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TOV Forums > IMA/Hybrids > > Re: Honda Civic Hybrid: Battery Unreliable, Consumer Reports Says

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Gary757
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Honda Civic Hybrid: Battery Unreliable, Consumer Reports Says    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-11-2013 22:41
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http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1082830_honda-civic-hybrid-battery-unreliable-consumer-reports-says


Now comes word from Consumer Reports that earlier Honda Civic Hybrid models, previously deemed reliable, may suffer from premature high-voltage battery pack failures.

...

Over a 12-month survey period, nearly 20 percent of 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid owners required a battery replacement, while the replacement rate on 2003, 2004 and 2010 Civic Hybrid models exceeded 10 percent.

DCR
Profile for DCR
Re: Honda Civic Hybrid: Battery Unreliable, Consumer Reports Says    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-12-2013 01:51
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I don't know anything about that, except having my battery replaced.
Fan Koni
Profile for Fan Koni
Re: Honda Civic Hybrid: Battery Unreliable, Consumer Reports Says    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-12-2013 03:23
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What... Honda replaced some more than 100k of batteries in its million or more sold cars!
Anyone know how the rate on the insights or fits are? 10 pc seams so much.
Maybe owners have just had them swapped shortly before warranty end - for piece of mind.
danielgr
Profile for danielgr
Re: Honda Civic Hybrid: Battery Unreliable, Consumer Reports Says    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-12-2013 12:07
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Fan Koni wrote:
What... Honda replaced some more than 100k of batteries in its million or more sold cars!
Anyone know how the rate on the insights or fits are? 10 pc seams so much.
Maybe owners have just had them swapped shortly before warranty end - for piece of mind.
Can you explain your math?
I sure must have missed something...

PS1: Funny most problematic years come right around the time Toyota took a controlling stake on the Panasonic joint-venture that was making batteries for Honda...
PS2: The Insight series (which makes for most of the Honda hybrids sold up to now) use a different battery pack made by Sanyo (though that one was to be eaten up by Panasonic later as well...)
PS3 : After enough time and miles all the batteries of all hybrids will need replacement, just as anything using batteries you may own.
Being honest, I don't expect mine to last beyond 10 years; by then I will for sure have changed my car, just like anything else I buy with a battery.
Potenza
Profile for Potenza
Re: Honda Civic Hybrid: Battery Unreliable, Consumer Reports Says    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-12-2013 15:03
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Fan Koni wrote:
Maybe owners have just had them swapped shortly before warranty end - for piece of mind.

You can't just request a new set of free batteries; Honda will only replace them under warranty if a technician finds them to be faulty or causing an issue.

I'm a big Honda fan, but their hybrid batteries are one area I'm certainly disappointed in. My brother's ZE1 Insight needed them before 100k, and my best friend's 8G Civic needed them at only around 60k.
TonyEX
Profile for TonyEX
Re: Honda Civic Hybrid: Battery Unreliable, Consumer Reports Says    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-12-2013 15:55
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Potenza wrote:
Fan Koni wrote:
Maybe owners have just had them swapped shortly before warranty end - for piece of mind.

You can't just request a new set of free batteries; Honda will only replace them under warranty if a technician finds them to be faulty or causing an issue.

I'm a big Honda fan, but their hybrid batteries are one area I'm certainly disappointed in. My brother's ZE1 Insight needed them before 100k, and my best friend's 8G Civic needed them at only around 60k.




Do they live in a cold climate?

We live in SoCal and our battery is going fine after 130K miles. Trust me that we have the dealer check on it everytime!
Fan Koni
Profile for Fan Koni
Re: Honda Civic Hybrid: Battery Unreliable, Consumer Reports Says    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-12-2013 22:24
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danielgr wrote:
Fan Koni wrote:
What... Honda replaced some more than 100k of batteries in its million or more sold cars!
Anyone know how the rate on the insights or fits are? 10 pc seams so much.
Maybe owners have just had them swapped shortly before warranty end - for piece of mind.
Can you explain your math?
I sure must have missed something...

PS1: Funny most problematic years come right around the time Toyota took a controlling stake on the Panasonic joint-venture that was making batteries for Honda...
PS2: The Insight series (which makes for most of the Honda hybrids sold up to now) use a different battery pack made by Sanyo (though that one was to be eaten up by Panasonic later as well...)
PS3 : After enough time and miles all the batteries of all hybrids will need replacement, just as anything using batteries you may own.
Being honest, I don't expect mine to last beyond 10 years; by then I will for sure have changed my car, just like anything else I buy with a battery.



My math was very simplified sure - 10%+ replacement rate; it hasn't gotten better over time, so it must apply to all IMA cars.

I find it very interesting:
1st This rate doesn't seam to have gotten better in time - maybe even worse
2nd the rate does not seam to be age dependent!

This looks like Honda has been cheapening out on the batteries to allow a set calculated failure rate.
Normal product management sure, you what to increase profits on product revisions, but 10% is kind of "outstanding".
It hints at how long Honda has been fiddling on the hybrid tech.

The 2009 glitch was likely a battery supplier issue, but I wouldn't allude fowl play on Toyota's behalf - Honda will get some kind of reimbursement if too many of a batch fail.

Honda will add costs of a set failure rate to the price of the cars - very close to the noted 10%; which would be less than $100 per car of actual parts costs.

Honda maybe doesn't see a big deal here.

Maybe the 10% just sound crass and its not so bad as a consumer - it is very probable that in the 10 years warranty you should be covered to get a new pack.
After that people just don't care much about a 11 year old civic anyway.

I am curious to see how Honda will respond to the CR report.

Why the replaced packs don't get 10 years I don't know.

Like yourself I don't expect batteries to last forever, but IIRC all normal OEM car batteries I've had lasted at least 3 years - in hot and cold climates.
The IMA pack has heaps more systems to protect itself, it should be far less prone to everyday faults like leaving a light on or short distance trips...
Slawsk
Profile for Slawsk
Re: Honda Civic Hybrid: Battery Unreliable, Consumer Reports Says    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-12-2013 22:43
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The IMA battery pack design have a projected lifespan of roughly 5 years.

In having experience rebuilding such packs, I believe the inherit design of the pack is poor. Welding D-Cell batteries together isn't the best design for an electric vehicle. The latest pack developed with Yausa seems to be a better design (not welded D-cell batteries), but only time will tell...
danielgr
Profile for danielgr
Re: Honda Civic Hybrid: Battery Unreliable, Consumer Reports Says    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-14-2013 09:25
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Fan Koni wrote:
danielgr wrote:
Fan Koni wrote:
What... Honda replaced some more than 100k of batteries in its million or more sold cars!
Anyone know how the rate on the insights or fits are? 10 pc seams so much.
Maybe owners have just had them swapped shortly before warranty end - for piece of mind.
Can you explain your math?
I sure must have missed something...

PS1: Funny most problematic years come right around the time Toyota took a controlling stake on the Panasonic joint-venture that was making batteries for Honda...
PS2: The Insight series (which makes for most of the Honda hybrids sold up to now) use a different battery pack made by Sanyo (though that one was to be eaten up by Panasonic later as well...)
PS3 : After enough time and miles all the batteries of all hybrids will need replacement, just as anything using batteries you may own.
Being honest, I don't expect mine to last beyond 10 years; by then I will for sure have changed my car, just like anything else I buy with a battery.



My math was very simplified sure - 10%+ replacement rate; it hasn't gotten better over time, so it must apply to all IMA cars.

I find it very interesting:
1st This rate doesn't seam to have gotten better in time - maybe even worse
2nd the rate does not seam to be age dependent!

This looks like Honda has been cheapening out on the batteries to allow a set calculated failure rate.
[...]
Woaw... that must have been one of the most ludicrous extrapolations I've ever seen.

Again, have you noticed that:
- All Honda hybrids up to the Insight 2 debuted with different batteries (including all Civic Hybrids)
- CR reports surveys aren't limited to given years, so those not in the list were simply not having such high ratio of problems.
- Civics represent a tiny minority of the total 1Million+ hybrids Honda has sold since 1999, and none of the Honda hybrids making the vast majority of those numbers (all using the Sanyo pack) were listed.


PS: When you try to make stats out of tiny numbers you get poor reliability on your numbers... Don't think it's a coincidence that:
- 2003 & 2004 are the oldest Civics, first generation products with the most miles on their belts.
- 2009 & 2010 were those selling in smallest numbers, marking a significant drop vs. 2008 (from 31k to 15k in 2009, then 7k in 2010).
San-LC
Profile for San-LC
Re: Honda Civic Hybrid: Battery Unreliable, Consumer Reports Says    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-14-2013 12:20
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danielgr wrote:
Fan Koni wrote:
danielgr wrote:
Fan Koni wrote:
What... Honda replaced some more than 100k of batteries in its million or more sold cars!
Anyone know how the rate on the insights or fits are? 10 pc seams so much.
Maybe owners have just had them swapped shortly before warranty end - for piece of mind.
Can you explain your math?
I sure must have missed something...

PS1: Funny most problematic years come right around the time Toyota took a controlling stake on the Panasonic joint-venture that was making batteries for Honda...
PS2: The Insight series (which makes for most of the Honda hybrids sold up to now) use a different battery pack made by Sanyo (though that one was to be eaten up by Panasonic later as well...)
PS3 : After enough time and miles all the batteries of all hybrids will need replacement, just as anything using batteries you may own.
Being honest, I don't expect mine to last beyond 10 years; by then I will for sure have changed my car, just like anything else I buy with a battery.



My math was very simplified sure - 10%+ replacement rate; it hasn't gotten better over time, so it must apply to all IMA cars.

I find it very interesting:
1st This rate doesn't seam to have gotten better in time - maybe even worse
2nd the rate does not seam to be age dependent!

This looks like Honda has been cheapening out on the batteries to allow a set calculated failure rate.
[...]
Woaw... that must have been one of the most ludicrous extrapolations I've ever seen.

Again, have you noticed that:
- All Honda hybrids up to the Insight 2 debuted with different batteries (including all Civic Hybrids)
- CR reports surveys aren't limited to given years, so those not in the list were simply not having such high ratio of problems.
- Civics represent a tiny minority of the total 1Million+ hybrids Honda has sold since 1999, and none of the Honda hybrids making the vast majority of those numbers (all using the Sanyo pack) were listed.


PS: When you try to make stats out of tiny numbers you get poor reliability on your numbers... Don't think it's a coincidence that:
- 2003 & 2004 are the oldest Civics, first generation products with the most miles on their belts.
- 2009 & 2010 were those selling in smallest numbers, marking a significant drop vs. 2008 (from 31k to 15k in 2009, then 7k in 2010).



And the 2009 and 2010 drop can be attributed to the Earthquake, since all Honda hybrids are manufactured in Japan. I remember my father telling me that his dealership did not get a new hybrid for about 9 months.
Fan Koni
Profile for Fan Koni
Re: Honda Civic Hybrid: Battery Unreliable, Consumer Reports Says    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-14-2013 14:09
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danielgr wrote:
Fan Koni wrote:
danielgr wrote:
Fan Koni wrote:
What... Honda replaced some more than 100k of batteries in its million or more sold cars!
Anyone know how the rate on the insights or fits are? 10 pc seams so much.
Maybe owners have just had them swapped shortly before warranty end - for piece of mind.
Can you explain your math?
I sure must have missed something...

PS1: Funny most problematic years come right around the time Toyota took a controlling stake on the Panasonic joint-venture that was making batteries for Honda...
PS2: The Insight series (which makes for most of the Honda hybrids sold up to now) use a different battery pack made by Sanyo (though that one was to be eaten up by Panasonic later as well...)
PS3 : After enough time and miles all the batteries of all hybrids will need replacement, just as anything using batteries you may own.
Being honest, I don't expect mine to last beyond 10 years; by then I will for sure have changed my car, just like anything else I buy with a battery.



My math was very simplified sure - 10%+ replacement rate; it hasn't gotten better over time, so it must apply to all IMA cars.

I find it very interesting:
1st This rate doesn't seam to have gotten better in time - maybe even worse
2nd the rate does not seam to be age dependent!

This looks like Honda has been cheapening out on the batteries to allow a set calculated failure rate.
[...]
Woaw... that must have been one of the most ludicrous extrapolations I've ever seen.

Again, have you noticed that:
- All Honda hybrids up to the Insight 2 debuted with different batteries (including all Civic Hybrids)
- CR reports surveys aren't limited to given years, so those not in the list were simply not having such high ratio of problems.
- Civics represent a tiny minority of the total 1Million+ hybrids Honda has sold since 1999, and none of the Honda hybrids making the vast majority of those numbers (all using the Sanyo pack) were listed.


PS: When you try to make stats out of tiny numbers you get poor reliability on your numbers... Don't think it's a coincidence that:
- 2003 & 2004 are the oldest Civics, first generation products with the most miles on their belts.
- 2009 & 2010 were those selling in smallest numbers, marking a significant drop vs. 2008 (from 31k to 15k in 2009, then 7k in 2010).


Tiny minority??
Honda sold more than 300k civic hybrids!
The years with the software update will probably pop up in the next years- cr will for sure follow up on that.

As well as doing a detailed follow up on the insights that have been sold from 2009 - count on it.

The five years design fits into this picture.
danielgr
Profile for danielgr
Re: Honda Civic Hybrid: Battery Unreliable, Consumer Reports Says    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-14-2013 23:41
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San-LC wrote:

And the 2009 and 2010 drop can be attributed to the Earthquake, since all Honda hybrids are manufactured in Japan. I remember my father telling me that his dealership did not get a new hybrid for about 9 months.

I can't see how could the earthquake in 2011 be relates with 2009 or 2010 Civic sales.

Imho the drop in 2009 is closely related to the arrival of the Insight2 (and to some extent the end of the cheap. JPY days after the Lehman shock). There are some cars (generally those making money) which are sold in equilibrium between offer and demand, others like early Honda hybrids where manufacturers simply sell the amount they want to sell (by restricting offer). It would be otherwise very difficult to understand how could Honda sell roughly the same number of Civic Hybrids year after year until the introduction of the Insight2.

And that is how Honda has always behaved in terms of hybrids. Total output remains nearly constant at whatever level some guy in Tokyo decided, while newer and more profitable (or less money losing) models replace older ones. It's been exactly the same pattern with all Insight brothers.

PS: sorry for the off-topic excursion
human668
Profile for human668
Re: Honda Civic Hybrid: Battery Unreliable, Consumer Reports Says    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-16-2013 04:08
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Slawsk wrote:
The IMA battery pack design have a projected lifespan of roughly 5 years.


Where did you get that?

http://paultan.org/2013/02/22/delving-into-the-details-interview-with-norio-tomobe-large-project-leader-of-the-new-facelifted-honda-cr-z/

"As with all of our hybrid vehicles, the CR-Z was developed to adhere to all existing regulations globally, especially concerning the battery. At the moment, the strictest standard is the American Emission Warranty, which dictates that the battery must last for at least 15 years and 240,000 km. "
Slawsk
Profile for Slawsk
Re: Honda Civic Hybrid: Battery Unreliable, Consumer Reports Says    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-16-2013 04:41
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In speaking with engineers which designed and reverse-engineered these packs, both from Japan and China, the 6500mAh D-Cell battery is designed to meet specified charge & discharge parameters for 5 years. Anything beyond 5 years is a crapshoot. The battery OEM will not guarantee the cell beyond 5 years.

You can see concrete evidence in the amount of customers who are on their second or third IMA battery pack, and the vehicle in many cases is under 10 years old. Honda has also released "software updates" for both Civic and Insight, which decrease the amount of energy discharged from the IMA pack (less IMA assist), and increases the heat and charge fault tolerances with the hopes of ringing out some 10000 more miles or 1-year of usable service, getting it just a bit further down the extended warranty they were forced to offer via class action suits regarding the IMA battery pack.

The LPL for the patheticly executed CR-Z has little credibility to me because it's an inferior automobile to the 1st-gen Insight in nearly every way. It's a heavy steel bodied, 4-cylinder pig that can barely eek out better milage than a conventional Civic. He's quoting an American Emission Warranty and saying that it was "developed" to meet that standard, but speak frankly with any EV battery engineer with a shred of integrity, and they'll tell you, it simply won't last 15 years.

They can say 15 years lifespan all they want, but the truth is, with the D-Cell IMA battery pack design, a customer will need at least 2 IMA packs over a 15-year period. Drive an Insight or Civic Hybrid for 10 years and you will have changed the batteries at least once.

I know from experience.
s2ktaxi
Profile for s2ktaxi
Re: Honda Civic Hybrid: Battery Unreliable, Consumer Reports Says    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-16-2013 21:02
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I've been tracking my wife's 2006 HCH over the 90k miles we've had it. the driving experience in terms of battery assist duration (both before and after the ECU update), gas mileage and battery charging behavior definitely degrades over time - even within the lifespan of the battery. I've noticed a 15% drop in gas mileage throughout the life of the batteries pre-update. and another 15% drop post update. We used to get 46-48 mpg quite easily when the car was new. By the time we got the update, we were only getting about 40-41 mpg. after the update, we first kept getting 40-41 but am now down to about 35-36.

the interesting thing is Honda is not alone. A friend of mine with a Prius of the same vintage has similar numbers and experience.
 
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