RonDawg wrote:What was the original battery warranty, and did it cover capacity degradation?
I think it is (was) 8 years/100,000 miles for all the electic drive components in our MY2003 HCH. While it does not specifically mention capacity, the fact is that as the capacity degrades in the NiMH D cells used, their self-discharge rate also increases, the result being that if the car sits around for a few days you will get a trouble code for the EV battery. So in a sense it is covered.
But there are a few things that bug me about the HCH battery, warranty and class action resolution:
- The break-even mileage for the HCH compared with a standard Civic at the time was around 160,000 miles. Contrast that with the LEAF which is about 60,000 miles. As such, the new capacity warranty for the LEAF should get some disatisfied owners at least to a break-even point so that they can move to another EV or back to a hybrid. (I will note that we find the HCH to be a much nicer car than normal Civics available in 2002 when we purchased it. It is still a great car eleven years after purchase. Likewise, we very much like the LEAF.)
- The batteries in the HCH seem to last for just a bit over the warranty period, but not much longer.
- The thermal management system for the HCH battery seems to have the result that the outer two rows (out of seven) of battery sticks degrade faster than the other five. (Becasuse of this, I have wondered if the LEAF may also show similar uneven battery degradation. So far it doesn't look terrible.)
- Honda really has not shown much commitment to Improving their hybrid technology since they developed the Insight.
- The reprogramming which was provided as part of the lawsuit resolution did more harm than good. It reduced the efficiency of the car while causing the EV warning light to come sooner than it would have otherwise. Had I known this in advance, I would definitely have foregone the new firmware. (I think Honda made much more money off this move than the settlement cost them.)
All-in-all, I consider both the HCH and the LEAF to be good purchases for us. I would be happier with Honda if they had not downgraded the firmware in our HCH after ten years of reliable service, however. I guess that's why I'm not first in line when Nissan offers new firmware with their new battery warranty.