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Have you experienced a delay in the replacement of a defective A/C condenser not built to spec?

  • Yes, and the replacement will be/was covered by the warranty

    Votes: 3 27.3%
  • No, my defective A/C condenser was replaced within a reasonable time frame at no charge to me

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No, but I was charged for the replacement despite Honda Service Bulletin 21-017

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes, and I will be/was charged for the replacement despite Honda Service Bulletin 21-017

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I haven't noticed an issue with my A/C ...yet

    Votes: 8 72.7%
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In the middle of June 2021, my local Honda dealership's service department confirmed that my 2018 Clarity's leaky A/C condenser was covered under Honda Service Bulletin 21-017 ( https://www.reddit.com/r/Clarity/comments/npu03t ) because it was not built to spec. Today is September 6 and they still do not have have a reliable estimated date of delivery for this part. Meanwhile, I've endured a hot summer driving my "sauna on wheels" and I incurred the cost of a rental car for a road trip in mid-August rather than subject my passengers to an unpleasant environment. Has anyone else experienced a similar delay for the replacement of an A/C condenser?
 

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Whoa!

"None of the Above" for me, but I'm sure glad I put a gravel guard on the front grill AC condenser air intake. The only thing worst than having to wait interminably for a replacement would be having to pay for it afterwards.
 

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Has anyone else experienced a similar delay for the replacement of an A/C condenser?
No but I did have to wait about 6 weeks for Toyota to find an ECM for our Prius but that’s chip related. Worldwide shipping is really bad right now too.

I’m amazed you haven’t run into cooling issues with the HV battery.

I hate to bring it up but there’s always your states lemon law to fall back on. In my state, you’d need at least 3 attempts at repair and show significant loss in value which no a/c would certainly qualify for.

GOOD LUCK!
 

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I’m amazed you haven’t run into cooling issues with the HV battery.
A damaged A/C condenser should not affect anything other than A/C. Everything else uses the myriad other radiators that are under the hood. The HV battery shares a radiator with the charger and the DC-DC converter. I think the inverter probably has its own radiator, and then whatever that little radiator is in the lower left corner (drivers side), I remember seeing the part for that one listed as transmission cooler or something like that. Clarity doesn't have a transmission, at least not in the typical sense, so I'm not sure exactly what that one is for. One day I might take off the black plastic panel under the hood that covers the radiators, might have a better view of the hoses and be able to figure out what is what.
 

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A damaged A/C condenser should not affect anything other than A/C. Everything else uses the myriad other radiators that are under the hood. The HV battery shares a radiator with the charger and the DC-DC converter. I think the inverter probably has its own radiator, and then whatever that little radiator is in the lower left corner (drivers side), I remember seeing the part for that one listed as transmission cooler or something like that. Clarity doesn't have a transmission, at least not in the typical sense, so I'm not sure exactly what that one is for. One day I might take off the black plastic panel under the hood that covers the radiators, might have a better view of the hoses and be able to figure out what is what.
Many other EVs have active cooling loops using heat-pump type refrigeration. (My '21 Bolt does this.) It's surprising that Honda doesn't actively cool the batteries with an AC in the PHEV.

Do you know if they did with the BEV version?
 

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Whoa!

"None of the Above" for me, but I'm sure glad I put a gravel guard on the front grill AC condenser air intake. The only thing worst than having to wait interminably for a replacement would be having to pay for it afterwards.
That's the first I heard of a gravel guard helping. Is damage from things like gravel what is causing most of these compressor failures? Do you have any more information on your gravel guard or how create/install one? Thanks!
 

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That's the first I heard of a gravel guard helping. Is damage from things like gravel what is causing most of these compressor failures? Do you have any more information on your gravel guard or how create/install one? Thanks!
The basic problem is that the condenser fails with pinhole leaks due to a faulty design, bad materials or poor fabrication. Honda has extended the warranty on them to cover said defect.

What appears to be happening is that Honda Corporate sometimes denies covering the condenser defect if they can claim that the leak was due to damage from a object strike (like gravel) on the condenser. The gravel guard effectively takes away that excuse for not covering the manufacturing defect.

The ClarityScreen is available through Steve at Voltshop (WELCOME TO THE VOLTSHOP!)

Send him an e-mail, and he'll reply with the purchase process. IIRC, it was about $36.

[email protected]

It's easy to install, fits well, and appears that it would be quite effective. I live in CA, so a front plate is required. I had to remove the front plate holder in order to install the screen, and finesse getting the plate holder bolts to line up again, after adding the thickness of the ClarityScreen behind it. All told, it probably took 15 minutes to do. Without a front plate, it can probably be installed in less than two minutes, with the included zip-ties..
 

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Many other EVs have active cooling loops using heat-pump type refrigeration. (My '21 Bolt does this.) It's surprising that Honda doesn't actively cool the batteries with an AC in the PHEV.

Do you know if they did with the BEV version?
The Clarity is apparently the first Honda with liquid cooling for the battery so at least there's that. Previous hybrids including the Accord PHEV used air cooling.

Here is my understanding of the three cars, subject to correction by anyone who knows more about it than my limited knowledge:

Bolt - No heat pump in the Bolt from what I understand. The cabin is cooled by AC compressor, but the cabin is heated by a resistance coolant heater (similar to Clarity PHEV). The Bolt battery is cooled by the same AC compressor and condenser as the cabin. The Bolt battery is heated by a resistance coolant heater (I think this is a different resistance heater and cooling loop than the cabin heater).

Clarity PHEV - No heat pump in the PHEV, the cabin is cooled by AC compressor, and heated by resistance coolant heater. At very cold temperatures engine coolant is routed into the cabin. I'm not sure why resistance heat is used in less severe weather instead of engine heat, maybe they felt resistance heat would have better temperature control and they only use engine heat when resistance heat is inadequate. But we sure pay dearly for that during winter. The battery is cooled (and heated) by a liquid cooling system and radiator which is shared by the charger and DC-DC converter. Canada also has a separate battery heater used in very cold weather, but only while plugged in.

Clarity Electric - heat pump for the cabin. In very cold weather the cabin is heated with a PTC heater (a fancier version of a resistance heater) which is air to air heat since there is no coolant loop going in the cabin only a refrigerant loop. The battery is cooled (and heated) by the same liquid cooling system used in the PHEV.
 

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The Clarity is apparently the first Honda with liquid cooling for the battery so at least there's that. Previous hybrids including the Accord PHEV used air cooling.

Here is my understanding of the three cars, subject to correction by anyone who knows more about it than my limited knowledge:

Bolt - No heat pump in the Bolt from what I understand. The cabin is cooled by AC compressor, but the cabin is heated by a resistance coolant heater (similar to Clarity PHEV). The Bolt battery is cooled by the same AC compressor and condenser as the cabin. The Bolt battery is heated by a resistance coolant heater (I think this is a different resistance heater and cooling loop than the cabin heater).

Clarity PHEV - No heat pump in the PHEV, the cabin is cooled by AC compressor, and heated by resistance coolant heater. At very cold temperatures engine coolant is routed into the cabin. I'm not sure why resistance heat is used in less severe weather instead of engine heat, maybe they felt resistance heat would have better temperature control and they only use engine heat when resistance heat is inadequate. But we sure pay dearly for that during winter. The battery is cooled (and heated) by a liquid cooling system and radiator which is shared by the charger and DC-DC converter. Canada also has a separate battery heater used in very cold weather, but only while plugged in.

Clarity Electric - heat pump for the cabin. In very cold weather the cabin is heated with a PTC heater (a fancier version of a resistance heater) which is air to air heat since there is no coolant loop going in the cabin only a refrigerant loop. The battery is cooled (and heated) by the same liquid cooling system used in the PHEV.
Sorry, I often mistakenly use "heat pump" for "AC compressor", forgetting that a heat pump can go both ways. Being in coastal So. CA, I conveniently forget about the heater side of things. I never use one, and instead opt for the seat heaters, on the rare occasion it's necessary. The steering wheel heater on the Bolt is nice, too. I was surprised the Clarity Touring didn't have it. Honda Marketing's choices for how the Touring was equipped were quite disappointing.

The PHEV Clarity won't have engine heat available for the first fifty miles, which necessitates the resistive heater.

The main reason I'd never touch a Leaf again is because of its passive air-flow battery cooling system. When I bought our 2011, I wasn't aware of the distinction, and they sure didn't advertise it. Nissan sure paid the price on that one, especially in hot climates, like Phoenix. They had to swap out for a lot of "lizard packs". I never saw an issue with heat (luckily) where I live. It's unbelievable that Nissan didn't adopt an active system with the model refresh.
 

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The PHEV Clarity won't have engine heat available for the first fifty miles, which necessitates the resistive heater.
It also of course needs the resistive heater when driving EV. However in HV mode my engine doesn't take anywhere near fifty miles to warm up, more like about five miles even during winter. Once the engine warms up and the thermostat opens it starts sending warm coolant to the radiator to dump the heat overboard into the atmosphere. Meanwhile at the same time that it is dumping heat overboard it continues to exclusively use electricity to warm up the cabin. Even though they have built in the capability to send engine coolant into the cabin loop, it apparently doesn't do this unless the resistive heater can't keep up on its own. One article that I read said it only uses engine coolant below about 5° F, although I don't know how accurate that is.

What it should do is the opposite, use engine heat when available, and use the resistive heater only when engine heat isn't enough. I'm sure it takes a little bit of effort to modulate the heat coming from the engine, but ICE cars with climate control do this. Maybe it's a little more complicated in HV since engine temperature will be fluctuating a bit as ICE shuts of momentarily at times, but with modern computer controls that doesn't seem all that insurmountable. That's how my Prius worked.

I suspect the reason they didn't take the effort to do this is because it probably doesn't affect the EPA rating so it wasn't a priority, the priority was maintaining steady cabin temperature with the least amount of effort. Modulating electricity flow to the resistive heater is probably easier than modulating coolant flow with a valve, because the valve would have to be built robust enough to function for many years. To be fair they spent a ton of money on this car in other areas so I can understand that at some point they have to go with what is simplest.

Along similar lines, the climate system blends in outdoor air to maintain temperature. Of course there is always some fresh air coming in, but the system brings in additional outdoor air when needed to keep the temperature in line. For example if you are running the resistive heater to warm the cabin, and the temperature swings a couple of degrees too high, instead of simply cutting off heat temporarily until the temperature naturally lowers, instead they mix in some cold outdoor air into the cabin as this will much more quickly bring the temperature in line. But of course at a cost since bringing in cold outdoor air will push warm cabin air out of the car through the vents, cabin air that you spent your hard earned dollars heating up with a resistive heater.

Another annoyance is that you can't set the system for cold or heat, it does whichever is needed. While convenient, that creates situations where you have the temperature set to say 72 in the afternoon, which runs AC, but then in the morning if the cabin is say 68 degrees, then the heater comes on to bring it up to 72, when you don't want the heater to come on. I realize it's just doing its job, but in regular cars if you have it set to AC that's all it does, and if set to heat then that's all it does. If you want heat you switch to heat.

Some of this may not make a huge difference, but cumulatively it can. All cars are less efficient in winter for a variety of reasons, but the Clarity really seems to get slammed during winter and I suspect this is part of the reason. Climate should have its own "Eco" setting for those who don't mind a little bit of temperature fluctuation as a tradeoff for efficiency. In the owners manual Econ driving mode is supposed to affect climate control, but my guess is that it just widens the temperature range a tiny bit that's all, it doesn't do any of the things that I am suggesting.
 

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It also of course needs the resistive heater when driving EV. However in HV mode my engine doesn't take anywhere near fifty miles to warm up, more like about five miles even during winter. Once the engine warms up and the thermostat opens it starts sending warm coolant to the radiator to dump the heat overboard into the atmosphere. Meanwhile at the same time that it is dumping heat overboard it continues to exclusively use electricity to warm up the cabin. Even though they have built in the capability to send engine coolant into the cabin loop, it apparently doesn't do this unless the resistive heater can't keep up on its own. One article that I read said it only uses engine coolant below about 5° F, although I don't know how accurate that is.

What it should do is the opposite, use engine heat when available, and use the resistive heater only when engine heat isn't enough. I'm sure it takes a little bit of effort to modulate the heat coming from the engine, but ICE cars with climate control do this. Maybe it's a little more complicated in HV since engine temperature will be fluctuating a bit as ICE shuts of momentarily at times, but with modern computer controls that doesn't seem all that insurmountable. That's how my Prius worked.

I suspect the reason they didn't take the effort to do this is because it probably doesn't affect the EPA rating so it wasn't a priority, the priority was maintaining steady cabin temperature with the least amount of effort. Modulating electricity flow to the resistive heater is probably easier than modulating coolant flow with a valve, because the valve would have to be built robust enough to function for many years. To be fair they spent a ton of money on this car in other areas so I can understand that at some point they have to go with what is simplest.

Along similar lines, the climate system blends in outdoor air to maintain temperature. Of course there is always some fresh air coming in, but the system brings in additional outdoor air when needed to keep the temperature in line. For example if you are running the resistive heater to warm the cabin, and the temperature swings a couple of degrees too high, instead of simply cutting off heat temporarily until the temperature naturally lowers, instead they mix in some cold outdoor air into the cabin as this will much more quickly bring the temperature in line. But of course at a cost since bringing in cold outdoor air will push warm cabin air out of the car through the vents, cabin air that you spent your hard earned dollars heating up with a resistive heater.

Another annoyance is that you can't set the system for cold or heat, it does whichever is needed. While convenient, that creates situations where you have the temperature set to say 72 in the afternoon, which runs AC, but then in the morning if the cabin is say 68 degrees, then the heater comes on to bring it up to 72, when you don't want the heater to come on. I realize it's just doing its job, but in regular cars if you have it set to AC that's all it does, and if set to heat then that's all it does. If you want heat you switch to heat.

Some of this may not make a huge difference, but cumulatively it can. All cars are less efficient in winter for a variety of reasons, but the Clarity really seems to get slammed during winter and I suspect this is part of the reason. Climate should have its own "Eco" setting for those who don't mind a little bit of temperature fluctuation as a tradeoff for efficiency. In the owners manual Econ driving mode is supposed to affect climate control, but my guess is that it just widens the temperature range a tiny bit that's all, it doesn't do any of the things that I am suggesting.
The 2017-2019 Chevy Bolt had a similar HVAC system. You just turned it on and hoped, and it decided if AC or resistive heat was appropriate. Couple that with the hidden-deep-in-a-settings-menu auto-defrost control, and the HVAC in those Bolts often seemed to be possessed, and appeared to not do anything remotely like what the driver actually wanted. Setting it to 73F seemed to make it behave the most bizarre. Don't get me wrong...the HVAC was very effective. It just didn't behave in expected ways. I tended to set it to "AUTO" and forget about it, except when I needed more range, which was very rare with a 238 mile EV.

Beginning in 2020, Bolts had a separate on-off switch for each of the AC and heat, which helped a lot, but the auto-defrost is still buried deep in menu he||. Auto defrost still generates a significant number of "what's going on?" posts by new owners in the forum, who couldn't get the displayed range on the GOM to be the spec'd max value. Turn off auto-defrost, and like magic, the displayed range on the GOM jumps by a dozen miles or so. There's a reason they're called "Guess-O-Meters".

BTW, I specified that the Clarity PHEV would need the resistive heater for the first 50 or so miles of driving, because there isn't any engine heat at all when it's driven as an EV. You'd have to either run in HV mode to fire up the engine, or drive it like you stole it.
 

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BTW, I specified that the Clarity PHEV would need the resistive heater for the first 50 or so miles of driving, because there isn't any engine heat at all when it's driven as an EV.
Got it you meant 50 miles in EV mode. I'm not sure I have ever driven 50 straight miles in EV, on days when I am going more than 50 miles there is always some freeway or highway driving involved, so I typically drive in EV to the freeway which is eight miles away, then I turn on HV when I get on the freeway. I switch back to EV when I exit the freeway. Only on the return trip do I use EV on the freeway as a way to use up any excess EV miles before I get home.

So on the outbound leg when I get on the freeway and switch to HV it's somewhat annoying knowing that after the engine has warmed up it continues to use resistive heat to warm the cabin. Although that affects mpg not battery usage, but still it seems inefficient as the engine has to generate extra electricity to power the resistive heater instead of using its own "free" engine heat to warm the cabin.

And then when I exit the freeway and switch to EV the engine is still hot and will take a while to cool down, seems like all of that extra heat could be used to heat the cabin, or at least supplement the resistive heater as the engine cools down. In fact even better would be if sometime after engine shutdown it closes the path to the radiator so that the warm coolant only goes to the cabin, then that leftover engine heat will last even longer.

Then again I don't know how much gas/electricity can be saved by doing this, as compared to the complexity and cost, but considering that we have goofy looking aerodynamic wheel covers and weird fenders to eke out a couple of mpg, I think there are climate control opportunities that maybe we'll see in the future as PHEV's get more refined and look for ways to be more efficient.
 

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In the middle of June 2021, my local Honda dealership's service department confirmed that my 2018 Clarity's leaky A/C condenser was covered under Honda Service Bulletin 21-017 ( https://www.reddit.com/r/Clarity/comments/npu03t ) because it was not built to spec. Today is September 6 and they still do not have have a reliable estimated date of delivery for this part. Meanwhile, I've endured a hot summer driving my "sauna on wheels" and I incurred the cost of a rental car for a road trip in mid-August rather than subject my passengers to an unpleasant environment. Has anyone else experienced a similar delay for the replacement of an A/C condenser?
I brought my 2018 Clarity on 7/29 to the nearest dealer and confirmed AC condenser is faulty leaking refrigerant.
The part is still on back ordered. (8 weeks now)
I called Honda customer center a month ago about this situation and they assigned the case#.
I'm supposed to receive a call back from the assigned case manager but no luck.
I called Honda customer center and find the assigned case manager and left a voice mail 3 times but still no response.

When Honda announced the faulty ac condenser, I thought they have a plenty of replacement parts provided but the
reality is telling us about bad part with no inventory.
I'm wonder how long do I need to endure driving waiting for the part under 3 digits temperature?
 

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I'm wonder how long do I need to endure driving waiting for the part under 3 digits temperature?
I would say about three more weeks, by then it should drop to two digit temperatures.

Sorry, I realize it's no fun, on another car of mine several years ago I had a bad replacement AC compressor that the shop claimed was a problem with my car not the compressor that they put in. I spent most of a summer with no AC while getting that resolved.

I think the problem here is that the parts come from Japan literally by slow boat, and I also suspect they are having trouble getting enough of the new condensers from their supplier.
 

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The slow boat from Japan is all good n well but does not explain the horrid customer service provided by Honda USA. No excuse for not coming clean and being up front with the consumer.

People have to start standing up to these inept, unprofessional, not give a damn companies of which Honda USA is a member of. Folks pay good money for these vehicles and some level of competence should be expected.

Blaming COVID for everything is a lame excuse anymore. Way to easy of yet another excuse corporate America uses to cover up system wide ineptness. Incredible.

No excuse for rude incompetent customer service plain n simple.
 

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People have to start standing up to these inept, unprofessional, not give a damn companies of which Honda USA is a member of. Folks pay good money for these vehicles and some level of competence should be expected.
I think that's going a bit far. Clarity owners by the largest margin have experienced very few problems with what is a complicated and unique machine. That cannot be achieved by incompetence. Mistakes happen, suppliers provide defective parts, Honda came clean and sent all Clarity owners a letter explaining the problem, and letting them know that Honda has extended the warranty ten years on the defective part. The parts are in short supply at the moment.

If someone hates Honda for this and for customer service not giving them an estimate when their particular condenser will arrive at their dealer, that's their right to feel that way and that's what lemon laws are for. If their situation meets their state's criteria they can get a refund on their car. Unfortunately replacement will not be possible since Clarity is pretty much gone from dealer lots, unless they don't have a preference for color or trim and will accept whatever is left.

I'm not saying that's how the OP feels about this I am referring to how someone would "stand up" to a large corporation if that's what they wanted to do. Lemon law is about it. A class action lawsuit is a possibility if someone is willing to spend a couple hundred hours of their time organizing it.
 

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I think that's going a bit far. Clarity owners by the largest margin have experienced very few problems with what is a complicated and unique machine. That cannot be achieved by incompetence. Mistakes happen, suppliers provide defective parts, Honda came clean and sent all Clarity owners a letter explaining the problem, and letting them know that Honda has extended the warranty ten years on the defective part. The parts are in short supply at the moment.

If someone hates Honda for this and for customer service not giving them an estimate when their particular condenser will arrive at their dealer, that's their right to feel that way and that's what lemon laws are for. If their situation meets their state's criteria they can get a refund on their car. Unfortunately replacement will not be possible since Clarity is pretty much gone from dealer lots, unless they don't have a preference for color or trim and will accept whatever is left.

I'm not saying that's how the OP feels about this I am referring to how someone would "stand up" to a large corporation if that's what they wanted to do. Lemon law is about it. A class action lawsuit is a possibility if someone is willing to spend a couple hundred hours of their time organizing it.
"A class action lawsuit is a possibility if someone is willing to spend a couple hundred hours of their time organizing it."

...and is good with getting a $50 voucher for a Honda product, while the lawyers make million$.
 

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"A class action lawsuit is a possibility if someone is willing to spend a couple hundred hours of their time organizing it."

...and is good with getting a $50 voucher for a Honda product, while the lawyers make million$.
Seems like that's how it usually goes.

I'm not saying that Honda shouldn't provide better response to someone inquiring about the status, at least call them back. But realistically that doesn't change anything. The customer service person will only have general information along the lines of there is a backlog of the part and Honda is working with the supplier to get the parts as soon as possible. Sure at least that's better than not even telling that to the customer, but in the end they will not be able to give the customer what they are asking for which is an estimate of when that particular customer will receive their part.

Even if the customer service person called someone in the department that handles parts logistics, all they would find out from them is probably something like "we have asked the vendor for X number of condensers but they currently can only deliver Y condensers per week". That's not enough data to come up with an estimate for each individual customer who calls in. Their part might come in this week, or in six weeks, there is no way to know, other than tasking someone in the company to research if there are any imminent deliveries to the particular dealer associated with the customer who is calling in. That's not likely going to happen, so even after making these inquiries the customer service person will still in the end only be able to tell the customer, "I checked into it, they are aware of the backlog, we are sorry for the inconvenience, they are working to get the parts from the vendor as soon as possible". Yes they should contact people and say at least that, when they don't that's something they can be faulted for.
 

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I'm in the same boat. My 2018 Honda Clarity started blowing hot air about 4 weeks ago, I thought it was because of the 120 degree weather we were having here in the Palm Springs area. Car never cooled down. Took it in to Honda of the Desert. Told me there was a slow leak and it was covered. They said they would order part and should be ready in a few days. one week later, no part. They filled system with Freon and air conditioning has been working for 2 weeks now.
Just called Honda and Service Manager said he was going to check and then get back to me.
I think he has no idea that there might be a issue with getting this part. I'll be calling Honda Customer service to complain. No air, no payment!!
only have 5 months left on lease. count me in on a lemon lawyer.
 

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I'm in the same boat. My 2018 Honda Clarity started blowing hot air about 4 weeks ago, I thought it was because of the 120 degree weather we were having here in the Palm Springs area. Car never cooled down. Took it in to Honda of the Desert. Told me there was a slow leak and it was covered. They said they would order part and should be ready in a few days. one week later, no part. They filled system with Freon and air conditioning has been working for 2 weeks now.
Just called Honda and Service Manager said he was going to check and then get back to me.
I think he has no idea that there might be a issue with getting this part. I'll be calling Honda Customer service to complain. No air, no payment!!
only have 5 months left on lease. count me in on a lemon lawyer.
I wouldn't stop payment on a contractual obligation. Honda can totally trash your credit.
 
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