IMA battery 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid - GreenHybrid - Hybrid Cars

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Old 12-17-2008, 10:56 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
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Default IMA battery 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid

IMA Battery died at 96,000 on my 2003 HCH. Before I bought the car from a 3rd owner at 92k miles, I called the dealer where it had been originally bought and religiously serviced to 90K, & was assured that it had a 100K warranty in effect. So I bought the car.

Last week, when the IMA light came on, I brought it to the same original dealer, they confirmed it was covered, ordered the part & this AM they installed it.

BUT - THEN they said the warranty was not transferred from the original owner, the car had been traded in at another Honda dealer, and the extended warranty should have been voided at that time but hadn't been. So it wasn't covered.
I went to service manager, to regional service manager, and up to Honda Service in California. Best they could offer was 1/2 price on the battery, ($1300), and free labor. The new battery will have a 12/12 standard parts warranty.

While I appreciate their meeting me halfway, I am hoping that Honda customer service will reconsider the case and cover my $1332 out-of-pocket. I am a loyal Honda driver and will remain loyal to the dealer service. Honda had been paid for the 100k warranty in 2003 and having batteries go bad before their time, is not what they want to have out front. I'll keep you posted.
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:13 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
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Default Re: IMA battery 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid

Update -
The previous deal at $1332 out of pocket was the dealer eliminating all of his labor costs and giving me the the dealer price on the battery replacement. So the $1332 was effectively the wholesale cost of the battery and sales tax. After I faxed and mailed a nice and only slightly threatening letter to Honda USA customer service , they got back to me with a refund offer of half the battery price, $629. So i'm oop $700. and basically satisfied, & especially satisfied with the dealer, Schaller Auto in New Britain, CT. bc they acknowledged their mistake and took 100% responsibility.
Side note, I don't understand why noone seems to be able to evaluate whether a used IMA battery is really good or not, there was no way of testing it before I bought the car, and no metric for improved performance with the new battery as far as I know. Was the old IMA battery really a problem? We may never know, I wonder if Honda does an autopsy on the old batteries. Are they recyclable? Anyway it looks as if IMA battery failure is an extremely rare occurrence, there are few if any horror stories and the dealers I spoke to had 0 or 1 anecdote, not dozens of instances.
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:32 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 1,282
Default Re: IMA battery 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid

Good to hear it worked out a little better for you.
I think Honda DOES do battery autopsies (as does Toyota). They can usually rebuild them, as well, and most parts are recyclable as well.

I don't think hybrid battery failures are "extremely" rare, but are "reasonably" rare. I certainly wouldn't count on one to be the last part standing on my car (although, now that you have a new one, maybe so for you ).
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