Jim Stover - 2018 Honda Clarity Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Jim Stover

I am a recent owner of a 2018 Honda Clarity. I purchased one in Alabama (last one in the state) on August 1 2019. I'm from Georgia and there were just two 2018 models in the whole state of GA and those dealers were trying their best to take me for about eight thousand more than what I paid in Alabama. There seems to be a lot of experience and knowledge here concerning the Clarity and I look forward to learning more than that owners manual is presenting. Why is Honda not sending hardly any of these to this area of the country? It seems that California is getting about 75% of them (including the 2019 models) and New York is getting about 10% or so and the rest is sparsely scattered over a number of other states. Dealers in this area of the country are not even sure that they'll get a 2019 model. No one knows about the 2020 models either it seems. What's going on with that? Are the international tariff wars affecting this? OK I'll let all you experienced Clarity folks here handle these questions as you have probably already "stumbled" over the answers. Thanks, Jim
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 05:10 PM
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Welcome and congratulations on what I am assuming was a great price on your car. It is an unusual, interesting and fun to drive car and seems to be very well built. As for what is happening at the moment with Clarity and why the cars are suddenly so scarce around the country, there is a prevailing theory that the car is expensive to produce and was built primarily for the ten ZEV states where car manufacturers are required to sell a certain percentage of zero emissions vehicles. PHEV like the Clarity qualify at least in part since they can be driven at least part of the time on electricity only.

The Clarity fuel cell version has always been available only in California, the full electric version only in California and Oregon. When the PHEV version was introduced in the 2018 model year it was sold in all fifty states. However 2019 models were only shipped to the ten ZEV states for the first part of the year, since then only to California. The only public statement about this from Honda was on August 6th stating that currently they are only shipping cars for dealer inventory to California, although Honda says the car can be still be purchased in the other forty-nine states but it has to be ordered. No one really knows why this is, but again it is assumed that it is related to high production costs, and perhaps lower than expected sales which required heavy discounts to move cars off of lots, leading to a decision to only make them available in California for now. Honda has confirmed to prospective buyers in Canada that a 2020 model will be available but this has not been announced yet for the U.S. The current assumption is that the 2020 model will be virtually unchanged and will only be available in California.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, let me tell you more about the price/trade details. I had a Cadillac 2014 V-Sport with everything on it ($68,400.00 window sticker) but was having several things on it that needed fixing from time to time, thank goodness I had purchased a B-to-B warranty which covered those things or would have had to pay several thousand dollars out of pocket otherwise. I started researching cars on "you tube" and after a while I found the Honda Clarity and for my wife and I seemed to be the best for our purposes as we mostly just drive around town (Rome GA) and very little on the road. As of today I have only pumped 5.2 gallons in it since Aug 2 2019 and that was on the way back from L. A. (as the truckers say) Lower Alabama which was 340 miles from Rome GA. The only two dealers in GA would not come down from the 2019 model price for the 2018 Clarity. I told them there was no way I was going to pay $37 thousand plus for that and them make 4 to 5 thousand on that plus 5 to 6 thousand off the resale of my Cadi. I told them I would not be acting responsibly to let that much money slip by. If they wanted a deal then they were going to have to met me half way. He said "it's been nice talking to you"...good riddance. Well after negotiating with the dealer in Enterprise Alabama over the internet and by e-mail and phone I finally negotiated the deal and had it all but sign sealed and delivered while in my fuzzy slippers. I told him my experiences with these GA salesmen and if he would get his pencil right then we'd talk. Well he sent me an e-mail with all the stats for the deal and he actually came down on his last 2018 Clarity from about $36 thousand to $30,800 and gave me about $1000 more for my Cadi than I was offered by the GA dealers, so my wife and I hit the road with my title in the Cadi. My final deal was $18,900 for the Cadi and with a 6 yr B-to-B warranty on the Clarity and $13,800 difference. We just had to travel all night to make it happen and got back at 4 AM in the morning. The dealer said this was his last of about 9 Clarity s that he had sold for the year. This was the first car I ever bought in my "fuzzy slippers" and so far we are loving it but I have heard of some problems that others have had and maybe from reading some of these stories I can better understand the total "big picture" of what we got ourselves into. I'm still positive at the present. Thanks for listening.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 07:21 PM
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Yeah, let me tell you more about the price/trade details. I had a Cadillac 2014 V-Sport with everything on it ($68,400.00 window sticker) but was having several things on it that needed fixing from time to time, thank goodness I had purchased a B-to-B warranty which covered those things or would have had to pay several thousand dollars out of pocket otherwise. I started researching cars on "you tube" and after a while I found the Honda Clarity and for my wife and I seemed to be the best for our purposes as we mostly just drive around town (Rome GA) and very little on the road. As of today I have only pumped 5.2 gallons in it since Aug 2 2019 and that was on the way back from L. A. (as the truckers say) Lower Alabama which was 340 miles from Rome GA. The only two dealers in GA would not come down from the 2019 model price for the 2018 Clarity. I told them there was no way I was going to pay $37 thousand plus for that and them make 4 to 5 thousand on that plus 5 to 6 thousand off the resale of my Cadi. I told them I would not be acting responsibly to let that much money slip by. If they wanted a deal then they were going to have to met me half way. He said "it's been nice talking to you"...good riddance. Well after negotiating with the dealer in Enterprise Alabama over the internet and by e-mail and phone I finally negotiated the deal and had it all but sign sealed and delivered while in my fuzzy slippers. I told him my experiences with these GA salesmen and if he would get his pencil right then we'd talk. Well he sent me an e-mail with all the stats for the deal and he actually came down on his last 2018 Clarity from about $36 thousand to $30,800 and gave me about $1000 more for my Cadi than I was offered by the GA dealers, so my wife and I hit the road with my title in the Cadi. My final deal was $18,900 for the Cadi and with a 6 yr B-to-B warranty on the Clarity and $13,800 difference. We just had to travel all night to make it happen and got back at 4 AM in the morning. The dealer said this was his last of about 9 Clarity s that he had sold for the year. This was the first car I ever bought in my "fuzzy slippers" and so far we are loving it but I have heard of some problems that others have had and maybe from reading some of these stories I can better understand the total "big picture" of what we got ourselves into. I'm still positive at the present. Thanks for listening.
Sounds like a really great deal and worth all of the adventure. The manufacture date is on the driver door jamb, the 2018 was produced from late 2017 until December 2018. I bought mine in April of this year, mine was manufactured in November 2018.

Most of the problems that you have read about were probably software issues that affected a small number of owners of earlier versions, and which have been solved since last year. The one we heard most about was a problem with the engine coming on and being very loud even when the car had plenty of battery charge. Now here's where it can be a little confusing when listening to people share their experiences and you are trying to figure out if they are really having a problem or not, because it is normal for the engine to be a little loud at times. I don't know if you have owned a hybrid before but it is normal for the engine RPM to not always seem to follow logically with the speed you are travelling or the accelerator pedal position, especially at times when the engine has to charge the battery. For Clarity however the higher rpm is not very often, doesn't last long and is not really all that loud. But you certainly can hear it, compared to the near silence we enjoy when driving in EV.

Normally even when you have used up all of your EV miles and are running just gas, it's not loud at all. However in some cases with 0 EV miles and you have a long hill climb it can get a bit noisier. And there are legitimate situations where the engine can come on briefly even with you have EV miles left, but that doesn't happen very often either, and actually with a little practice can usually be avoided if you want.

I said all that because last year when the car was still new a few people had what we think was a software issue which made their engine run VERY loud, some referred to it as redlining, and this went on for a long time, and happened even when they had EV miles remaining. Based on what they described it for sure was not normal. The nickname for this was "angry bees". This is one of the problems that we feel was corrected by software for those who had it, as you really don't hear about that problem anymore. However people new to the car will sometimes hear slightly louder RPM like the normal situations that I described above, but they don't know if it's normal or not, and then they read something from last year from someone who had the real problem, and they think "Hey I have higher RPM's sometimes too so I must have the same problem, my car must have the angry bees problem" and they go online and say they have the problem, but usually you can tell from listening to their description that their car is acting normally.
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