Since I see that my original thread is still quite active, I thought some might be interested to hear how my fight against Honda went. Thanks to the BBB Autoline Arbitration process, I eventually beat Honda and got a new IMA battery - but it wasnt' easy and required loads of patience.

Honda fought to the bitter end, delayed things as much as possible and had an attorney represent them at the arbitration. While this attorney seemed somewhat ill prepared on the facts, he hurled plenty of personal attacks my way. I guess if you have no case, attack the person? He also carefully reviewed my tires - I think he wanted to blame everything on them but I had brand new top end Michelins.

I prepared a presentation (I'll try to post a PDF here) that helped sway the arbitor but he was not familiar with hybrids at all and, even after a test drive and more time waiting on my part for his decision, decided he needed an expert to examine the vehicle before making a decision. So I waited some more and an insurance adjuster type drove my car and submitted a report to BBB. He confirmed the car did not drive properly. At the end of a grueling three-month process, BBB Autoline found in my favor.

Once the decision was made and the jerks at American Honda gave the ok, my local dealer (Pompano Honda, Florida) went out of their way to be pleasant and even washed my car. Unfortunately, they put someone else's damaged IMA battery they had recently replaced into my car. WTF. I got about two miles from the dealership and the IMA light came on. I honestly didn't know whether to laugh or cry! I turned around and headed straight back to the dealer and they were not happy to see me and I was not happy to see them either. The service manager eventually figured out their mistake when they realized the brand new IMA battery was still in its case. This time I stood in the service bay and watched as they pulled the newly installed defective IMA battery and finally put in the new one.

I'm glad to report the new battery works pretty well. There are differences with the software and the battery no longer does much below four bars unless the car is "floored." However, the mileage is about 36-37 in mixed driving, which is about the 37-38 we used to get.

I've hung onto the car for now, although I'm tempted to dump it since the battery may very well die again in about two years due to the Florida summer heat. Based upon posts here and recommendations from Honda, I've had the windows tinted to help control the heat. Combined with Honda's new software that seems to limit the extent of battery usage and charge/discharge cycles (which generate heat), I'm hoping the heat won't kill the IMA battery so quickly.

As for Honda, no more. The treatment I received, their unwillingness to stand behind their products even under multiple warrentees and the fact they are not American made has all combined to ensure I'll never again be a Honda buyer. As the saying goes, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

DON'T BY A HONDA HYBRID