For the past few years Honda have been besieged by complaints that the batteries in the Civic Hybrid die prematurely. Traditionally battery packs are meant to last for over 100,000 miles, with some even lasting up to 200,000 miles. However Honda customers have been complaining that the Civic Hybrid battery all but dies after just 30,000 to 50,000 miles. As a solution, American Honda Motor Co. offered a free software upgrade last summer to fix the problem — but now many Honda customers are saying it has only made things worse.

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While some lucky customers were able to get a replacement battery under their warranty, others faced costs of up to $2,000 to replace theirs — and that’s not even including installation charges. In order to stem the rising tide of complaints, Honda released a free software update that was meant to alter the way the car’s hybrid system works. It was supposed to reduce wear on the battery pack without reducing fuel economy, however it seems this has not been the case.

One customer wrote on an internet forum site that as a result of the fix, her mileage “went from 40 mpg to 25-28 mpg.” Another owner, Tim Lake, said: “In a couple cases it seemed as if the car did not want to accelerate from a stopped position. This has put me in a dangerous situation more than once when trying to cross an intersection.”

The automaker has opted to not even discuss the Civic Hybrid battery and software issues, as they are the subject of lawsuits. However they may have an ally in Consumer Reports’, who have warned that customer complaints may be exaggerated.

While it is hoped that a new battery may resolve the issue, Honda are still planning on releasing an entirely new version of the Civic Hybrid this spring. The new Civic Hybrid will boast an even more powerful lithium-ion battery that is completely different from the ones used in past versions. Hopefully this one will work.

+ Honda

Via CNN Money