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2003 Honda Civic Hybrid IMA battery issue

About two weeks ago after a week of not driving, our 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid’s (75,000 miles on it) IMA and check engine lights came on. I took it to the dealer and they said the IMA battery is going to fail and I need a new one, to the tune of $3000. I said no, we’d rather get a new car, at which point the guy said he’d talk to someone higher up and try to get the price down. Now he’s offering to do it for $700 plus tax. I don’t know if that quote includes a warranty or if it’s a new or refurbished battery. I’m wondering if this is a shady deal or I should go for it? Why would Honda offer to pay for most of the battery??

This is a strange dealer. Most dealers, when a customer suggests he/she might buy a new car has sales person there on the spot. However, dealerships are divided into several departments: 1) new car sales; 2) used car sales; 3) service; 4) parts; and possibly 5) body shop. Each department has its own manager and each manager’s department must show a profit. It sounds like the profits may have been down in the service department. You are either being stepped down from a new IMA battery to a refurbished one or Honda realizes that there may have been a problem with the original battery and is kicking in for a replacement battery. My temptation would be to go for the $700 deal.

@Unc I don’t know what state you’re in, but where I’m at I believe those hybrid battery packs are warranted for 10years/150K

Definitly check if this is under warranty before buying anything. I thought most manufacturers were covering these batteries for 10 years.

Thanks, I’m in Washington State but bought the car in California (if that matters). I actually bought the car in June 2002, so I think I"m just past the 10 year warranty…still, it’s worth investigating, maybe that explains why the dealer is motivated!

@Unc, since you have definitely owned the car for over 10 years, I would go for the $700 deal.
Financially, it’s a very good price.
They will be meeting you more than halfway.
I advise you to contact them soon, before the deal’s off the table.
And talk to the same guy, reminding them of the deal that they offered you.

If the car’s in pretty good shape, I’d go for the $700 repair and drive it for another few years.
Then, when it comes time to sell, you can point out to prospective buyers that you already had the battery replaced.