IMPORTANT INFO! Honda IMA Warranty
Hi there - I am a 2005 HCH owner, in the state of CA. My car has 98K miles on it, and the IMA light came on the other day. I took it to our local dealer to get the diagonistic test. It came back with a failing IMA code, and was told my IMA battery would need to be replaced for about $3k.
Now I am in the state of CA, and my car is certified PZEV and SLUV (Tier II). Therefore, my IMA battery should be under warranty until 10/150,000. The dealer tried to convince me that I was wrong, my battery was NOT covered, and my car was ULUV only and did not meet the state requirements.
I had a pretty good feeling that they weren't being upfront with me, so I contacted Honda America. The customer service rep I talked to was very vague, but said there was absolutely nothing in her records (based on VIN) that would tell me whether my car was covered.
So since neither Honda entity was going to help me, I did some reseach on my own, and determined that my car was indeed covered.
I called Honda America back again, and my complaint was escalated to a "case manager". He immediately tried to convince me that, yes my car was PZEV, but based on my VIN it was not covered. He said that even though my car was certified PZEV in the state of CA, it really didn't matter. Some cars were covered, some were not, and it was all based on VIN and some info he had in his database. He then goes on to say, "your car is NOT covered, but Honda wants to keep you happy, so would you be satisfied with Honda covering half of the $3k?" Heck, no - they should cover it all. By law.
After talking to two California state departments (Bureau of Auto Repair, and CARB) they encouraged me to file a complaint, because what Honda America (and the dealership) was saying was not true, and they felt I was being duped.
I called back my case manager, and requested my denial of coverage in writing, along with any support he had based on my VIN and the Honda database. My husband followed up with a call, basically saying that we knew my car was covered, and we weren't going to go away.
Literally, an hour later, I got a call from the dealership saying my IMA battery would be replaced for free.
I wanted to share my experience ASAP, because I feel that this a shady tactic from the top of the company, down. If we hadn't been persistent, and had just TRUSTED Honda, we would be out $3k. I believe that Honda is most likely pulling this scam on a lot of people, and I wanted to tell people to talk to your state board, and stay on them. Don't believe everything they tell you. And if this has happened to you, please feel free to contact me. I think it's time to shine light on this bad business practice
Thanks for posting this. I
Thanks for posting this. I am in the middle of a similar situation with Honda. I got a letter from them saying that the battery in my 2006 civic hybrid might fail earlier than anticipated when they built the car. While the letter did mention that performance might be compromised, the articles I'd seen about this referenced Honda officials saying that performance would not be compromised. When I took the car in to a dealer for the software update, they did not mention any possible reduction in performance. However, after the update, acceleration was markedly reduced and mileage deteriorated dramatically (from 42-47 mpg on the highway to less than 37 mpg).
I called Honda to complain, and they said that it was a semantic issue: what I was calling a performance drop they were calling a "characteristic" of the IMA system. I got referred to a case manager, who responded to my request that they reverse the software upgrade and replace the battery by saying that unless a warning light goes on (none went on in my case) the battery couldn't be replaced under warranty, and that the software update cannot be reversed.
I plan to plead with the dealer next to make my car into a working hybrid again...if I had wanted this kind of performance, I would have paid $8000 less and gotten a regular civic or toyota corolla.
Thanks for posting this. I
Thanks for posting this. I am in the middle of a similar situation with Honda. My 2006 Civic Hybrid had been performing very well, getting up to 46 mpg on the highway, with adequate acceleration and hill climbing ability. I got a letter from Honda recently saying that my battery could fail, and so to avoid hazardous battery failure on the road and the need to replace it at a cost of $3000, I should get the IMA software updated. I took it to a dealer, who said the same thing and then to another dealer to get the software update. Although the letter did say that mileage could be reduced because the engine would be running more in order to preserve battery life, at no time did anyone say that the performance of the car would be affected; in fact, the articles that I read about this issue indicated that Honda was assuring us car owners that performance would NOT be affected.
After the software update, acceleration was markedly reduced (a safety hazard when getting onto freeways and in other situations), the car had a hard time climbing hills, and mileage went way down.
I got no satisfaction from Honda when I called, even after being referred to a case manager.
This is crazy Because I am
This is crazy Because I am having the same problem. there should be something we can do to fight honda.
Same problem with an 08 HCH.
Same problem with an 08 HCH. Just left the dealer yesterday and exact same issues. How can we put pressure on this Corp. and make them fix this or refund us? email me @ email@example.com
Why did the Honda Motor Co. lose my business? Why does my 08 HCH have no power or can't make it up a hill since the recall to fix their IMA battery problem. Not to mention on my way to the dealer to get the update I got 53 mpg, after the update, 33 mpg. Why is Honda doing this to our cars. Going up a small hill, say less than +900', the IMA battery starts out full charge and half way up the hill it drops to 4 power bars and the IMA function stops functioning. Why? Sorry if I sound a little deflated, but I paid extra for this IMA, green feature, and now it been Lobotomized to save Honda on battery replacement. I live in California and the warranty has been extended to 10 years or 150,000 miles. Honda should be ashamed of themselves.
Civic Hybrid owners need to
Civic Hybrid owners need to get the gov't involved in this safety issue.
I have the same problem with the recalibration/ programming update. Driving the same commute my mileage dropped from 4648 to 42/44 with a corresponding drop in battery assist. Will it take someone being injured in a wreck because the advertised IMA assist wasn't there to accelerate the car. before Honda realizes the problem. On the same route, my battery will discharge to one bar then spend the next 5 miles or so charging up. during this time there is no battery assist available and the Rpms must go sky high to make up for it. This battery discharge will occur even if you are going down hill.
Can the reprogram be undone?
I just bought an 08 HCH. I
I just bought an 08 HCH. I suspect we are all going to have a hassle for awhile but will end up on the good side. My recommendation, at least based upon what I have read is to NOT ALLOW THE DEALER TO "FLASH" YOUR SYSTEM. This isn't legal advice, just my personal opinion. The batteries, apparently poorly designed, will then keep craping out and Honda will have to keep replacing them. They will then figure out a "real" fix. Particularly if you are still under warranty it would seem better for the item to go bad early on. I also debate Honda's apparent statement that the battery warranty is only good for the 1st one. If CA and other states say 10 yr/150k miles, and unless the state law(s) say "only one" or something like that, then it would seem that Honda (or Toyota, or whomever built the car) will have to keep replacing them so long as they are under warranty. We have been used as guinea pigs to some extent, live testing these prototypes. If they go bad early, under strong warranties, then the manufacturers are going to just have to suck it up and learn from the mistake. There are plenty of people like me who won't take it, and will simply head down to the courthouse if they try to pull a funny on us. (Honda: How about trying to come up with a Li-ION battery pack replacement for the 06-08 HCH? It might cost more now, but over time may well end up being a money saver and a big boost in terms of customer loyalty. Something to think about perhaps.)
Thanks so much for
Thanks so much for this stream. We are in exactly the same situation, 2005 HCH, which we bought and drove in California, and is registered in CA. 103K in mileage, getting the IMA light and the check engine light. Apparently the code says we are on our last 10% of battery life.
Worst part is that we are military and stationed in Naples, Italy, where there are no hybrid cars, and one Honda dealer with no English. We had no luck with Honda America, haven't tried our dealer in California yet. A second hand battery dealer in the States has offered to send us a refurbished battery for around $2,000, but shipping time is a problem and could ruin the battery before we even get it.
Stupid question time - but can I convert it back to gasoline or use only gasoline? At this stage I don't care about mileage, just want a functioning car. Really regretting buying a Hybrid. Who would buy a car that just dies in 6 years and can't be fixed outside the States? I bought a Honda because I wanted a car for 20 years that my kids could use. I have a really hard time just getting an oill change.
Would you mind terribly sending me the Case Manager's name and email or number? Because of the time difference and lack of connectivity (no broadband or home telephone available here) I need to get straight to the right person immediately. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I am worried my car is going to die, leave us stranded and its going to be cheaper and less stressful to just buy a new car. If you are military or envision living overseas, think hard before buying this car.
I have a 2004 HCH and my IMA
I have a 2004 HCH and my IMA light came on today. Thanks for all the info.