notice (in my case, a robocall) on my ansewring machine about the software "update" for all 2006-2008 HCHs. I assume they didn't bother to check to see that my car has already been pretty much stripped of its hybrid power, and assume they are simply contacting ALL owners of the 2006-2008 HCHs.

    Sadly, only a small number of people (probably under 1%) will bother to investigate, and simply go in to get the fix done, thinking it's an important safety issue. As we all know, IT IS NOT.

    As Honda themselves stated so simply, the purpose is simply to extend the battery life (by stripping away most of the hybrid's power via the software) so they won't have to replace their defective batteries by the thousands:

    "ALL unsold units should have the updated software installed prior to customer delivery. The update will reduce the likelihood of a MIL code being set and extend the life of the IMA battery."

    This has NOTHING to do with safety, but with their bottom line and screwing the buyers who will now have nothing like the car they bought as it was represented.

    I posted at length the hassle I had to go through to get my deteriorated batteries replaced (search my previous posts)... but am I to assume this is simply the same software "update" that was forced upon me a couple months ago (that basically immasculates the car's hybrid power). Even if it's a "new" one, I'm assuming it does the same thing?

    I saw two posts here recently from people who got notified earlier than me, and I'm wondering... did you take it in? Did you see any difference? I don't want to waste my time unless there will be an improvement. Like so many people here, I had all the updates done (was there 3 or 4?) half a year ago, or whenever it was. Is there any benefit for me going in this time? (Or will they turn it down even MORE than it is after the final update from a few months ago?)

    I can tell you this. I won't be buying Honda again. Every car company has their trials, but even with all the stuff Toyota is going through, at least their owners still have, fundamentally, the cars that they bought. It's clear Honda will do nothing to redress this issue the proper and honorable way. I'm not trading in my Civic, I'll keep it a couple more years. But they've lost a customer for life. NO one at Honda, giving their doublespeak excuses, would themselves personally patronize a company again that did this to them. As I said before, if head of Honda Customer Service were to buy a 60" LED TV where the speakers blew after a week, and the TV company's "fix" was to limit the volume control to a max of 3 (instead of 10) and say "it's perfectly normal", do you think that Honda Cust Service Rep would buy a TV from a company like that, like what Honda's done? I'm not ever going to forget this.

    At any rate, I was posting here mostly to notify you all of the new, across-the-board mandate to get ALL HCH owners in to have their hybrids stripped down.

    But I'm very interested in those who already had the software "updates" -- are you going to go in to get the latest one? Is it any different than the final one from a few months ago? What was the outcome? As my car is now, I want to say "it can't get any worse", but then hey, there's nothing to stop Honda from even completely turning off the hybrid system if they want, claiming (rightly so) that doing so would, hey, save the battery from failing even more! And you know what? If you remove the entire engine and drivetrain, THAT'D help conserve the battery even more too...
  • shonda3shonda3 Posts: 42
    I was one of Honda's early "updates." They have a prayer in H3ll of getting me back for them to complete the job. I intend to buy a new car within a year or two. i will keep my Civic parked in the sun for three months to kill the battery. Then I will force them to replace the battery before I drive it off a cliff. Screw Honda. To all of you newbies. Don't bring your car in for the update. Don't go near the dealership. And when you need battery repair, tell them not to update the computer. PUT IT IN WRITING! They are trained to lie and cheat.
  • rosie2006rosie2006 Posts: 22
    You have said it so well, it describes exactly what I have gone through, yes, got my recorded message yesterday, called the dealership and they could not explain to me exactly what the "new" software update would do or how it would affect my 06 civic hybrids performance. So hoping to get some feedback as to who has had the new software update installed, I have finally gotten used to when my car has no power, and it did improve slightly over last summer, but we have had a very mild summer here in Northern Ca. I believe my IMA is already faulty, why wouldn't I want it to fail completely so that a new one would be installed????
  • MB_in_MN, are you a Honda spy?

    From your post, I wonder if you have a connection with Honda, either directly by employment or through relations, friends, and so on. You certainly have a right to express your opinion, but frankly your post sounds very similar to the evasions and soothing words we're hearing from Honda's dealers and Honda corporate.

    I'm sure that they'd like nothing better than for your attitude ("calm down and put this in perspective; it's a small issue; you just dont' understand/drive correctly, etc.") to be widely accepted, so they can avoid what may be a very extensive problem, caused by inadequate design.

    Your suggestion that "Honda has a problem with a number of drivers" soiunds very much like "blaming the victim," and you further (without data to back it up) suggest that this problem is limited to a few hundred drivers among hundreds of thousands. That is irrelevant, by the way, but is also a very ineffective way to get redress of grievances.

    I suggest that you stop whistling in the dark, playing the Pollyanna role, and otherwise ignoring or refusing to recognize this problem, and respect the experiences and reports of others on this list.

    If you're an owner of an HCH, and have had no problems with it, I totally congratulate you and hope nothing but the best for you. But I suggest that in that case, you have no standing to give soothing advice to those of us who invested considerable sums of money, and may now be facing the possibility of owning cars that cannot be resold and that will be much more expensive to operate than we were led to believe at the time of purchase.

    For the record, my '07 has 27,000 miles on it, has been gently driven and well-maintained, and appears to have had a meltdown with respect to the IMA system. You can certainly report on your (lack of) experience with complete knowledge. But please don't advise me and others what to do when our personal experiences are radically different than yours, and when we perceive a very significant and growing problem that needs the direct, candid, and responsive attention from Honda USA.

    The fact that such candor and directness hasn't been forthcoming from Honda is very worrisome and troubling to those of us with the problem, and has for the first time placed me (a very long and very loyal Honda fan) in the position of questioning the good will and intentions of this company to do the right thing.

    If you
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