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Honda Civic Hybrid IMA Problems



  • For those who wish to opt out of the ridiculous Class Action Settlement: visit this link, print the form out, and mail it to them(address included in the form) before 2/12/2012.!opt-out
  • Hey...

    I was reading an article about Hybrids and there was a theory that Hybrid fuel economy really sucks in colder weather. The batteries do not have the same juice they have in Sunny California.

    If you are driving in sub zero weather this might explain your higher fuel consumption. Your gas engine works extra hard in winter months... Something to consider when weighing the options of a hybrid vs 4 cylinder...


  • The IMA battery that is used in the HCH also suffer from extreme heat.
    In a couple of hours I'm bringing my 06 HCH to the dealer, my car ran fine for 80k but lately the battery is showing signs of deterioration, I get the dreaded P0A7F code, the IMA light comes and goes, now the check engine light is on. Still the same code showing when checked with the OBDII code reader. I probably will have the battery replaced. It really sucks, I was planing to keep this car for a long time. Anyway today is the day. Go Heather!
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    Winter does affect the fuel economy of hybrids, but the battery is not a very large part of it. The hybrid battery in a Honda is fed cabin air to cool (and heat) it. It also generates heat from use. Within a few minutes of driving, the battery has come up to a usable 60 or so degrees (F) and the car will keep it between that and a normal high of 105 degrees. (max operating is 140F and emergency shutdown temp is 160F)

    That means that fuel economy will suffer until the car warms up. This same drop happens in any car - hybrid or conventional and is worse in the winter because it takes longer to heat up.

    What plays a larger roll is gas formulation. In the winter, the additives that are put into gasoline are changed to improve emissions with the lower temperature. These additives affect fuel economy in all cars, but we see it more in hybrids because "x percent drop" is a bigger number in a hybrid.

    I just drove across the country (I70) and averaged 58 mpg in my 2000 Insight. The same trip in early September in a 2001 Insight Oof identical performance was 64 mpg with the AC on.

    On a side note, gasoline is modified for altitude as well. In Denver, they sell 85, 87 and 91 octane gas, and it was $2.99 a gallon in mid January. The octane is lower because of the thinner air. I have no idea what impact it would have on economy because I didn't get any gas in Colorado.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    P0A7F = "Battery functioning below 10% of original 6.6Ah capacity"

    In other words, your battery has deteriorated severely and is "worn out". It isn't going to magically get better, so a replacement is due.

    We find that heat does play a role in this. Arizona and southern Texas vehicles suffer from this at an earlier age than other parts of the country (strangely, New Mexico seems to have less cars, so we don't see as many of them, or perhaps altitude plays a role?). Upon examination, we also find that the uppermost cells in the pack are significantly weaker than the lower ones. Heat rises.
  • mabecanemabecane Posts: 46
    edited January 2012
    I'm back from the Honda dealer, and sure enough they jerked me around.
    They tested the car and came with this statement on the service sheet

    "Code POA7F stored for high voltage battery capacity serious deterioration, updated PCM and IMA ( the freaking update) system updates.road tested car,light did not come back on. If light comes back on will need new IMA battery, aprox $2750 installed

    Before I told them that it was under warranty, they were going to order a new battery, when they asked me to leave a deposit for it I told them about the federal 10 year/150k warranty and they argued that the warranty was 8/80k. So back to their pc and scratched their chins and sure enough,there it was 10y/150k. But they still wanted to make sure that my model qualified. It must be a PZEV model, then I told them it was, but they looked under the hood and after deliberation they agreed. I can't understand why I have to wait for a new battery. I told I would be back soon.
    I can tell the update changed my IMA assist, it won't idle at stop signs and won't kick in going up steep hills. The ride to my house was only 8 miles.
    That code better come back soon.
    Now I feel better for opting out of the settlement. :mad:
  • mabecanemabecane Posts: 46
    edited February 2012
    I received three phone calls two from Honda headquarters and one from my Honda dealer.
    Honda headquarters wanted to listen to my complaints and rate my satisfaction with the services I received during my visit with the dealer last week. So far still no battery replacement, My dealer manually erased the P0A7F code off my car brain then installed the 10-034 update that I refused in writing last year. The dealer never told me they were going to instal it this time. Their argument is "we erased the faulty code to install the update and wait to see if it comes back. Even with a new battery I'm stuck with that update. As soon as I drove the car home I could tell the car was not the same, my mileage dropped an other 4mpg since.
    I'm really ticked off, the dealer acted like my warranty was over at (87k) and then tried hard to disregard the 10y/150 miles extended warranty saying my model has to be a pzev type low emissions, which it is. I had to point the markings under the hood for them.
    At first they told me I need a new battery and sent me to the cashier's desk to leave a deposit to order the battery to the cost of $2750, when I told them it was a warranty repair and I did not have to give them any money their tune changed and gave me the update BS story that it was Honda's protocol regarding installing new IMA batteries they sent me home.
    The dealer blames Honda corp and Honda blames the dealer for not being fully aware the warranty. Typical! Meanwhile "WE" the consumer get stuck holding the bag. This is not over, I gave the dealer a rating of 2 out of 5 on the phone to Honda corp. BBB received my complaint, I have the package from them for me to fill the details and send them my documents. Even if I get satisfaction I'm not happy getting a battery that will again fail prematurely, I want to keep the car a long time. Getting an aftermarket better battery with more capacity may be an option for me later.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    However, in good faith, you should give the update a chance to work. In some cases it does correct a P0A7F and bring the condition up to a healthy level. You need to separate the idiot dealer that you're dealing with and Honda the manufacturer. From my reading of your posts, Honda has been willing to replace your battery after the update has been given a chance to do its thing if it doesn't work, right? I personally think that is a reasonable approach given the real chance that a replacement won't be needed (maybe 30%).

    Your dealer is the problem right now. They are the ones who are interpreting the warranties incorrectly and being had nosed.

    Let's see how you do over the next couple of weeks.

    BTW, the dealer does have to order the battery from Honda and it does take a few days to arrive.
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    I went the update route with a bad battery. It didn't resolve the problem. The battery was then replaced and everything is fine now. The mileage is slightly better than it was before I had the battery problem. Of course, I don't know how long this battery will last.
  • Congrats, Heather!!! Job well done. Judge agreed it was fraud - just like all the Civic Hybrid owners already knew.

    But now Honda will bring out their hot-shot attorneys for the appeal. Good luck Heather.

    What a terrible, sad, company. NEVER BUY ANOTHER HONDA!!! And tell your friends and family this story so that they will know the truth: Honda SUCKS!!!
  • My Honda dealer installed last week the July 2010 10-034 update on my car without my consent.
    Can it be removed
    and if it can
    Does anyone had it removed.

    I refused the update in writing on the work order but they went along.
    Can someone send me a copy of the July 2010 letter informing HCH owner to have the update installed by their dealer.
    The letter mentioned that "not installing the update would not void the IMA warranty".
  • The update was installed a week ago, now the idle is high at stop signs, the stop idle non existent, the battery recalls 4 or 5 times on the way to work and back. Two bars or one then straight up to full then down again to 4 or 5. My car never acted that way before. I called Honda Headquarters and ask them if they could take the update off, even my wife complains how the car acts up. The dealer is supposed to call me back regarding the update. One bad cold night and I'm sure the code will be back. I hate this thing right now.
  • Just as a side note, the first software update actually consisted of 3 parts, when they installed it on mine, they neglected to do all of them, another dealer reinstalled and informed me of it. It ran like crap, better after that, then when this last BIG update came out, I was informed that I could not register my vehicle unless it was done. The first 2 fill ups were great, even reached 44 mpg for the first time and maintained it until the next fill up. Since then the vehicle does whatever it wants to, my frustration level has gone down since this all started in 09 but omg, I was so aggravated and frustrated with AHC, so glad Heather Peters has made so much headway, I too have opted out in hopes of proceeding in Small Claims Court. Mine is a 2006 Civic Hybrid, bought April of 2006, first and last Honda I would buy.
  • Based on my experience you did not have to wait long. My 2 ½ year old 2009 Civic Hybrid is on its third battery pack with 2 replacements in the last 30 days and lights came on again last evening. This time it was about 2 weeks since the previous battery pack replacement, 1st replacement kept the light off for 3 hours. Like others have reported my mpg has been dropping slowly since car was new and before the 1st battery replacement I could rarely break the 40 MPG barrier anymore on the highway. Concede 1 or 2 mpg to no longer having low rolling resistance tires but overall the mpg is consistently less than when car was new. Have not taken a long trip with a new battery pack as the light will not stay off long enough to get out of town. I had no illusions the vehicle would achieve the sticker mpg but even so the vehicle has not met my expectations as I did expect it to maintain or improve its mpg after the vehicle was broken in but the opposite has happened, I achieved the highest mpg (upper 40s) on a trip about 45 days after I purchased the car and on the identical road trip many times, the vehicle never achieved that high mpg again, plus it has proven to be unreliable as it has spent more time in the dealer's shop than any vehicle I have owned in recent memory, I have even had same check engine & IMA trouble light issues before which the dealer cured it 2 years ago with cold weather software update. Vehicle has 36,000 miles & Honda has covered all work under warranty but I still wish I had never purchased this vehicle. Don't get me started on the auto climate control system operation, what was Honda thinking; not to mention the CVT transmission will hardly allow the car to accelerate from a dead stop on an uphill incline with the A/C on, Honda needs a manual transmission option so the vehicle can have a legitimate low gear ratio. I have not driven one and have no plan to but I hope they have tweaked the low end performance of the CVT in newer models.
  • viawviaw Posts: 34
    Honda will respond back with "Honda engineers deem this as normal as the battery 'may' drain according to the software update notice". Tell them that their engineers are idiots as it is clear to me that the software downgrade is the culprit for the even more frequent recals. Tell them to send your car to get a diagnostic and then have them print out the battery usage life on your IMA as this also happened to me and this was a direct result of the battery life degrading. It was at 23% and they replaced my battery. I would tell the reps/engineers that if this was a computer and it would periodically "crash" once a month, even once/week, that may be considered normal. But when you have your computer crash once every 10 minutes (most likely this is your situation), then there is a problem with your computer and it needs to be rebuilt. they have already "programmed" into their diagnostic testing that the battery drain "may" occur, so doing a diagnostic will not tell you that there is a problem. so it's the fox watching the chicken coop. this 'recal' amounts to your hybrid not being a hybrid anymore as it is always on gas and will not auto-stop at a stop.
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    This is so contrary to my experience I am led to believe you must have something bad wrong with your car that they have not diagnosed that causes your battery to deterioate quickly. If they can't fix it they should give you another one.
  • I live next door to a honda dealer mechanic and he told me that he's only seen a few IMA batteries fail after large milage but our 2009 civic's IMA battery failed after 3 years / 32k miles. I knew when we bought the care the the quoted 40 city / 45 highway mileage was only of ideal driving conditions. We like the car so I don't care about the mileage - we were averaging 35 before the battery problems, but I'm worried that these packs will keep on failing and that the warranty won't be honored. The dealer I bought the car from said that the warranty is 10 years / 100k and I read on the site it's 10 years / 150k in the state we live in, while the dealer where we got the pack replaced said the new one is guaranteed for 12 months. I'm calling Honda America on Monday.
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    It would be interesting to know the failure rate on these batteries. My understanding is that replaced batteries under the original warranty are good until the original warranty expires. A battery replaced outside of the original warranty is guaranteed for three years.
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