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