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Honda Civic Hybrid IMA Problems



  • My complaint is based on car performance and safety prior to the update vs after the update, not a change in my driving habits. Loved the car before, not so much since. Irregardless of settlement amount consumer receives, the point is Honda could pay millions to settle. Lawsuit settlements may be the only weapon consumers have to keep giant corporations like Honda from becoming even more insensitive to customer complaints in the future. This is my last post on the subject.
  • I can understand your thinking. However, keep in mind that Honda might not be so averse to such settlements. Conducting a recall and replacing defective parts may have cost them more than they paid out in the settlement. Obviously, I have no way of knowing that this was the case... just speculating.

    If any of these suits resulted in the companies actually FIXING the problem (really making it right), I'd be all for them.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • "Mileage concerns are particularly quirky. That "your mileage may vary" phrase is only too true. I've ALWAYS met or exceeded the EPA numbers on my cars. Probably a combination of my driving style and the conditions I drive in. But with the same model cars, some people don't get close to the number and think that means a problem with the car."

    Obviously u do not own a HCH with a bad/weakening battery and a change of software....u see the software algorithms changed when and how the battery aids the small 1.3 engine. Without the battery functioning as it was originally the EPA "estimates" are NOT based upon the car as an original HCH

    Your arrogance sounds like the Honda corporation standard answer. Even you and ur exceptionable gas pedal dexterity would fail without a proper IMA battery.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    If you do, contact me via email and I'll help you fight it and get the warranty service you are entitled to.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    Regarding your comment about gas pedal dexterity and economy with a failing battery, I can tell you through experience that any IMA based car requires different driving styles with a good battery, failing battery (which produces a net drag) or NO battery.

    Just this fall, I drove a 2001 Insight with a new battery 5700 miles in 8 days of driving crossing the country, the Rockies and the Sierra Nevadas. With AC on and 85 mph highway speeds, I averaged 62. The same car averaged 72 from Wisconsin to NYC in the summer.

    I also drove a 2000 Insight with no battery at all 1200 miles in a day and a half (Tampa-Atlanta-NYC) at 65 mph with AC and averaged 64 mph. This same car with a new battery installed gets about 75 mpg highway.

    Around town the car gets 50 with no battery and 55 with, but you really have to drive it very differently (the insight has a 1 liter engine).

    What is the EPA?

    For the 2001: 48/60
    For the 2000: 49/61

    Similar test with a 2004 Civic hybrid (CVT) with non-LRR tires:
    45 highway with battery, 42 highway without.
    42 local with battery, 40 without.
    35 local with battery if my wife drives it. She gets 40 highway.
    Other 2004 CVT Civic Hybrids I've driven with good batteries and correct tires: 60 highway, 50 local.

    EPA 39/43

    So yes, your mileage may vary, but the battery isn't the biggest factor - driving style is.
  • Thank you for your offer to help,but it looks like I won`t need it. I got a call from the dealer yesterday. They said what I believe is the truth that my battery was degraded and needed replacing.They said the car was not drivable and they are ordering a new battery and will install it under the warranty.It was a five minute call with no hassle at all.I want to thank you again for all your comments and advice in this forum.I learned a great deal about hybrids and my car which helped me take action.
  • viawviaw Posts: 34
    edited December 2011
    good for you centerfield. here's my story in a snapshot - just got off the phone with the dealer and honda america:
    complained to honda over a year ago right before and after the software fix (~90k miles, so i was out of "regular" warranty, but still good under Cali warranty). the dealer diagnosed that there was no issue, went to arbitration, and lost cuz they said the recal does "occur" occasionally..ok, whatever. so i finally decided to say 'f' it and filed a small claims court as the recals were up to 8-10 times per day. a week before filing the claim, i called honda and they said that they would not pay for a diagnostic. only after filing a small claims court, 'oh, would you mind bringing your car in and we'll pay for it?'...a$$-hole$. so i got the call back from the service manager and he said, well, the battery charge is down to 23% and that the threshold for the light to turn on is 20%. well now...isn't that what i've been telling honda all this time that the car isn't running what it's designed to? well, the dealer (IMO) screwed up the first time cuz they said that they could not get a % level of usable battery....that could've saved me a year's worth of additional pain. well, honda authorized the replacement of the IMA (which i have not yet authorized to go forward with), but i am happy that this is being done. i have almost 6 years at 115k miles, so the new 3year/36k would more or less match the 10 year/150k from the cali warranty. if i were you folks, i would file a small claims court (if still under warranty) and force their hand to have them pay for your diagnostic and at the same time, make sure they give a print screen on the usable charge on your vehicle. bye and good luck to you folks.
    so in a sense, i tried all avenues for honda to investigate my problem, it did take a small claims court filing to get them to investigate more. i had videos and everything for the court to show the problem if needed. basically, if you bought a computer and it crashed once a month or even once a week, no big deal, that's part of a computer (and the same is said in the manual about the battery drain). but when it happens once a day and progresses to every 10 minutes up to 8-10x's a day, then it's a problem and you would say the same with your computer having to reboot so many times. there's a bug and it needs to be fixed.
  • I just purchased a 2006 HCH and I am wondering if the software update was done. Is there a way to check for it somewhere on the screen or anywhere else? I certainly am hoping that it hasn't been done. I do not seem to have any issues with the floating bars or poor acceleration at any time, although I have been doing almost exclusively city driving, so I am not sure what mileage I should be getting. Is there some way to check on it? I got it from a dealer and it is without maintenance records. Thank you for the information.
  • Not sure how to find out if it got the update but you should be getting mid-30's mpg city driving. According to the original EPA Estimates for the car it was about 40 mpg but that was inflated. If you're getting 28 to 31 mpg or so I'd say it had the update. That's what I get on my 2007 which had the update.
  • Thanks for your post. I have video also, a and my battery recals every 10 miles or so also. I will try small claims! Thanks. (I'm in California also).
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    The tech bulletin that calls for the update states that a punch mark will be added to the VIN that is under the hood. However, this may not be reliable. I had the update but they did not add the punch mark.
  • Suspicious!! Why can't I find it. I got an e-mail update but the original post is not here? Hmmm.
  • PFFlyer@EdmundsPFFlyer@Edmunds Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,808
    edited December 2011
    Nothing suspicious at all. The Edmunds forums cannot be used to organize legal actions and posts along those lines are removed. All part of the Member Agreement that we all agreed to when we first became forums members here.


    Moderator - Hatchbacks & Hybrid Vehicles

  • OK. Thanks for the explanation! Yesterday my car practically revved to the red zone just trying to merge into freeway traffic. Today it revved to 5000 just trying to get to 45 mph on the freeway. 55,000k 2007 Honda.
    I personally know about class actions - they do mainly benefit the lawyers. I got a class action check for $18.00 2 weeks ago - some kind of foreign transaction bank fee settlement. I've only been overseas twice in the last 10 years or so. I must have really been ripped off - LOL.
  • I had better luck. When my hybrid electric battery needed replacing at 120,000 miles, they told me the good news was Honda would replace it free! "Why?" I asked. "Because Honda just increased the warrantee to 10 years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first."

    Hope this helps you and many others.

    Another time, when I was told I might need a new transmission, they called and asked if they could try something different. They tried flushing it out about five times with oil, and that fixed it. The cost of this was around $200, versus over $1000-$1500, so overall, I've been extremely happy with Honda. My only gripe now is the over $100 an hour labor rate that I can no longer afford. All of these car repair places are chasing away their customers--especially us senior citizens in the new Great Depression with rates like this. Many car dealers have already gone out of business before admitting this mistake.
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    I wonder if this extended warranty would apply to 2006 models and if the State of residence matters.
  • Can someone please help me understand if there is a Honda warranty on the HCH IMA battery. I have a 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid purchased in April 2005 with 65K miles?

    Suggest how I communicate with Honda and what I am likely to expect when I bring the vehicle to the dealer.

  • Check your owner's manual. I know that in mine, there is an 8-year 100000 mile warranty. In some states, that is extended by law to 10 years and 150000 miles; but you should be well within the limit.
  • dowjddowjd Posts: 14
    Hey dontsettle,

    I have a 2009 HCH and have had the same problems as everyone else. In the first year of purchasing the car I already had a battery go bad. Here is a synopsis of my HCH experience:

    Post #937
    1. Purchased Feb 2009
    2. Got 43-52mpg highway & 43mpg highway/city
    3. August 2009 mileage decreased to 43 highway & 39 highway/city
    4. IMA light on Nov 2009, software upgrade
    5. Poor to no assist, battery drops to 1 bar, averages 4-6 bars, Auto Stop is random
    6. Mileage down to 39 highway & 37 highway/city
    7. IMA light on Dec 2009, new battery installed.
    8. Mileage 37-39 highway & 34-36 highway/city.
    9. Dec 2010, IMA light again. Honda software update.
    10. Car maintains 4-6 bars, Mileage 38 highway & 36-38 city/highway, Auto Stop more frequent, Assist more frequent but ceases above 3000RPM.

    Post #952
    My local Honda dealer (Visalia Honda... Thanks to them for ackowledging) today (3/2/11) acknowledged they are experiencing a lot of battery problems/replacements and have advised Honda USA that it is not poor driving habits of its customers. I advised them that I am paying the price of a hybrid, but getting the performance of a regular Civic.

    Additional: Upon vehicle pick up. Battery recal, performance improved. It appeared Honda performed off record software update or downgrade.

    Should HCH owners opt-out now or wait till Jan 2012 case is finalized?
  • You can expect a variety of responses -- all of which have been mentioned here in previous posts -- and none of which might be of real help to your particular vehicle/dealer/service department, etc. As I am reading more and more of these posts it is obvious that there are many options, some work and some don't, but the bottom line is you will either keep your HCH or get rid of it.

    Either way, the evidence points to the fact that the HCH 2000 and up have IMA battery problems, dealers/service depts/Honda know about the problems, and have year by year moved farther away from fixing it with their software upgrades and/or extended mileage warranties to outright denying there is a problem of any kind and just throwing their hands up while they open the cash register and wait for you to write a check.

    To put it bluntly - you're over a barrel and we all know what happens next...
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