Honda Accord Hybrid Brake Problems

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
edited March 2014 in Honda
Discuss Accord hybrid brake issues here.

Comments

  • alinadesignalinadesign Member Posts: 4
    I have a 2005 HAH that landed me in an accident this week. I had pulled into a gas station to fill up and had to maneuver around a bit to find an open pump. I backed up and bumped into a low pole that wasn't very visible. When I braked and shifted into drive, the car lurched and took off. Since it was a crowded area, I immediately tried braking, only to find that either the brakes didn't work, or the transmission/accelerator was stuck. I couldn't stop until I hit several cars stopped at a red light. It was absolutely terrifying!

    It was like the car was possessed. It was making a very "throaty" low noise and was difficult to steer, plus it wouldn't stop. Any ideas what was wrong, and how I can prove this accident wasn't my fault? Is there any record of what the car did? Was it a computer problem unique to hybrids? I had to be towed and the car's at the body shop now, but I don't want to get back in this car. I'm truly afraid of it!

    Alina
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
    Was the engine running or was this happening under electric power? I have NO idea what could have happened, so I'm just trying to think of possibilities. The Honda site suggests your dealer as first contact, but you might want want to get someone above dealer level in the loop. The customer relations number is 800 999-1009 M-F 6AM-5PM PT
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    "Since it was a crowded area, I immediately tried braking, only to find that either the brakes didn't work, or the transmission/accelerator was stuck. I couldn't stop until I hit several cars stopped at a red light. It was absolutely terrifying!

    It was like the car was possessed. It was making a very "throaty" low noise and was difficult to steer, plus it wouldn't stop."

    Sorry to have to say this, but the vast majority of these incidents involve "pedal error", where the driver thought he/she was stomping on the brakes, when in fact they were on the accelerator pedal.

    You were startled when you backed into the pole, and may have uninentionally hit the accelerator instead of the brake. In panic situations, the driver isn't aware that they are on the wrong pedal, and keep pressing it while wondering why the car won't stop. Also, while there is an interlock that prevents putting the car into gear from Park, there is no such interlock from Reverse to Drive, so the vehicle does not have a safety feature to ensure you have your foot on the brake in that situation.

    The "Throaty noise" was probably the engine at full throttle, and it might be difficult to steer because of "torque steering", which is encountered at high RPMs on front wheel drive cars.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    "Was the engine running or was this happening under electric power? "

    The Honda IMA always engages the electric engine, so both were probably running.
  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247
    I'll have to agree with John (stevedebi) on this one, absent some mechanical finding, which would indeed be rare.

    It is positively not a slight on your driving abilities, but simply something that has been proven to happen, even to "good" drivers in a stressful/emergency situation. :sick:

    There was a recent famous case of this out in Santa Moncia, CA, couple of years back, where a gentleman thought he was braking, but instead used the gas and mowed over several people, killing and maiming several. Count yourself lucky no one was hit.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
    I was approaching it from the perspective of taking them at their word, and starting to think about what it possibly might have been if it wasn't "pedal error".

    I agree that pedal error is a distinct possibility, but I imagine if you find yourself in that situation, a vehicle MUST appear haunted. Throw in the fact that it's a hybrid, and other possibilities enter the mind. Did the slight bump do something to the hybrid system? After all, the hybrid system involves regenerative braking. That plants a seed in your mind. If something went goofy with the hybrid system, for whatever reason, might it mess with my brakes?
  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247
    Well, for sure, Bob. One thing I have heard about, the other I haven't, so that is why I brought it up.

    Same thing happens to Navy Pilots landing on Carriers...from time to time. Not only do they Bolt, miss the wires, but now and then splash one on take off. :sick:

    That is why I said it is absolutely not a skill thing, necessarily. Sometimes S__t happens. ;)
  • alinadesignalinadesign Member Posts: 4
    I have been doing some more research on this and have found almost indentical incidents. I didn't bump into the pole that hard; it didn't even dent the bumper. Obviously I braked. Shifted into drive, at which time the car stalled. I gave it some gas, and it wouldn't go forward, but then lurched. Because it was such a small area, I braked, but it didn't do anything. It absolutely felt like my foot was on the brake; it had that "resistence" which you don't feel in throttle. The car was not going that fast, only about 10 mph, but it wouldn't stop.

    I know I was stepping on the brake, not the accelerator. I would have been going faster, I would think if I were flooring the accelerator. I didn't become panicked until I realized the car wasn't stopping. The bump was not enough of a deal to make me panic, nor damage the car (other than some paint on the bumper... but no dent).

    Thanks for your input, even if I do refuse to believe it was peddle error. : )

    Alina
  • alinadesignalinadesign Member Posts: 4
    I don't think it was really an issue of brakes failing because they felt the same way they always do when you apply pressure. They didn't go to the floor; my foot was still way above the floor. It was more like I was braking, but the throttle was stronger.
  • alinadesignalinadesign Member Posts: 4
    "There was a recent famous case of this out in Santa Moncia, CA, couple of years back, where a gentleman thought he was braking, but instead used the gas and mowed over several people, killing and maiming several. Count yourself lucky no one was hit."

    I live in Los Angeles, so I'm familiar with this case. The jury decided the man knew what he was doing, and he was found guilty. What many people don't know is that the elderly man had a road rage incident just prior to the farmer's market disaster. He was in a state of mind where (or so the jury believed) that he was out to get someone. Witnesses said he had a very defiant and deliberat look on his face. He never showed remorse afterwards, nor during the trial (didn't show up for most of the trial).

    I do count myself extremely lucky that no one was hit. I could never live with myself if I did that.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    "What many people don't know is that the elderly man had a road rage incident just prior to the farmer's market disaster. He was in a state of mind where (or so the jury believed) that he was out to get someone."

    He had a minor fender-bender, hardly "road rage". The rest was speculation, and people's emotions.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    "Thanks for your input, even if I do refuse to believe it was peddle error. : ) "

    Is it possible that you had your foot on both the brake and the accelerator? I do that sometimes (big feet).
This discussion has been closed.