Last post on Dec 09, 2013 at 11:57 AM
You are in the Honda Civic Hybrid
What is this discussion about?
Honda Civic, Hybrid Cars, Coupe, Sedan
#129 of 1534 Re: Duplicate IMA Malfunction On Demand? [mrlar]
Sep 19, 2009 (2:34 pm)
The Service Bulletin number is 09-058, there are 3 software updates associated with the one SB number is how I understand it, Elk Grove Ca did only a partial and it ran like severe crap, then Lodi Ca did the additional one and it improved but still assists/charges/performance like crap. And no, have already asked if they can return it the original settings, they said no. Just received a follow up letter from Honda Rep, and responded with :
American Honda Motor Co., INC
1919 Torrance Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90501-2746
File Number N012009-08-1701419
Dear Mr. Chandler,
I would like to thank you for your time concerning my 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid. I too am grateful that the mileage issue has been resolved, as I mentioned during our conversations, I was under the impression that the tires had been replaced with OE tires.
Please correct me if I am wrong concerning our last meeting, I agreed that the 2009 Civic Hybrid that I test drove performed as my 2006 has been performing since the software updates. I do not consider the software updates that were downloaded to my vehicle as “programming enhancements” as they have reduced the original performance of my vehicle; I consider the change in performance a severe safety issue and my vehicle is not performing as it was prior to the software updates.
I also informed you that I would never have bought a vehicle that performed as the 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid did, nor as my 2006 is performing now.
I believe you agreed that the Civic Hybrids were experiencing IMA assist battery issues related to outside temperatures (heat issues) and that the software updates were designed to reduce or eliminate having to replace the IMA batteries.
Having said that, I would hope that the engineering department of American Honda Motor Co is addressing the issue and not merely putting a band aid on it. Having been exceptionally happy with my Honda Civic Hybrid since purchasing it in 2006, I am extremely unhappy, frustrated and detest driving it now.
#130 of 1534 Re: Battery Problems [mrlar]
Sep 19, 2009 (2:44 pm)
By the way, I was screwed out of 2 sets of tires, had a blow out in10/ 07, was never informed that the tires were wearing bad, replaced with same OE tires from Honda, then again in 06/09, same thing, after inquiring why the same problem and no one saying anything at regular rotations, tech came out and said, humm think you need your rear control arms replaced... only 100 cause I still have the honda care warranty.. the service bulletin came out about 6 months after the 07 new tires! No discount, no nothing!
#131 of 1534 Re: MCM [mrlar]
Sep 19, 2009 (3:59 pm)
What is the MCM? Is it just a chip, is it a motor, is it large?
How expensive would one be? Is it heavy?
And could a non-Honda mechanic replace it?
(And do you have one for a 2006 HCH?)
Also, I live in California... with Calif's different emissions and such, would the MCM be different for California
The MCM is a metal box the size of a hardcover book. It's not expensive from a junkyard, but is from a dealer. Any mechanic (or you) can install it. The MCM is CARB certified so is the same for all states.
Sorry, I have 2003-2005 only. 2006 is Gen II and there isn't much call to repair batteries on three year old cars yet (they're under the 80K warranty)
#132 of 1534 Re: Battery Problems [mrlar]
Sep 19, 2009 (4:13 pm)
As I said before, an OCCASIONAL recal is normal as the battery ages, so a recal doesn't mean it's broke, so they won't fix it. After the recal, the car successfully decides that the battery is still serviceable. The problem is that you can't prove that it's happening constantly. I suggest you go over to insight central and find a thread there where someone successfully argued for a battery replacement based on recals alone.
The new behavior may actually be due to them resetting your IMA system rather than any software update. Your car has been forced to relearn your battery.
It is obvious that your battery is dieing, but your bad luck is that it is hanging on. Don't worry, it will die and illuminate your IMA light, and then you'll get a replacement - free.
#133 of 1534 Re: 2003 HCH doing just fine [texastan]
Sep 19, 2009 (4:15 pm)
I see lots of 160K 2003 HCh batteries. 115K is not unheard of.
#134 of 1534 Re: Duplicate IMA Malfunction On Demand? [mrlar]
Sep 20, 2009 (5:58 am)
To mrlar: Don't have the update installed. It's a gimmick designed to stretch your worn out battery. Drive it until it crashes. Honda has calculated that if they make these pieces of junk last past the warranty, the loss of goodwill will be outweighed by a monetary savings. Once again, if you can afford to dump the car, do it. BTW does anyone know if the Prius is better? It certainly can't be any worse.
#135 of 1534 Re: 2003 HCH doing just fine [Ogre_GEV]
Sep 20, 2009 (1:27 pm)
Dear Ogre: You sound like you work for Honda or own stock in the company. The reality is that people have paid good money and received a hell of a lot less than promised. The car has design and drivability problems that I suspect Honda is unwilling to fix. They are just patching things until the customer goes away in frustration. You can call it a recal, crash or just plain taking a crap for itself, but it is dangerous and definitely not what people have paid for. And I'm one who loved my car until American Honda basically said to go screw. I understand that the Accord hybrid was discontinued because it was far worse than the Civic, if that's possible. Junk is junk and putting a happy face on the problem will not make it go away. Buying a different brand will.
#136 of 1534 Re: Duplicate IMA Malfunction On Demand? [gibraltarla]
Sep 21, 2009 (6:37 pm)
i got my car taken care of at Long Beach Honda on Spring St (Signal Hill).
#137 of 1534 IMA Battery Problem...
Sep 24, 2009 (4:28 pm)
Here's the latest, from Honda about the battery crashes on my HCH. There's good news and bad news. Honda is going to make some fixes, but not what I really want. Read on.
First of all, I had the update done. I had no idea it was such a bad thing to do. As I said earlier, I lived with the battery crashing as just a nuisance for probably close to a year, but it was just a nuisance so I let it go. Then one day earlier this month I was getting on a freeway onramp that goes uphill, and lets the cars out onto the FAST lane (instead of the usual slow lane) of the freeway (a strange onramp) -- and at that very moment the battery crashed. There was almost an accident because of it, so what was once just a nuisance, I decided needed to be fixed. If I knew then what I know now about the update severly cripping the hybrid I still might not have brought it in (though at some point when the battery died, I'm sure they would've done the update anyway).
Well the update was done, the hybrid hardly turns on.
I'm not sure what parts of the update were done (another poster here mentioned it's in 3 parts?) I don't know if all 3 parts were done or not, and I'm afraid to ask. I've just been told that I now have the latest software update on my car.
So as you all know, now the hybrid hardly comes on. While I can still coax the car into all-electric mode for short periods of time at slower speeds (such as been 30-40mph), I no longer can do so at highway speeds (55-65mph) even though I used to be able to do so all the time, especially at one stretch of freeway I take all the time. No matter how gentle or how many times I try, when the car is going at highway speed and I lift up on the pedal and then very gently push it down ever so lightly (the same technique that still works at lower speeds, and used to work at ALL speeds), it no longer works at highway speeds -- it'll go right to gas. In everyday driving, only THREE bars of assist are allowed -- never more than 3 unless you really step on the gas (and thus by flooring it, it totally negates the reason to have a hybrid in the first place). And you have to press on the pedal more than you used to for ANY bars to kick in at all. And again, it'll never go above 3 unless you really floor it.
So I'm stuck with a barely-a-hybrid car now.
Plus, the update did NOTHING to stop the battery crashes.
So I called Honda Corporate in Torrance. They assigned the case to a 2nd level (rather than the first level of rep you first speak to) rep, but when he called me back, he said there was no fix, to basically just live with it, that Honda doesn't "know" if it's a battery problem that causes the battery to keep crashing (yeah, right), and that because of that, they don't do any "blind repairs." Doesn't matter that I was able to bring it into the dealer right as it crashed to zero for them to verify it (in the records). They didn't get an error code (meaning the battery can still be charged if only for a short time before it keeps crashing) so Honda would not do a thing. But the car kept crashing, and I asked to speak to someone higher up, and the rep refused, telling me he was the highest person I'd ever be able to contact, and saying absolutely that nothing will be done with the car and that's the way it's going to be.
Meanwhile after the software update, the crashes kept happening. I documented a bunch of them with my cel phone camera while driving (after the first few I changed the odometer to show the odometer miles instead of the temp or mpg as verification of how often the battery keeps crashing). The day after the update it crashed. A few days later. And again. And again. And again. (So this is when I called Corporate and was told there was no one else I would be allowed to speak to). Crashes kept happening, all the while I barely have a hybrid.
So I finally decided to go to the local county courthouse and pick up the documents on how to file a small claims case. I was told that I need to file it in the jurisdiction of where the dealer is, not where Honda corporate is (even though the dealer is just doing what Honda Corporate directs it to). The analogy used was "if you want to sue McDonalds and it's in small claims, you don't go to Chicago or wheverver their head office is, you do it at the local branch where it took place." Well, next I went to a totally different dealership to see if they would do anything, only because it was close to the courthouse. They didn't, and the head guy there didn't know anything, insisting at no point can the car go under electric-only mode, insisting if my car ever did, then it was defective (I managed to show it to him in lower speed on a test drive). We were just going around in circles, so I left.
Over the last weekend, the car battery crashed on Friday. I left a message on the Honda Corp rep's voice mail (after hours) on Fri that it had just crashed again, to please call me back. I didn't use the car on Sat. Then on Sunday, after the battery had charged up, it suddenly crashed again. Once again, I left a mesasge on the Honda Corporate rep's voice mail that it had, once again, crashed, and asked to be called back. It's Thursday now, and he never called me back. Nice.
I thought about it, and decided I was going to file a claim in small claims court. Up to $5000 it costs only $50 to file, and what do I have to lose? Honda uses defective batteries that do NOT last the 8-10 years that Calif laws covers on the batteries, and doubly screws its customers by trying to ride out the clock by installing software that cripples the hybrid so much they're hoping the battery never gets used and never has to be replaced. So armed with the documents (which I hadn't filed yet) I went to the local dealer today -- the one that I generally take the car into for warranty stuff, as they were the ones that installed the software update (as per Honda's guidelines).
There's a really nice, decent service guy there, and he was totally understanding of what was going on (and he was the one who had seen it visually himself when I was able to bring the car in right during a battery crash). Though I was completley unable to get Honda Corporate rep to do anything, and he refused to let me speak to anyone other than himself, left the car off at the dealer, making sure they typed in the service record what I was requesting (so it'd be in the record for the court case) and even showed the decent service guy there the celphone pictures (with mileage) of the battery down to zero on some of the crashes I was able to document with the cel phone camera (dated and everything). He said he'd see what he could do.
Well, he just called, and it's a good news/bad news thing. They are going to replace the batteries on my car. That's good. But they are saying it's impossible for them to install the old software. I can understand the dealership... he said it's not like they have the old software to install.
CONTINUED NEXT POST
#138 of 1534 Continued
Sep 24, 2009 (4:37 pm)
(CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS POST)
The dealership said it's not like they have the old software to install... he said they'd have to get it from Honda, and they're not going to send it. They consider the new software the correct software.
I asked him "well what about cars that don't have battery problems... it's not a recall, so they're still running with a full hybrid." He said yes. But he also said (don't know if it's true or not, but it's what he said), that the latest software doesn't fix JUST the battery problem, but a group of problems that may occur on the car. So if someone comes in with Problem X or Problem Y or Problem Z (one of them being the battery crashes, but it's not the only one) then they'd get the "update." He also said (again, I don't know if this is true or not -- can someone verify this?) that Honda considers this new software to be the normal software now, and that ALL THE NEW 2009 HCHs HAVE THE NEW SOFTWARE IN THE CARS.
Is this true?
I noticed someone posted something just a few posts back that said:
>>I also informed you that I would never have bought a vehicle that performed as the 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid did, nor as my 2006 is performing now.
So is it true then, that the 2009 HCHs have this software that makes the hybrid only 1/2 to 1/3rd as useful as it originally was?
If so, I'm assuming it's because even with Honda replacing the batteries now (and for new 2009 car sales) they don't want to be flooded 2-3 years from now again as the replaced (or new) but still cheap/defective batteries inevitably go bad. So I guess Honda is making sure everyone from now on's hybrid system never gets much use? So that the battery will have a longer life?
At this point I'm not sure what to do. The batteries are on order, and are supposed to come in next week and be installed. It's about time, because the crashes are happening all the time now. The "update" didn't fix it of course. But the car I bought and paid $4000 more than a regular civic for, is hardly a hybrid anymore. In my court case, I was going to demand either $4000 or no monetary compensation if they put the IMA software back to the way the car was when I looked it over and decided to buy it. With Honda replacing the batteries, that's good, but I still don't have the car I bought and paid for.
By the way, I'm only writing this above to show what has happened in my case. Everyone's case is different. The crashes increased in frequency (to where they'd happen on consecutive days), was able to show it to the techs themselves, have been documenting it with photos showing the zero level and miles on the odometer, and was ready to file a small claims case (already had the paperwork in hand).
Can someone verify though, that the "update" is standard on all the new 2009 HCHs? Or is it in fact, just for people who have experienced one of the problems on the list of problems that the update addresses?