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Honda Civic Hybrid IMA Problems



  • Thanks. I'll verify it with Honda. It seems from this thread it seems that dealers are not aware.
  • viawviaw Posts: 34
    the dealers are idiots.
  • dealers are not aware is an understatement. Most dealers choose to ignore most of the complaints and blamed them on poor driving habits or just play dumb. They do not deserve our business. :lemon:
  • Turns out that my model is a low emissions one so the warrenty is 150k mikes or 15 years. Otherwise it would be 80k or 8 years.
  • viawviaw Posts: 34
    hi folks,
    i had my small claims court hearing in Pleasanton, CA today. My case was actually supposed to have been heard a month ago (actually a few days after Heather Peter's case). But got delayed cuz i hadn't served Honda properly. anyways, i think it went very well.
    if you plan on opting out and pursuing your own case, i would suggest that you be well prepared. i think that you folks should NOT pursue this "false advertisement" route. this portion is very difficult to prove. BTW, i hear that Ms Peters' is charging like $15 for her evidence - which I don't think that's cool. anyways, all you really should pursue is the fact that the software screwed up your car. if you had you have a mileage log (cost/gallon, gallons purchased, date, MPG's, etc) that would more or less prove your case. fortunately for me, i had ALL this information as i logged every mile i drove into an excel spreadsheet. It was clear that i was getting worse gas mileage after the software upgrade as compared to before the upgrade. that alone is evidence that Honda did something to your car and should be liable for the degradation in the efficiency. also, if you have a video of the IMA and how it does not give you sufficient recharging of the battery, that should be enough to prove that the car is not performing to when you first test drove and purchased your car. it'll show that the lack of battery assist is insufficient and at the cost of the consumer. you can probably get your gas purchases by sorting your credit card purchases online and noting how more frequently you have had to refill your tank - showing loss of efficiency. keep harping on the software and tell them that this was a mandate to be done - whether you wanted it or not and it screwed up your car.
    unfortunately, i screwed up my claim as i didn't modify the dollar amount and what i wanted to sue for as originally, all i wanted was a little bit of gas and a replacement battery. i got a replacement battery when Honda saw that it was 23%, but they wouldn't give me any compensation for gas, so i continued my suit, but didn't realize all this legal crap that i had to file an admendment if i wanted other compensation...S*ck. either way, i think i'll get something, but it won't be much as, like i said, i screwed up. every time we file a suit, Honda has to send an internal lawyer and a company rep which will cost them travel + time spent and this will cost them in other ways as compared to just paying out the small claims. either way, if i win, it's still a win for every one of us Honda owners, no matter the monetary value. it just keeps on subtracting from their reputation.
    good luck
  • mabecanemabecane Posts: 46
    edited February 2012
    The software is my main beef. I have it in writing not to install it and they did. Now the car drives like a regular civic but with more fuel consumption. My car actually regenerate going up hills. That is worse than no battery assist. They really messed up. I think Heather is trying to help. She won't get rich on the 15 bucks.
  • viawviaw Posts: 34
    i agree, won't get rich off $15...but just post the material and have people look. she already has a site posting everything else.
    obviously, i commend her for taking this small claims so public. the commissioner who did mine set ours up last as it was going to take a long time and there were no one else other than me and honda and the court folks. the judge was really questioning the on why honda had to implement this software and that people cannot back out of it since the majority of the compaints from people are more about the software and what it did to the cars than anything else.
    if you have evidence that you're getting worse performance and mileage, then you are well on your way to a small claims. if you want a copy of what i presented, drop me an email and i can send it to you to help you out.
  • 2003 Honda Civic hybrid, 49K miles

    Abnormal battery behavior for last 3 weeks

    First change
    IMA light came on on two very cold (~0 degrees F) mornings. Light went out next time I started the car, after driving about 20 minutes. Battery charge about 2/3 while IMA not functioning. IMA functioned normally (as far as I recall) after light went out.

    Second change noticed (might have started before first)
    Abnormal charging - charging while going up slight to moderate inclines, with battery charge at 2/3 or more. IMA starts assisting with battery a bit less than fully charged. Don't recall seeing battery charge dropping below 50%.

    Third change
    After a 0 degree F night, engine started roughly. IMA battery at 3 bars. After driving 14 minutes, battery charge at about 90%. IMA started assisting on demand before battery had reached 50% charge.

    Wondering whether I have a failing battery or a bad IMA controller that isn't charging at the appropriate times?
  • Hi, I'm in Calgary and the same started happening to me. It seems to be stemming from the Warranty recall computer update in the summer of 2011. Did your dealer update the computer? My car has now been with the dealer for 4 weeks, the battery and everything checks out. They are waiting for a response from the engineers in Japan.
  • Interesting.

    Yes, the update was performed.

    More strange behavior
    When I started the car this afternoon, the battery meter showed 2 bars. Again, after about 10 minutes, it showed the battery fully charged. Some of the bars even appeared without the Charging indicator lighting up, and the rest without much charging. I wish I could fill the fuel tank without pumping any gas.

    So, it sounds like your dealer was able to check the battery somehow. What can you tell me about how they did that? Can you give me any information about the engineers working on it in Japan? I'd like to pass the info on to my dealer.

    Meanwhile, my onboard computer gave P0A80 as an trouble code. It was explained as an "IMA code." Do you know if your car produced any trouble codes? If so, what were they?
  • I didn't notice any wierd battery charge/discharge when the car was running. The first time it got cold in Nov the dealer got an intermittent flashing code 56(not stored - not retrived with HDS). During their testing they also got code P1600. The dealer connected their diag to "techline" they advised to repace the IMA battery. All was good untill Jan got cold same problem. Haven't seen the car since, I don't have a current report. They say the issue has been elevated to the engineers in Japan.
  • So, they replaced the battery and the problem reappeared when the weather turned cold (suggesting the battery wasn't the problem). Is that what happened?
  • I brought my 2009 HCH in to have a door seal replaced a few weeks ago, and ever since then the behavior of the battery meter has changed. I no longer see those recalibration swings, and it seems that I get more IMA than I used to.

    I don't know if the dealer quietly updated the software without telling me, or if it's just that the weather lately has been ideal.
  • Yes, it essentially ruled out a bad battery. It probably would have been just fine this winter without the computer update in the summer. Apparently they can't put an older update back in. this is odd because I work in an industry that we can backdate code if something goes wrong. Apparently the auto industry (Honda) can't. So now I wait.
  • Folks, it is not only the HCH owners who have been defrauded. My 2006 purchase qualified me for a US Federal Income Tax credit of approximately $2200.00. The United States Government has been ripped off also!
  • Bummer! Good luck.
  • Technically it qualified for the tax deduction if it met mileage & emission standards. What's questionable is mileage. I got mine in 2009 and it did / does get between 40 & 45 miles/gallon, but only if cruising on a flat / even road @ 50 mi/hour. What's strange is that Honda is or least was selling low emission hybrids too. My IMA / engine light's started coming on 1 year when it was really cold, and was reset. Came on again recently and the battery was replaced. Hybrids aren't as efficient when its too cold or hot. Mine's under warranty for 15 years / 150k miles because its low emission, so I'll take the $ & run otherwise I would not have settled because the warranty for the low emission version is 8 years / 80k miles + 12k (for settlement)
  • I'm thinking of buying a used 2006 HCH with 52k miles. Selling for 11k. Do you know if all the problems with the batteries have been resolved by Honda? Would you recommend buying this car? Any advice is much appreciated!
  • Do NOT buy this car!!! I got rid of mine at a loss because they not only do not get the expected mileage but the car was unsafe. Without a good IMA the car has no heat or cold the IMA drains to nothing rapidly. Find another car with good mileage and save yourself the trouble and expense of this car.
  • Do not buy that car. You will end up with someone else problems. Honda is not fixing the faulty IMA battery. You will end up with a regular Civic with a big battery in the back seat. Mine actually regenerates going up hill which is is really more fuel consuming than a non hybrid. The battery deteriorates prematurely. That 06 may be giving you some good mileadge but it won't last . My 06 started to give me IMA troubles after 80k,to make matters worse the dealer installed the dreaded update to the software and now the car is twice as bad. Don't do it you will regret it. Check the nhtsa web site complaints page for the 06 and 07 HCH. You'll get a better idea. And right now Honda has no plans for fixing the battery. Just denials. Good luck. Do the right thing.
  • bosslessbossless Posts: 179
    The battery on my 06 went out at about 90K miles. The battery was replaced and the software upgraded. I now have about 104K miles and my mileage is consistently above 50 mpg. I guess I am one of the lucky ones. However, I do agree there is a battery problem with these cars. Don't know how long mine will perform well and that concerns me.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    A reporter is looking to interview parents who own a Chevy Cruze Eco, Toyota Prius V and/or Honda Civic Hybrid. If you are willing to share your experience with the car, please email no later than March 10, 2012.


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  • sak6sak6 Posts: 8
    Yesterday when i started my Vehicle, my IMA battery charge was around 80-90%. On Way to Office after driving about 2 miles, I found that IMA charge level went to 0% and i did see Charge is NOT happening, so I drove right away to my dealer. I had CEL, IMA light ON. I stopped at dealer and went to describe the service man and when he came and started, I did see the charge was happening and had CEL and IMA light ON. So the dealer updated Software and they said lights are gone but its not Charging and its due to MCM module issue. yesterday evening i took car from dealer it had just CEL light ON but IMA light OFF. I drove right to Autozone to check the code and it was P1600 and P1575 codes. Not sure what these codes are? Could some one give me more info on these codes please. Is MCM an issue? Drive seems smooth and i do see Charge and Assist happening normal.
  • mcdorianmcdorian Posts: 5
    If nobody answers I'll dig them up either from my mechanic or my next door neighbor who's a Honda dealer mechanic. They should be posted for all to see & the Feds had to pass a law for them to be published at all. On the other hand the codes may be erroneous &"volatile" - they changed and got lost in my case. Note that unless a dealer fixes it, it may breach of warranty, I don't know. This happened to us & 32K miles. You'd better find out the length of warranty on the battery - it costs 2-4 k to replace it, and I heard newer ones are better. The civic is reliable and fun to drive but if we knew about the battery / programming issues, we wouldn't have bought out our lease last year but we may have traded for a non hybrid.
  • sak6sak6 Posts: 8
    Same issue back this morning too. Car was idle on Sunday and back again same issue Monday morning start. This item IMA light came on. Mine is 2003 HCH and 108K miles, so I am out of Warranty now. But whenever i give it to dealer, they only say MCM Module is the issue. Is this somehting related to battery causing them to believe as MCM Module? What are the options for New IMA battery and warranty on these?
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    The MCM module is only one of the potential problems that can cause a P1575. If they have followed the testing instructions, then they have eliminated the MPI module, the Battery module and the wiring in between all these components.

    Or, they're taking the easiest route and will hit you with the other components when they actually test it.

    I suggest you steer clear of the dealer and contact an independent mechanic. It will save you money. What city/state are you in? I may be able to recommend someone.
  • sak6sak6 Posts: 8
    I live in Bartlesville, OK. I would appreciate if you could provide any mechanic who would help me on this.
  • Ogre_GEVOgre_GEV Posts: 263
    Unfortunately, everyone I know is either 10 hours east of you or west. It's not a hard thing to test. You could test it yourself. Email me directly and I'll send you all the information you need. You're talking a $20 investment in tools if you don't have them already.
  • sak6sak6 Posts: 8
    I would appreciate if you could guide me testing and what tools needed or to pruchase. I have sent email to you. could you please check and update me.
  • calgary5calgary5 Posts: 5
    The dealer has installed the latest computer code for my 2003 Civic Hybrid. Honda Japan only took 2 1/2 months to come up with a fix. The car is now driveable again. I probably won’t be able to test the cold weather symptoms until fall. Its too warm here now. I hope they got it. Ask your dealer if this is available. They may have fixed other issues too.
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