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Honda Civic Hybrid IMA Problems



  • If your battery is not right, only a new one will solve your problem.
  • I have discovered that if you place the car in neutral while driving, it will not go into its recharge phase, and the battery will always register at two or three bars. Does anyone know if this will lead to early battery failure? Just wondering.
  • Are you talking about with the car rolling or stopped? Mine still charges in neutral when stopped. If you put it in neutral when braking, you defeat the regenerative charging. You don't want to do this. It is a waste of energy. It is probably better for longevity if the battery stays at four bars or better, even though dipping below occasionly should not be significant.
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    It is probably better for longevity if the battery stays at four bars or better...

    That may not be what certain posters are trying to achieve.
  • Hi Steve, I am at the point of wait and see with my 06 civic, have been watching posts to see what is going on with the latest software update, so far, not impressed. Went many round with Honda Elk Grove, had 2 or 3 test drives with the HONDA REP (you can request it), the mechanic said yup does has issues, Rep final remarks were "operating as designed". BBB and consumer affairs, nothing worth mentioning. I think my IMA battery was damaged or faulty prior to the original 3 (all with the same bulletin numbers) was done. Sent comments from Edmunds to Call 3, got a response but nothing further. So, now the charge indicator does whatever it wants to do, fully charged to nothing, to 1-4 bars to fully to nothing. Rep said I could put the pedal to the floor, it wouldn't hurt it to resolve the no power when trying to get across an intersection, get on the freeway, etc. I agree that it is a safety issue, but until someone dies due to IMA failure, seems like no one cares.
  • I have the same issues with the bars - none to fully charged in 30 seconds. I did get the sw update as the car was at the dealer and they called Honda and Honda said to install the update. It actually helped for a few days but then back to sub-par performance. Some days the car won't start especially after sitting for 24 or more hours - it takes it a few tries to turn over. The intersection experience was the first time it ever quit running completely while in the on position. All the lights came on the dash including the battery and IMA lights. Normal, I think not.
  • My Civic hybrid lost mpg and power after the last tuneup. The change was obvious, but the dealership would not admit to any fault. The car was so slow, irritating to drive, and just plain unsafe for my family. I traded it in this weekend. No wonder none of the Honda hybrids are selling. Even the new CR-Z's are sitting on the lot. The dealers were pushing them big time this weekend but no-one was buying
  • Yup, know how frustrating it has been for me, loved the car for 2 years, then the issues, another big issue was no "codes" were coming up for the techs. Again, not our fault, but faulty workmanship on the computer for these things. They also could not reverse the software update to it's previous version, now that really annoyed me as it was not displaying issues other than a quick discharge every once in a while prior to the update. It actually got worse as the E.G. dealership only put 2 of the 3 updates (same bulletin) on it originally, so called around to nearly all the dealerships in the area and am now taking it to Honda in Lodi, they discovered it was lacking the 3 part of the update. OMG, they think that we want to be a nuisance???
  • Did you trade for another Honda, or go to another brand? I am so ready to trade, but the trade-in value is awful. I am afraid I will have to go to Honda to get a decent offer. I don't want to continue to pay for Honda's mistake with negative equity.
  • I have been having symptoms of IMA failure for over 2 months, and the IMA light JUST came on for the first time yesterday. At the same time as the IMA light, the Malfunction Indicator also came on. After driving for one hour, then parking the car for 5 hrs, upon restart, the IMA is now off, but the Malfunction Indicator is still on. According to the Owners' Manual, this indicates that there is a problem with the "engine's emissions control systems." I looked on the Maintenance Minder, and it shows a "3" which the manual states is an indication the transmission fluid needs to be replaced. So, exactly how many more things can go wrong with this car?! And why did the IMA light come on and then go off? It didn't magically cure itself. The IMA gauges are all over the place; fully charged, completely dead, and no matter what the charge, sometimes there is assist, but mostly not. I am so frustrated. On the interstate this morning, the car lurched and jerked in bumper-to-bumper traffic like I was driving a manual transmission, only like a person who doesn't actually know how to drive a stick. It was hopping in traffic. There was no assist, despite 5 IMA bars, but every time I stopped, the auto-stop engaged. It just makes no sense. With everything I have been through over the last 2 months, I am just fed up.
  • I am a medical student and HCH owner now stuck with a LEMON HCH because I can't afford to fix the battery or trade the car.

    If you GOOGLE Civic Hybrid Class Action you will find links to several cases - one was just expanded to include owners with defective IMA batteries at Chimicles firm.

    I have even gone directly to Honda America to ask for a cut-rate on fixing my IMA battery that died JUST outside the warranty window. They are not budging, just holding out as long as they can because they know litigation is inevitable with this many consumers. They'll bide their time, eventually settle and give consumers as little as the have to.

    I will NEVER purchase another Honda again after this indefensible, unethical treatment as a long time customer.
  • 2008 Civic Hybrid with 24,000 miles since new now has 1000 miles since update.

    Mileage has increased from 38.0 to at least 42; hand calculation on last tank of mostly city driving in hot weather was 42.6. I do have lack of assist at times especially when Temps are over 100. I get occasional drops in bars from 4 or 5 to 2 in hot stop and go driving. Usually charges back-up fairly fast once out of stop and go traffic.

    Conclusion - assist can be very marginal in stop and go driving and with temps of 100 deg and over. Fuel mileage is improved to a level I didn't expect in the hot weather out here. I don't like the performance degradation in hot weather and sometimes rapid discharge to 2 bars in hot weather and stop and go conditions.
  • Our '06 HCH initially averaged 42.5 mpg (per the gauges). We're in HI on a neighbor island, so it's rare to get up to 60mph, and winter isn't an issue. After a year of consistent driving, consumption went up to 35.5 mpg. We noted that the battery was frequently down to two bars, and no recharging noted when braking. The local dealer has reset and/or patched the s/w a number of times since. In these cases, the average mpg would go up to 42.x mpg for a day or two, before dropping back to the 30s.

    I've gotten the same speeches regarding temperature, driving style, etc, that others have reported here. It gets below 60 deg F at night for maybe a week, my wife's commute hasn't changed, but whatever, I'm a slow learner.

    Finally, over the last week I've watched the indicated charge swing wildly from 1 to full and back, while the charge/assist gauge sat silent. The car reverted to cranking from the forward battery a couple days ago, and the engine light came on. Since then, the IMA light has come up a couple of times before staying on steady.

    I plugged in my code reader and got back a P0A7F. Based on previous comments on this thread, I'm anticipating that the dealer will perform the s/w fix first, after which I'll PRAY that the system will croak again.

    Re: the safety issue, it's absolutely true that when you get used to merging into traffic with a functional IMA, it gets real sporty when you step on it, and it ain't there.
  • I did the google search for class action chimicles. I sent them my information about my battery or IMA problems and lack of interest from Honda. I am not going to get rid of my civic hybrid and pass the problem to someone else and let Honda get away with this poor treatment of me and others. I want Honda to fix my problem or buy my car back.
  • I've owned 4 civics, 2 Accords, and Pilot and have been very happy with all except the HCH. In my opinion, the IMA technology is very flawed, so I stayed away from that and traded in for a Honda CR-V. The trade-in at Honda was actually at the upper end of KBB with a good price on the CR-V as well.

    So far I love the CR-V and am getting 26-27 mpg with no worries.
  • I've owned 4 civics, 2 Accords, and Pilot and have been very happy with all except the HCH. In my opinion, the IMA technology is very flawed, so I stayed away from that and traded in for a Honda CR-V. The trade-in at Honda was actually at the upper end of KBB with a good price on the CR-V as well.

    So far I love the CR-V and am getting 26-27 mpg with no worries.

    BTW, I picked the CR-V because I could really use the space - another problem with the HCH.
  • I see you have not been too active lately pushing how the car is still perfectly safe to drive (if you absolutely, positively drive like the original "granny") without the extra omph provided by the electric motor assist.....however, the complaints are still coming in fast and furious from those who feel otherwise. Once again, I do not own one of these 'less than perfectly engineered Honda marvels" but only lurk around to read of the misfortunes of those that do all the while patting myself on the back for resisting buying one in 2006 when I bought our regular gas Civic (not without its own potential serious problems e.g. cracked engine blocks). I agree with some here who have said that Honda will do little or nothing to remedy this on an individual customer basis, if indeed anything CAN be done other than software patches to make the car limp along as long as possible preferably until out of warranty. It will take a class action suit or official government intervention or both to make Honda take some sort of action. Good luck!!!
  • Because I was a few thousand miles over warranty and do not live in one of the extended warranty states, Honda would only cover 50% of the cost to replace the IMA battery. It cost me $2000. That really put a dent in my past gas savings, but I felt it was better than letting the car go for an unreasonably low price or take a chance driving it like it is. So, I now have the option, I hope, of either selling it at a decent price, or driving it again in a like new condition. If there is ever a government intervention and settlement, I wonder if I would be able to be reimbursed. Does anyone know of anyway to track what might be happening on this front and if there is anyway to contribute to the outcome?
  • heather_07hchheather_07hch Posts: 28
    edited September 2010
    My 2007 HCH has been at the dealership for 48 hrs, and they just called to say a new IMA battery is on order and will be here Tuesday. After it had been there for 24 hrs with no call, I called. They said they had done the update, (against my wishes), and that the car appeared to be operating normally. I explained once again, as I had when I dropped it off, that it had been operating fairly well the last 2 weeks compared to last month's 27 mpg and 30 mph merges into interstate traffic. They refused to even look at the photos I had taken of my gauges over the last 6 weeks. I asked if they had even tested the battery to see how much damage had been done. He told me they don't have a way to test it. Angry, I went to the dealership, and when I arrived, he said they were on the phone with Honda Engineering right that very minute, (sure they were). After a 20 minute wait, he came back in and said that there was one more test they needed to do, and that they would need the car longer, and offered me a rental at no cost. Suddenly, everything had changed. I finally got the call 20 minutes ago stating that they were replacing the battery under my 100,000 mile extended warranty, (I am currently just over 85,000). I am going to get a copy of every test, record, etc done so far, and the rest of which will be completed next week when the battery arrives from CA, (I am in GA). I am so relieved, but still a little skeptical. Why the sudden change of heart?
  • I live in Florida and my battery came from GA. Don't know why yours didn't.
  • That is strange indeed. Of course, I don't care if they have to ship it from Japan, I'm just glad they're doing it.
  • Took my '06 HCH (53kmi) in to the local dealer, who validated the P0A7F and told us they'd order a replacement IMA battery. It's supposed to take a week or two to make it out to the islands.
  • I had to go back and get my car while they wait for the battery to arrive. I asked for some copies of the service records, and that is the code my car got as well.
  • I read that the Insight IMA battery is even smaller and lighter than the HCH. Wasn't this the problem with the HCH IMA battery, it's too small for the job.. Is the Insight IMA battery a new redesigned one or just the same type as the HCH.
    The IMA battery in my wife 's 06 so far works as it should be, she does not get the 46 to 47 MPG she used to get the first four years since she got the car, she now gets 42 MPG, so the mileage has dropped a bit. she could sometime get 51MPG on highway stretches with the cruise control on over a 500 mile trip. That's also gone now. We are are just wondering when the Battery will start conking out. We have an other 9k before the extended warranty expires, but it seems in Connecticut the IMA battery is warranted 10 years. I have not had the update installed. To me getting a new battery with the update is not a fix, if the mileage drops like all the other owners claim. So it's a bit of a catch 22, hopefully the battery last the way it is now or Honda comes up with a solution.
    Not software solution since hardware is the problem, I don't see them giving out 90 000 new redesigned Batteries. So getting rid of the car may be the solution, have Honda buy it back. I'd get a new Insight if the battery was a better design. I don't want to trade one problem for an other. This really sucks.
  • I agree. I am glad they replacing my battery, and I am assuming with the update, the new battery will not wear out as fast. However, will I ever have back the car I bought? I think not. The whole design is clearly flawed, so I am still unsure. The dealership will not specifically say the words, "the battery has failed," they just keep saying it needs to be replaced. They are just acting funny. The update is now done, and the new battery goes in on Monday, so we'll see how it goes after that. What I'd like to know is why, after the update, my gauges show an almost constant 50 percent or better state of charge, and the assist and auto-stop are working correctly, if my battery is dead? Doesn't make sense. If the software is now "updated," why don't the gauges reflect a low state of charge. Of course I am getting 35 mpg, which is not as bad as the 26-27 I was getting a month ago, but still not the 42-45 I used to get. I will continue to post and give updates of performance, mpg, etc after the battery replacement.
  • I got the update first and then the battery. On my first trip back home from the dealer, about 25 miles, I got 60 mpg. Since then, my average has remained above 50 mpg in another 35 miles driving on short trips.
  • I have now driven 75 miles since the battery was replaced, and they had to do the update again. I am still getting 35 mpg, inadequate assist, and no auto-stop unless there are at minimum 5 bars, but most often 6. I am not happy.
  • You have a right to be unhappy. I have driven about the same miles as you since my battery replacement and I am averaging 50.5 mpg. Something is not right and they need to get to the bottom of it.
  • This was posted on Don't know if this was mentioned before in this thread.

    Honda Service Bulletin 09-025

    My '06 has exhibited the same recal problems this summer. Frequent recals, loss of assist, but no IMA light yet. I'm due for service, but don't know what to do about the update.
    It appears from the bulletin that two symtoms will trigger a battery replacement. The IMA light must remain lit, AND the recorded freeze data of the IMA temperature sensors 1,2, or 3 must be above 68 degrees F.

    If those two conditions aren't met, they are directed to clear the error codes and do the software update.
  • Thanks for the information on what triggers battery replacement. I have a 06 with frequent recals and have taken it to the dealer twice. The dealer said it tested fine and I filed a formal complain with Honda. Honda corporate said I needed to take it back to the dealer and have them test drive it to verify what I was reporting. I took it back and the dealer was sympathetic but he said he didn't get frequent recals when he test drove it. Very frustrating. He did say that high temperatures trigger frequent recals and it might go down during the fall.

    The recals seem less frequent with cooler weather but the big picture is Honda seems to be saying that it is ok for the performance to vary widely and to be unsafe due to weather conditions and software upgrades as long as the IMA light is not on. This is unacceptable.
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