Complaints from 2006-'08 Honda Civic Hybrid owners still pouring in

2008 Honda Civic Hybrid

Back in August, Honda announced that it would fix a software flaw that supposedly caused batteries in the Civic Hybrid to lose their effectiveness sooner than expected. The flaw affected all 2006 through 2008 Civic Hybrids sold in the U.S. At that time, Honda issued a technical service bulletin asking owners to bring the affected vehicles in for some software reprogramming that limited the battery's charge and discharge levels and reduced the vehicle's electric assist for the sake of saving that precious NiMH pack. Well, Civic Hybrid owners rushed in, had Honda "fix" the issue and drove off.

Now that these Civic Hybrid drivers have racked up some miles in their "fixed" vehicles, more problems have popped up and complaints are pouring in. One particularly detailed story posted on the CarSpace social network captures the essence of the problem:
I had filed complaints with the BBB (on the dealer and against American Honda) and with the NHTSA citing safety issues when the IMA failed to assist and the car was running on the underpowered four-cylinder engine. Finally, when the dealer wanted to get me off his back, he made me a good offer. I'm sorry that so many people are so dissatisfied and frustrated with their vehicle. I feel your pain. I don't get 40 MPG now, but there is less stress in my life.
And another similar complaint posted on CarSpace reads like this:
I have an IMA battery discharging at least once a day and the software update has done nothing positive. My plan is to take the dealer to small claims court to force Honda to give me a new IMA battery if nothing happens, but I would prefer to get a non-hybrid Civic instead. My view is the Civic Hybrid is flawed and I don't really want to deal with it even if I get new IMA batteries. The engine is underpowered, the IMA batteries are prone to fail early, and we are at the mercy of Honda's software updates
Owners call the "fixed" Civic Hybrid a gutless wonder and blame Honda's software upgrade for cutting the vehicle's acceleration from acceptable to dangerously slow. With the battery no longer able to fully charge – and thus offering much less power assist – than before, additional strain is placed on the vehicle's less-than-powerful four-cylinder engine. One displeased owner wrote:
Thanks to Honda's battery-saving update. My Civic Hybrid is now a standard, underpowered Civic. I paid an extra $5,000 for the hybrid feature.
And that succinctly sums up the problem. Let's hope Honda is working on a real fix to the problem that apparently plagues many Civic Hybrids.

[Source: Green Car Advisor]

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