I recently bought a used 2006 HCH (3 months ago), with 57,000 km on the clock (I'm in Australia). Within a few weeks, the battery discharged catastrophically in trafffic one day, going from full to 1-bar in 10 seconds, while my feet began to feel very hot.

The battery slowly re-charged in traffic. I had not driven it very much for a month or so (short trips ~15mins each way to the local railway station where I commute from a regional city to the local major city via fast train), then did a couple of long trips to/from the main centre (~125 km each way). It did the melt-down thing once more during one of the short return runs from the railway station. My feet then increasingly started to feel "cooked", even during normal driving without any 'meltdown' of the battery level. The burning/tingling effect is most pronounced during the charging/coasting phase.

I asked my wife to try it, and she too noticed the same issue, most especially in the charging cycle, less clear in the assist phase. It also has the strange buzzing noise at around 35-45 km/h that has been reported elsewhere in these fora.

I then asked a local Honda dealer to test drive it - he agreed emphatically that there is an effect. He liasied with head office techs who instructed the local techs to make various measurements of continuities of currents (they didn't add up, so there was clearly some leakage going on), suggested some trial interventions and a repeat test drive. The dealer took it out again for a long-ish test drive, said he felt his feet were being fried, reported it to head office who instructed him to stop driving it. He told me he felt awful for hours afterwards. They sent a tow truck to take it away to the head office workshop for more testing (after asking for my release permission to do so).

My feet have had a fairly constant strong burning sensation for well over a week, as well as on shins, thighs and torso, which sensation is gradually fading and strongest towards the feet. I am obviously very concerned. I await the results of the head office workshop tech testing which will be carried out. Best guess is that there is some leakage of EMFs into the passenger cabin, strongest around the feet on the driver's side. As you know, the IMA motor is co-axial with the petrol motor, and located on the driver's side (right hand side in Australia), while the combined petrol/electric motor sits transverse to the long axis of the car. In other words, the electric motor is right in front of the driver and right on top of the driver's feet, given the geometry of the motor/cabin arrangement in newer model Hondas.

I have asked Honda for a complete set of measurements of field strengths and distributions in the passenger cabin, as some medical personnel I know have expressed concern.

I would welcome any suggestions about any specific type of gaussmeter which is suited to making measurements in cars over a broad spectrum of frequencies (as opposed to the 50-60 Hz specific models for ambient fields in domestic settings). I have a doctorate in physics, so technical terminology will neither scare nor bamboozle me.

The reason I ask is that I can also feel heating sensations (less pronounced, but present nonetheless) in my toes/feet in both my wife's 2006 Odyssey (which I didn't before) and the dealer's loaner car, a 2008 Jazz, almost certainly due to the sensitivity induced by being zapped by the Civic, so there is also some interest in the ambient EM fields in the passenger cabin for non-hybrid Hondas.

The final reflection is that, given this car has done so many kms (the local dealer said it was 3-4 times more than any comparable model he's seen), is this simply a one-off dud/lemon, or is this possibly an early indicator of an effect that shows up after considerable use? Unknown; but a research question I think it is worth asking...