Scary problem. - 2018 Honda Clarity Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Scary problem.

We bought our Clarity in mid-August and currently have about 7,000 miles on it. Really love the car, despite a few quirks. But an experience we had 10 days ago really shook our confidence. While driving on a 4-lane freeway -- thankfully in the middle of Iowa with little traffic -- shortly after the automatic shift to the ICE when the battery ran out, the engine revved up and we simultaneously lost all power to the wheels. It was as if the engine had been suddenly disconnected from the transmission. My wife was able to guide the car to the side of the road safely as it decelerated outside of our control. We turned it off, then back on, hoping maybe a computer just needed to be 'reset'. As we tried to get back on the freeway the engine/transmission were on again, off again, as if the transmission was engaging, then not. Gradually we got back up to speed and were able to complete our journey. After sitting for 5 hours or so a similar thing happened on our way back home on a 2-lane road, soon after we got out of the parking lot. No problems the remaining 1.5 hour drive. After comparing notes, my wife and I realized a similar thing had happened to each of us, but at very low speeds around town during the past 5 months, so not that noticeable. And it's happened once in the past week, also at low speed in town. Can't imagine how dangerous this would be if it happened on a full speed freeway in a city of any size or while in mountain territory. Immediately called our local dealer and the car is in the shop today...we'll see what happens. A great car, but not worth risking my family's safety.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 06:52 PM
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Yes this can be a scary event for sure but this is a new car for North America and being the first year - these issues can arise. I know - I got the first year Land Rover Discovery Sport in 2015 and had many issues including getting stranded. Needless to say, the Land Rover is going back to the dealer after the lease ends....

Please update us on what the dealer finds ?

Were there any warning messages on your instrument cluster ?

Did you lose any braking or steering control of the car when it disconnected ??
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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I will update as more info comes back to me.

The answers to your other questions:
2. No.
3. No.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 08:51 PM
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That doesn't sound great. I've had quite a few switch overs from EV to HV mode at speed though I haven't had that happen, and I've got almost 7k on mine. I'll watch out for it.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-24-2019, 01:15 AM
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Lefty

This issue has been brought up by a couple other owners in another forum... http://insideevs.com under a thread called Clarity Issues.

One owner is so fed up he is trying for class action since apparently the dealership network says nothing is wrong and Honda USA is not cooperative... hopefully you will have better luck.

I cannot fault any Clarity owner who experiences power failure to file suit. It sounds extremely scary and dangerous to me.

If the dealership says they cannot find anything...the only thing I can suggest...get a OBDll scanner and put it on your car to gather rpm and other info which will support your issue.

That high reving/power loss issue is one reason I have been gathering data on my car...to set a baseline...and be able to demonstrate the difference in RPMs etc to Honda USA...if I ever develop this.

Hope this helps

Good luck.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-24-2019, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lefty View Post
I will update as more info comes back to me.

The answers to your other questions:
2. No.
3. No.
Without a CEL or other notification on your dash, your dealer may have an issue trying to find the problem.
I would suggest you install a dash cam showing the display and instrument cluster while you drive to show the issue.

The video along with an OBD scanner may be the best choice to record the issue.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-24-2019, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to ClarityNewbie and 4sallypat for the advice. Had extensive conversations with the technician and service manager at the local dealer today:
1. As expected, they were unable to replicate the problem by driving it. Since it's happened 'only' 5 x in 5 months, we all expected that.
2. Unfortunately, there was no computer code or computer record of any irregularity when they ran a diagnostic. That's unfortunate.
3. When the technician called Honda Tech in California, they told him "we've never had a technician call with that type of problem before" -- which I find hard to believe. As I relayed to the Manager, you can go online for 5 minutes and see that it's a repeating problem.
The local guys really did make a good-faith effort to find and solve the problem, but as the Manager said, they really don't have the expertise to diagnose the complexity of a Clarity when something doesn't register on their diagnostic. And Honda Tech was no help. He also suggested videoing the dash to document what's happening -- altho I don't see how that will change anything: the engine revs, power declines.
Honda's approach of "sorry, there's nothing we can do about it" will not fly. It's not like it's a phantom squeak or something that's not fixable. They created the car and warranty it for 3 yrs or 36,000 miles -- they don't just get to say, sorry. And it's clearly an engine/transmission glitch -- it's not unidentifiable.
I was able to keep things real civil with the local guys, but I can tell this is going to take some time dealing with the national level folks. Thanks for the ideas -- I will check up on other sites and see what luck they're having. This really sucks and I feel bad for my family because I was the one who researched this car and I hadn't seen any major problems like this before we bought it in late August.
Thanks again for the ideas! Keep 'em coming if anybody has any more.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-25-2019, 01:28 AM
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Lefty

Go to

http://m.carcomplaints.com/Honda/Cla...n_Hybrid/2018/

You can read other complaints under engine problems. You may wish to register a complaint as well.

Don't feel bad....its luck of the draw when it comes to buying vehicles. I just hate it for those who have this issue... amazing Honda USA doesn't give a darn given multiple people registering the same complaint.

Hope this helps.

Good luck.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-27-2019, 12:56 PM
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I had this happen to me too as well as some other issues and I got fed up and took it back and traded in for a 2019 Accord Hybrid. Even the service dept was sympathetic to my issues as they could not explain why my HV range was over 900 miles in addition to all the other issues. I took a bath trading it in, the dealer said they were doing me a favor with the trade in price and the sale of the Accord but I lost almost 8k With the safety and reliability issue I did not want to go through the hassle of Lemon Law. I leave for work at 4:15 in the morning. I told the dealer about other Clarity owners having strange issues with the car but of course they blew me off on that one. If there is any kind of class action suit I would like to join it so I can go back to the loan amount on the Clairty instead of having a $41,000 loan on a $33,000 Accord.....
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 07:55 PM
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Had it happen to me, many times. Not as extreme, but scary when you can't climb a hill. Took to dealership - they keep saying that it's either normal or cant get it to recreate. It has made me regret buying a first year model.

QUOTE=lefty;2265]We bought our Clarity in mid-August and currently have about 7,000 miles on it. Really love the car, despite a few quirks. But an experience we had 10 days ago really shook our confidence. While driving on a 4-lane freeway -- thankfully in the middle of Iowa with little traffic -- shortly after the automatic shift to the ICE when the battery ran out, the engine revved up and we simultaneously lost all power to the wheels. It was as if the engine had been suddenly disconnected from the transmission. My wife was able to guide the car to the side of the road safely as it decelerated outside of our control. We turned it off, then back on, hoping maybe a computer just needed to be 'reset'. As we tried to get back on the freeway the engine/transmission were on again, off again, as if the transmission was engaging, then not. Gradually we got back up to speed and were able to complete our journey. After sitting for 5 hours or so a similar thing happened on our way back home on a 2-lane road, soon after we got out of the parking lot. No problems the remaining 1.5 hour drive. After comparing notes, my wife and I realized a similar thing had happened to each of us, but at very low speeds around town during the past 5 months, so not that noticeable. And it's happened once in the past week, also at low speed in town. Can't imagine how dangerous this would be if it happened on a full speed freeway in a city of any size or while in mountain territory. Immediately called our local dealer and the car is in the shop today...we'll see what happens. A great car, but not worth risking my family's safety.[/QUOTE]
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