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Honda Civic Hybrid IMA Problems



  • I did some research on small claims court when I was going through my debacle with the dealer on my IMA replacement. I was advised by an attorney that if I had received anything ie $, replacement battery, etc., that it was likely small claims would consider that satisfactory - in other words, no go. Honda is the big fish in this cesspool of a pond we find ourselves in, and the class action suits are about the only way this will be resolved because they are such a big fish. There are few, if any, of us capable financially and legally to go up against them and they and their legal staff know it. It is shameful and it is unfair that customers would be treated this way. However, the reality is that we were and this is what we are stuck with now. I'm done whining and trying to find the loophole; believe me there isn't one. What I am left with is a decision to keep the vehicle or sell it. I hope this helps some of you to at least save time and energy with the small claims court process that is being touted.
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    I think what you are saying is that if you accepted anything from Honda as a fix for the problem and you made no recorded issue at the time that it was not a fix, you will lose in trying to make an issue out of it now. That seems to be reasonable to me. So, as much as the class action may be unfair, it is probably the best opportunity to get any type of compensation unless you have a record of non response or ineffective response by Honda.
  • I have changed my mind, I will opt out and go the small claims route.
    Resale value is what made me do it. The 200 bucks won't cover the loss.
  • Just sent in the opt out form to American Honda Co, am gathering all the info that I can find, will be visiting the 2 dealerships that I've had my Civic at and request all records pertaining to it. Will then draft a letter to AHC and give them six weeks to respond. Then to Small Claims Court here in Sacramento, CA. The frustration alone of dealing with the vehicle, and the Honda Reps is enough to drive a person nuts! Hats off to Heather, the lady in the news who had her case heard a couple of days ago, can't wait to hear what the outcome is going to be!
  • Hey Bossless-

    I've noticed that you have been posting to this blog fairly consistently over the past 16 months. And I've also noted that over that time period you have expressed, what I would consider, an "anti-consumer" position with regard to the Honda IMA and gas mileage issue. So I feel compelled to ask you: Do you work for America Honda Corp??? A Honda dealer??? Honestly, why have you been so interested in this topic over the past year and a half?? Do you have some vested interest in a settlement that would clearly be beneficial to Honda and detrimental to its customers who have a legitimate complaint. Let's be honest, Bossless, who is your BOSS??????????
  • I love the spirit, Rosie. I'm with you in Lake County, Illinois!!!!
  • Well, Missdismayed, if you think that $200 will cover your expense and aggravation then I think you should jump on board the class-action train. Personally, I have no idea who your attorney is and what he's talking about. Let's say for the sake of argument that you were told, at time of purchase, that you were going to get 50 MPG. A year later, after Honda has "updated" your software and your battery has deteriorated, you figure you're getting 28 to 30 MPG. After battling with America Honda Corp they finally acknowledge that your battery is bad and replace it. But they will not remove the software upgrade that, will protect you new battery from deteriorating, but will keep your gas mileage around 30 MPG -- Your attorney really thinks you have no case. Find a new attorney --- and OPT OUT!!!!! Or are you really one of the class action attorneys who is set to make $8.5 million off this bad settlement???????
  • kennyntk02kennyntk02 Posts: 4
    edited January 2012
    Hi every1. I'm really frustrated right now and desperately need some help!!

    I bought a used HCH 07 with 45k miles for $18k at a local Nissan dealership last September for my wife thinking that the car is made by Honda should it should last plus it's a hybrid so I don't mind paying that much. Anyway, It was working perfectly fine when i test drove the car but 2 months later the engine light and the IMA came on. So i took it to the local Honda dealership (1st visit) to get it check and an oil change. I had to pay them $35 for oil change and $75 for the diagnostic test. After they done the diagnostic test, they told me that the car needs a software update and a new fuel cap. So they did update the software and replace the fuel cap for me for free. The next day, the engine light came on again so I called the service adviser at Honda dealership to tell him about that and made an appointment for 2nd visit. On the 2nd visit, they told me that there was nothing wrong with the car and somehow they were able to turn the engine light off so I took the car home. Then the next day the engine light came on again so I called them back to set up an appointment to the car check (3rd visit). After the 3rd visit to Honda Dealer, they finally found out that it was the battery that causes the engine light to come on so they have to order a new battery for me and set up an appointment for the 4th visit which was last Monday (1/2/2012). I did take my car back to Honda dealer to get the new battery replaced but just yesterday the engine light came back on along with the IMA and the battery light. Also, the engine would cut off sometime when I come to a complete stop. I did car Honda dealer this morning to schedule an appointment next Monday to get my car checked. However, my question is what should I do if this keep on happening? Does lemon law apply to a used car?

    By the way, I just received a Class Action Settlement claim in the mail yesterday but I don't know whether should I participate or opt out. Any suggestion?
  • Sorry for your problems. I don't know much about Lemon laws, and they do vary from state to state, but I would guess that you purchased the car "as is" from the Nissan dealer and have no recourse against them. The IMA battery was still under warranty and should have fixed the problem if it was truly a battery issue to begin with. I find it odd that initially just the engine light came on and that it was only after the battery was replaced that the IMA and battery lights appeared. I would continue to try to work with the Honda dealer to get the issue resolved. They are aware of the battery issues and the law suits and the honest ones feel really betrayed by Honda. If your dealer is like that, then they should work with you to resolve the issue.

    As for the class action law suit, I can't see any reason for you (or anyone else) to accept the lousy offer being made. I really don't think the judge will go along with it anyway. If I were you, I would OPT OUT and keep my options open for a better deal. I think its worth risking the $100/ $200 to wait it out.

    And one more thing..... HONDA SUCKS. NEVER BUY ANOTHER HONDA.!!!!!
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    Hi Hpdriver-

    Based on your comments you don't seem to have read my posts very closely. I'm definitely not anti-consumer and have no connection to Honda except for this one and only Honda car I have ever owned in my life. I have used small claims court and arbitration several times successfully on other issues. Everybody's experience is different. I have never had the poor gas mileage experience with my car that many others have had except when my battery failed. When the battery was replaced my mileage went back to what it was before--48 to 50mpg. For me the settlement will be a good deal because I will be reimbursed for what I paid for my battery replacement. I hope this clears it up for you. BTW, I am a retired NASA engineer, that is why my handle is bossless. I am hopeful that you and others get fair restitution by whatever means works best for you.
  • Bossless-

    Sorry for my comments and misunderstanding. This whole Honda experience has just been so frustrating that it has made me distrustful of everyone from America Honda Corp reps to blog posters. Just not sure what to do. My issue is no longer the battery - it's that software upgrade. It keeps the battery from charging properly and has driven my MPG down to lower 30's. And I'll watch in total frustration as the battery charge indicator drops down to 1 bar and I am unable to safely accelerate the vehicle. Honda sucks.

    For me the $200 is just not worth it. I'm opting out and watching how the small claims case turns out. Also wondering where the California attorney general stands on the class action settlement - a similar settlement was shot down by a state's AG out East a year ago. Can't believe this insult could succeed.

    I hope you are able to recoup your losses. But be sure to read clause (d) carefully - I believe that Honda will use every excuse possible not to honor it. Somehow they will claim that you (the driver) did something wrong to make the battery fail.

    Good luck. And remember, HONDA SUCKS!!!! NEVER BUY ANOTHER HONDA - NEVER!
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179

    No problem. It is a frustrating experience. Could you give me the page number for clause (d). I want to make sure I read the right information.
  • It's Page 5, article 6(C) not D - sorry. Middle of the paragraph it says "... that would otherwise have covered the replacement but for the warranty's expiration ...". Who determines that it was "otherwise covered" = HONDA. And if Honda "expressly denies the allegations", do you believe that they will make it easy for you to recoup your costs?? My guess is that they will have you jumping through hoops to prove that the battery failure was a result of your driving behavior, not their battery. Now if article 6(C) read: "In ALL circumstances where a battery failed within the warranty period plus 12 months or 12,000 the customer will receive reimbursement" then they would be locked in. I just think they're asking for wriggle room and they are getting it.

    Remember, HONDA SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don't let any friend or family member EVER buy a Honda!
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    Thanks. I read it carefully. I understand your wariness, but I have all the dealer paper work documenting the battery failure and showing the mileage and how much I paid. If I had been under the mileage warranty limit I would have been covered by the original warranty. That was discussed with Honda at the time.
  • Rosie, I live in Sac area also!! Please e-mail me You obviously feel exactly the same way I do, and I would love to communicate with you, brainstorm etc. without an entire forum's worth of people reading/disagreeing, etc.
  • My 2010 HCH is now 53 weeks old, the IMA light came on and was told I will be getting a new IMA battery. 16,500 miles. Something tells me I am in for a few more of these in the near future... Not sure why they are selling this vehicle. One battery replacement and they are losing money on the vehicle. How long can they keep doing this?
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    Maybe this is just a fluke battery failure. But with all that is going on with this car it makes you wonder.
  • Thank you very much for ur comment hpdriver.
    I took my car to the Honda dealer that I has been going to to get it checked yesterday and they said that the new battery they put on my car is defective. So they want to keep my car until Wednesday to fix it. Now I have no car to go to work, have to ask a friend for a ride. This will be my last Honda. Also I will opt out on that ridiculous class action settlement.
  • Ogre_GEV, thank you for the info on how sensitive the battery is. It explains why the battery failed in my 2005 HCH. I had been driving the car daily (80 mile freeway commute) and never had less than a 7/8 IMA battery level for 152,000 miles.

    I got laid off in October 2011 and the car has been sitting idle for several days each week since then. I had noticed that the IMA level had gone down to half full but did not realize damage was occurring. I took it on a long trip last weekend with lots of up hill. The battery ended up draining to 1 bar three times and the IMA and checklight came on. Oh No! I went to the first Honda dealer I could find, and they, at no charge, hooked up a reader and informed me of an IMA P1433 code and said the battery was going bad but the vehicle was safe to drive.

    When I got home, I took the car to my local Honda dealer to have it checked out. I had recently received the class action lawsuit paperwork which indicates that Honda will be extending the IMA warranty 12,000 miles so they made a copy of it. I bought my last two cars from this dealer and they've performed all vehicle service (including CVT transmission fluid changes at twice the mfr recommended interval since I know the CVT is touchy) so there was no question that the car has been maintained properly (including the ECM/IMA software update which was applied a few months after I purchased the car).

    Later in the day, the dealer called me and they confirmed that the IMA battery needed to be replaced and also that Honda agreed to cover the replacement. Yippee!

    Thanks to you, I now know that I cannot let the car sit idle, so I will have my husband drive it to work to keep the IMA battery in good shape til I find another job. It's too bad Honda does not let the owners know about this but then it would be admitting a problem which I guess they cannot do.
  • mabecanemabecane Posts: 46
    edited January 2012
    It's great that you are getting a new battery, regarding letting the car sit for a few days you are right the battery is most likely to deteriorate. In my case my wife and I drove the car every days never letting it sit more than a day,and the battery is showing failure. It's a 2006 with 80k on the odo. The IMA battery is not up to the job on the Civic. If it did, Honda would not have to install a software update to limit the way the IMA battery gets depleted by the car.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    I find it hard to fault the dealer for needing to keep the car, as the battery will take 2-3 days to have shipped in, but they should have let you drive yours, or given you a loaner.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    That's great that you got a replacement! You were still under warranty with the 5% mileage extension (157,500 for CA for 2002-2006 cars), so you didn't even need the 12,000 mile extension.

    At 152,000, I would consider that pack to have lasted a normal amount of time, so drive it and you should get similar results with the new one.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    2005 and 2006 Civics have totally different batteries so you can't compare them. The cars are different weight and the 06+ have many more electrical accessories that impact the battery.
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    My 06 battery lasted to about 90K miles.
  • viawviaw Posts: 34
    i hope that you are getting the 8 year/80k original warranty on the replacement as opposed to 3yr/36k
  • viawviaw Posts: 34
    i hope you got your $75 diagnostic charge back as the issue came up to be an IMA issue which should be covered under warranty.
  • I get the P0A7F code, the kiss of death for the IMA. The battery recalls 5 or 6 times on a 40 miles trip on the highway. Mileage is going down also.
  • If the new battery lasts the same as the old, I will be one happy camper since I do not want to get rid of the car. And, thanks for the info on the 5% extension.
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    My understanding is you get the 36/36K warranty if you pay for the battery. If you don't, you don't get anything beyond the original warranty.
  • viawviaw Posts: 34
    that's the detail i was trying to inquire about. if the battery failed within 20k miles (original warranty), then you would get that to 8/80k, right? mine failed and i got a replacement @115k (cali warranty) and that'll basically butt up against the 150k with the replacement is 36k. so i wonder which one are they really honoring? the original 8/80k should be, right? or they might try to slip that 3/36k past some unsuspecting folks...
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