Honda Accord Hybrid IMA battery failure



I have a Honda Accord 2004 Hybrid with 85,000 miles on it. My IMA and check engine light went on less than 2 months ago, and the dealer replaced the starter battery and it was “fixed”. Less than 2 months later the same thing happened and the dealer claims that the hybrid battery is failing, it will cost $5400 to replace it, and they can’t do this anyhow because the part is backordered “indefinitely”. And, we’re sorry but Honda extended the hybrid battery to 80,000 miles but you are over the limit. So here’s my question:

1. Can the car be driven without the hybrid battery, just using gas engine, without risk of getting stuck somewhere? 2. Is there any other remedy that would be less costly?

3. Was this a known problem that I should have been warned about when I bought the car.

  1. Not sure - Honda would be the best source of info on this. IIRC, these hybrids never ran on pure electric power, so you would be able to drive w/o the hybrid system IF the engine computer let you.

  2. Not if you have to replace the battery. They aren’t cheap. Unfortunately, the Accord hybrid was a miserable sales flop, so parts may be hard to get. Honda did a terrible job designing and marketing this vehicle - it barely beat the fuel efficiency of the 4 cylinder version and cost a LOT more. If you fixed it and sold it at KBB good condition private party value, you’d probably net about $7,000. In its current condition, it’s worth no more than that, probably less. The only other reco I could give would be to try to arrange a swap with the dealer - sell them your car prior to repair for that $7,000 or so and pick up something else. It’ll likely be more expensive to get a similar age vehicle that is a non-hybrid (ie, $8,300 for a 4 cylinder Accord DX), but it would end the pain for certain and get you a working car soon, rather than later.

  3. No - hybrid batteries do fail occasionally, no matter what some will say, but these failures are not common or widespread.

  1. Was this a known problem that I should have been warned about when I bought the car.

You are aware of the fact that every single battery eventually does die, right?
Doesn’t matter if its a AAA battery in a flashlight, or the hybrid battery in your car, but eventually, every single battery dies.

So, you have two choices:

Pony up the cash when the battery becomes available, or search salvage yards until you can find a good replacement.