Defective IMA and Honda Response
Civic Hybrid Battery IMA Problems
Sorry to report Honda Dealership are clearly aware of problem but "Honda doesn't know how to fix it." They say they (the dealerships) are frustrated too because they have already lost several dissatified customers because American Honda doesn't want to pay for the very expensive repairs needed. They went on to tell me the batteries are the know problem and the Honda software updates simply reduce the amount of the battery that is usable. WARNING - DON'T LET HONDA CRIPPLE YOUR HYBRID IMA WITH SOFTWARE UPDATES - THE CAR WILL NEVER RUN PROPERLY AGAIN. The told me to contact American Honda, who didn't even bother to return my call for two weeks. When I finally got someon on the phone then told me they had spoken to the dealership and said everything was normal. Honda stands for Liars and Cheats, Inc. No more Honda's for me!
DON'T BUY HONDA HYBRIDS!!!
DEFECTIVE HONDA CIVIC HYBRIDS PROBLEMS FAILURE DEFECT CRIPPLE IMA SOFTWARE RECALL
I'm using BBBAutoLine, which is a BBB run arbitration offered in your Honda Warranty book if you don't agree with American Honda. Honda had 14 days to respond and their waited all 14 days to say "normal." I'll let this group know how the arbitration goes.
Created August 18, 2009, at 1:04 am by MadCivicHybirdOwner
I have a 2007 HCH with 34,000 miles that has become unpredicable, unreliable and unsafe - and Honda knows about the problem but chooses not to fix it. The battery, especially after being in the heat, suddenly drops to no or one bar and the battery stops providing any assistance and won't charge properly either.
I can only guess it would cost too much to replace the battery and they have made a business decision not to fix my car. My car is driven in Florida, and as other posts here note, the batteries seem to be damaged by our summertime heat (I note the new Prius has a little solar panel that drives a small fan to keep the cabin (and battery pack?) cooler than the 100+ a car quickly heats to when parked in the Florida sun).
My local Honda Service Manager has told me this is a known problem and Honda doesn't know how to fix. He went on to say how frustrated he is because he has already lost three customers due to the problem. He also told me that he is not allowed to order me a new battery, even if he wanted to, without American Honda approval. He suggested there was nothing else he could do and I should contract American Honda Customer Service, which I did. They did not call me back for over a week and when they did, they asked for a couple of days more since they needed to talk to the dealer. Customer Service?
Does anyone know of a fix?
Has anyone who's had this problem had is satisfactorly dealt with by American Honda?
Does anyone know of a good class action lawyer.
DON'T BUY HONDA CIVIC HYBRID - BATTERIES ARE SERIOUSLY FLAWED AND WILL LEAVE YOU FINANCIALLY "SCREWED" SINCE YOU CAN'T SELL THE POORLY RUNNING CAR AND YOU CAN'T DRIVE IT EITHER.
Florida- hense your problem.
Florida- hense your problem. Heat and high humidity with self
contained electronics- spells disaster. Why Honda doesn't do
heat testing beyond CA is just poor design work.
I've had the same
I've had the same problem, and had to get ready to go to court to get Honda to comply. For those who want to read my story, it's too long to post again here, please see:
If the link below doesn't work, it's edmunds.com Honda Civic Hybrid forum, and the thread is "IMA Problems." Though I post earlier on it, check out starting at Page 15, which is what I describe happening. I go by "mrlar" there.
In a nutshell I live in California, where it's STATE LAW that if anything goes wrong with the hybrid or battery, it's an 8-10 year (depending) warranty, even if your 3yr/36,000 warranty on the rest of the car has expired. Honda's own tests showed my battery 90% degraded, but because it could still recharge (even after crashing on an almost daily basis) refused. The dealership was fine with doing it, but woudln't do it without an OK from Honda corporate. Honda corporate rep was rude and condescending, and refused to do anything. So I went to small claims court, picked up the paperwork, walked into the dealership and said "I know you guys are cool, but YOU are the ones I'm going to have to take to court, being in my jurisdiction, not Honda Corporate. Either get an OK to replace the battery by this afternoon, or first thing tomorrow I'm filing this paperwork with small claims court." That afternoon they received the OK.
But note that if AT ALL POSSIBLE DO *NOT* , DO NOT, DO **NOT** get the IMA update (sadly, if you have to get your batteries replaced, this will probably be forced on you).
With this update, the hybrid hardly comes on AT ALL. The most you will get is an occasional, measly TWO BARS (sometimes 3, but then it immediately goes down to 2) of hybrid assist. That's it. Only if you FLOOR the pedal will it come on past 3 bars -- such as when you need sudden acceleration... but this of course completely negates the reason for having the hybrid in the first place (to save gas). Flooring the pedal eats gas like crazy. MPG really suffers.
I will never buy another Honda hybrid. Their normal cars have held up well, but they went the cheap route for the hybrid. I don't hear the constant MAJOR (ie, batteries) problems with the Prius and Toyotas. Only the Hondas. Plus their attitude between both this and the previous "rear control arm" fiasco (which ruined 4 tires) and I think it's safe to say I'll be going back to Toyota. Our family used to buy Toyotas all the time. We switched about 8 years ago, and bought a normal Civic, an Accord, and the Civic Hybrid. It's pretty safe to say we'll be going back to Toyotas after this. What I have right now is a nice, NORMAL, non-hybrid (unless you count two tiny bars that barely come on a "hybrid") Civic that I paid a lot more for. And they won't put it back to the old software, saying they no longer "have" the old software.
Anyway, read all the info on exactly what I did here:
Remember, everyone's case is different. This is only what happened to me.
But if you're asking just an opinion, you have to show you're not going to take it from Honda. At least in Calif, small claims court only costs $50, and you can sue for up to $5000 (the batteries are around $3000-$3500). It might be worth it. But again, save your hybrid and make sure they DO NOT "update" (cripple) your IMA software.
I've seen a large number of
I've seen a large number of batteries from across the country (actually the continent) and while I have seen heat damaged Insight and Civic packs, they have exclusively been from Arizona, New Mexico and southern Texas. I have not seen any indication of heat damage in batteries from northeastern FL, southern FL or on the panhandle.
Heat damage presents itself as weak cells in the uppermost cells of the pack. For 2003-2005 and 2006-2009 Civics, that would be the ones in the upper left if you sat the pack in front of you with the electronics board facing you. In a 2000-2006 Insight, that is the center of the two upper rows of batteries.
The thing to remember is that the battery packs are cooled by the cabin air. Air conditioned air is pulled in from the rear dash, run through the battery, through the inverter and then exhausted into the trunk. The battery rarely gets hot when the car is running. When it is turned off, however it gets as hot as the rest of the car. This is why the AZ cars that are baking in the sun have more of these problems.
What I think you are seeing is a cell whose capacity is temporarily dropping with the load you are putting on it. When the car detects that any cell has reached empty and is starting to go into reversal, it performs a "recal" where it recalibrates itself and sets a new upper and lower boundary for the battery. You see this as the gauge dropping to nothing and then slowly climbing back up.
The problems that the 2006+ Civic owners are seeing don't seem to be much different in type or amount than the 2003 Civic owners did three years earlier.
What is different is that Honda is aggressively trying to make them last a full 8 years and appears to be killing MPG to do it.
Wow - what an example of how
Wow - what an example of how not to win loyalty. I am 45 years old and have owned a Honda product since I started riding motorcycles at the age of 6. In the 39 years I have used them I have always been happy and looked forward to my next Honda. Today I own 4 Honda products - car, ATV, lawn mower and generator. Needless to say I was a fan until about a week ago. My 2009 Civic Hybrid has been having problems with the IMA system since the check IMA light came on a few months ago. I took the car to the dealership and they cleared the alarms and reprogrammed the IMA system. Since then the IMA system has not worked correctly and my fuel mileage is off 25 to 30 %. After taking the car back multiple times the dealer finally admitted there was a problem with the Hybrid and said he needed to replace the battery but Honda would not let him. He said to prolong battery life they had installed an update to prolong it. I called Honda and asked for there help. They assigned my case a number and called me back in a few days to inform me that the car was performing per the design specs. Amazed I asked them what were the design specs - they did not respond. I let them know that I just wanted the car to perform like it did for 18 months and that I needed it fixed. The responded that the dealership had reviewed the cars performance with the tech support and they felt the performance was per the design spec. Their design spec obviously changed in the middle of me owning the car. The car I have today is not what I purchased. Worse than that they are just saying it is my problem. The company I believed in for so many years is now the company that I don't trust and will not do business with in the future. They need to step up and fix the problem.
"Wow - what an example of
"Wow - what an example of how not to win loyalty"
This is what I keep thinking. Corporate Honda seems to be pedal-to-the-metal on the way to a collision with the reality of customers walking away. I doubt it will even register then. I do hope they have a shake up, they need it.