Honda Civic Hybrid Software Upgrade

We have a 2006 Honda Civic hybrid, brought it in for a software upgrade, and our gas mileage went from 42-45 to 30 mpg. Anyone else have this problem, and how has Honda responded to your concerns?

Just a quick guess but it likely reset your MPG calculator and you have not driven far since the upgrade?

Maybe give it some time, miles, fill ups etc to give a better picture of average MPG.

Are you getting these numbers from an electronic read-out, or are you calculating mileage the old fashioned way?

That’s a HUGE mileage drop. What did the Honda dealer say about it?

From the electric readout. We’ve been getting these #'s since August. Also, low power when going up a hill from dead start, and close to read-lining gas motor on interstate on-ramps.

Dealer said they had to install the upgrade, and they had gotten many other complaints about gas mileage. I asked them to reinstall the old software, and the response was that Honda of America would NOT allow them to go back.

The skeptic in me says that Honda is more concerned about not having to replace worn-out batteries under warranty than keeping gas mileage appropriate for a hybrid.

You can read more about it at these locations - its gotten some press.

We have the exact same problem. Our mileage went down to about 33 mpg after the “upgrade”. I have complained to Honda and they say basically the upgrade did what it’s supposed to do. I am infuriated and paid a huge premium for this car. I really loved it before the upgrade. Any suggestions what to do next? So now, despite the fact that I paid for a hybrid, I have an underpowered non-hybrid civic with an 11 gal. gas tank. Any advice about what to do next?

Forgot to add, when I asked Honda to give me something in writing saying that they closed my case, they refused.

You could contact a lawyer about trying to form a class-action lawsuit. It seems that you two purchased a car that performed the way they advertised and you were happy with it. Then did a change later on that erased those performance features. This sounds like a bait-and-switch scheme. If you can find a bunch of other owners that are also unhappy with these changes, this becomes a class-action suit.

At the very least, the pressure should force Honda to restore those performance features in another upgrade. This episode alone would prevent me from considering Honda for my next car.

You are complaining about electronic read-out gas mileage that may or may not relate to how much gas you are using. The only way to tell what your actual mileage is…

Fill up the car with gas and either record the odometer reading or set the trip odometer to 0.

The next time you get gas, fill up and note the odometer reading

Divide number of miles traveled by the number of gallons used. That is your miles per gallon.

I noticed the same dramatic drop immediately after the IMA system was reprogrammed. A bulletin for this was issued in August of 2010. The IMA system had to be changed because the hybrid batteries were dying prematurely, which would have resulted in Honda having to replace them under warranty.

Following the update, I noticed that the IMA does not kick is when it used to. If the battery meter is at half or less, the IMA does not kick in at all. Honda told me I should only see a difference when idling at a stop.

The battery is not being utilized in order to save life, which results in an increased fuel cost for the consumer, which I feel is not fair.

Anyone who has this problem should report it to their dealer and Honda customer service. I have yet to get the impression that Honda is willing to do anything about it. I have also reported this to the Better Business Bureau Auto Line and my state Attorney General consumer complaint line.

If enough people complain, they will have to do something about it. My dealer said that they have had many complaints.

Check out this website.
I think Steve Berk really gets it.

Interesting. I Didn’t See Anything In There About A Refund Or Reimbursement For Gasoline. So What Good Did The EPA MPG Ratings Do For The Buyers Of These Vehicles ?

CSA, it got the cars sold. Plus, probably got a nice tax rebate, too.

But, the Hybrid system was obviously too aggressive with the battery, killing them too early, and under warranty which the dealers tried to deny claims. The ‘fix’ extended the battery life at the expense of the gas mileage by negating the Hybrid effect. I think these owners got hosed.