2019 Honda Accord Hybrid: intermittent "brake system" warning light and on-dash warnings

The next thread triggered me to make this thread:

I have 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid, bought in April 2019, 5K miles on odometer, gentle driving

It had under a thousand miles on it, when it showed a yellow “brake system” light on the dash as I started it in the morning, then info-system showed two messages I will post below for the second incident. Warning cleared itself in one minute, brakes were “strange/mushy” when message was present, then working fine, brake fluid level was normal, so I went to dealer and they found sound NOTHING, performed “system reset” and sent me out their door.

The second incident happened around 3.5K miles, this time after 15 miles drive, when backing up to parking area, the same things: yellow light, warnings, cleaned itself in 1 minute.
This time, I grabbed the cell phone immediately and documented what was happening:

Once again, brake fluid level was normal, brakes had some strange feeling and pedal was mushy, then it recovered and I drove to a DIFFERENT dealer, who once again found precious NOTHING, but then asked if I can leave the car with them overnight for the technician to drive it longer with some electronic diagnostic tools attached, which I OK-ed. Once again, it was NOTHING, but they escalated to the corporate Honda and a case was opened there, with no good resolution or any change to the vehicle.

Since Virginia Lemon Law recognizes “critical safety system failures” as a type of incident qualifying for the vehicle to be covered under the law from the first failure, and since no repairs was done and since it was a repeating issue occurrence, I notified Honda via a certified mail about all these facts and asked for the vehicle to be replaced.

By now, Honda makes a very surprised facial expression and fails to see any issues (per them, safety, use and value are not compromised at all), so I’m on the second stage, in a non-binding arbitration with NCSD, which is their arbiter of choice.

I will keep this thread updated as I get more info.

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That is downright terrifying. Best of luck getting it sorted.

Ed B.


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I can see how you’d be concerned about this. It seems like the better solution is for Honda to let their techs drive the car as their daily driver while they give you a loaner. This should go on for at least 6 weeks, seems to me. Honda just saying that since it doesn’t happen while they are looking at it isn’t sufficient, at least from my point of view. On the other hand I wouldn’t say Honda is required to give you another car; at least until the 6 weeks trial mentioned above has been completed. This is the sort of problem arbitration is meant for I guess.

The 31st day car is out of my possession, it is not “may” it is “shall” they give a replacement vehicle under the law.
I don’t really care how they sort it out, it’s just downright “get off” attitude I do not like.
The rep from Honda side pretty much delivered the message between the lines of his response: “you imagine it”.

It’s weird that the car’s computer knows there’s something wrong as it says so on the display, but the dealership can’t figure out the cause. I would expect the folks at Honda engineering design wouldn’t design the car’s computer software to produce a warnng message that the dealership shop couldn’t resolve. A driveway diy’er might not be able to figure it out, but the dealership should have all the necessary diagnostic equipment and staff training to resolve something like this. & it’s hard to figure why the dealership thinks it is all in your imagination. I mean you have the evidence in the photos of the display. Do they think you contrived those photos yourself, using photo-shop, just to give them a hard time? … lol …

So far it’s hard for me to find what Honda’ rep train of thought is, but they plain reject answering any of my “targeted” questions, the ones which would inevitably get them on the road of accepting it is a serious defect in the critical system.

About the only way I could see a ‘soft pedal’ to happen, while the brake fluid is good, is a problem within the master cylinder area or the vacuum line to it.

this is hybrid, so it is much more complicated :frowning:

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Just received a copy of Honda’s response to NCSD, the arbiter.
They are making a tap dance reminiscent of Chicago movie, trying to steer away from ever seeing the photo-evidence.
Blank “nobody but the owner has ever seen the alleged issue”.
NCSD is paid by car manufacturers, but not directly by Honda, so I’m not keeping my hopes high.

Received a final decision from NCDS.
Somehow the problem became “parking brake problem” and they do not see “any evidence this problem exists”.
The one who did not expect much would not be disappointed…
I’m not sure what to do next.
Logically, lawyer would be a next step, but I’m not sure I want to waste money if chances are slim.
Anybody has references around Northern Virginia area?

There’s a well-known incident in the high-tech world. An engineer noticed a problem with a chip used in his company’s products. He alerted the chip’s manufacturer. The manufacture declined to do anything about it, said this engineer is the only person who’s ever seen the problem. Too complicated to tell the whole story here, but the engineer apparently ended up very wealthy.

That’s what called “positive thinking”, thanks George :slight_smile:
I will show what I have on hands to the consumer protection law firm I’ve found nearby and will go from there.

I would find a lawyer to draft a demand letter explaining they have been retained to represent you, expect resolution in the form of… and are prepared to litigate to get it as well as client’s legal fees but hope this can be resolved with the least expense for all involved.

That shouldn’t cost more than a couple hundred and may spur them to settle.

A month after your battle with Honda is over and you are driving a Toyota Mirai, Honda will issue a service bulletin to correct the problem.

A dealer technician can’t spend weeks of time analyzing an intermittent problem, that is what engineers get paid to do. Meanwhile the vehicle owner is stuck in the middle.

So far I’m in the mood to get a replacement Accord if they will settle on replacement, but if it drags through the court and much headaches, I might reconsider.
I have a couple of people I know with this generation of Accord Hybrid, they are OK.
One already made into 40K miles or so and car hold up very well.
Looks like I have some defective one, but I would rather have it failed hard and get fixed than stuck in limbo like this.

Is that a new model?
I was not aware that there is a “Toyota Honda”.

… just more evidence of the importance of punctuation…

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Ive got a great lawyer who does only lemon law cases, but he practices in NJ.

Thanks, but it’s 3 hour drive for me :frowning:
Do you know if he works “remote” ?

I have no clue, I’ll send you his contact info in a PM.

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