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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I picked up a Clarity this past weekend (Touring model manufactured in July 2019). Dealer charged it up for me, I also tried charger that comes with it (110v) no issues, charges right away, tried Volta charger nearby, charges right away. But my whole plan was to charge at work, and those are Chargepoint stations. There are other cars charging at them all the time, including other Claritys. When I plug my Clarity in nothing happens (charger says "Waiting for Vehicle"), the green charging light on the clarity never lights up, its as if nothing was ever plugged in. I have tried 4 different plugs at this location, same result on all of them. I drove to 2 other locations with Chargepoint chargers, one of them worked, another didnt. So 2 out of 3 Chargepoint locations do not work, Clarity is unresponsive when plugged in.

So to sum it up. 2 of 3 Chargepoint locations I tried do not work with Clarity, 1 of 1 Volta locations work, Home works, dealer's plug works. I talked to Chargepoint on the phone and confirmed I am doing everything correctly, plus the one location that worked tells me that my account/app etc are all set up correctly. And just to make sure I was doing it correctly, they walked me through the entire process, including initiating a charge on their side (remotely), we couldnt get it to charge, just "waiting for vehicle". Its like the Clarity doesnt know there is anything plugged in.

Also just to note, I do not have any charge schedule set (verified both in Honda Link and in the car itself). And I tried holding down the lightning bolt button on the remote to force start the charge... no go.

I saw there is 18-097 bulletin, but it only lists 2018 PHEV (possibly because it was written before 2019 models existed)? Does anyone know if it applies to 2019 models, and has anyone experienced what I have described? This is really putting a wrench in my plan to charge at work, without that ability I wont be able to charge it at all and would have to drive in HV mode only as charging at home is more expensive than gas (currently $3.30 per gallon, while electricity at home is 24c kwh).

Bulletin: https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2019/MC-10154940-0002.pdf
 

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Yes 18-097 applies to 2019 as well. They don't install it on all cars only when people complain about charging issues with external chargers. For most people it seems to fix the problem or at least make it work better.
 

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Yes 18-097 applies to 2019 as well. They don't install it on all cars only when people complain about charging issues with external chargers. For most people it seems to fix the problem or at least make it work better.
In addition, file a NHTSA complaint since Honda apparently didn't fix the problem on the production line.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
An update for anyone that encounters this. The car spent the whole day yesterday at the dealer, they have checked everything, including punching in Service Bulletins manually, and there was nothing that applied to 2019 model. They also indicated that there were actual hardware changes in 2019 charging mechanism to address this issue, therefore forcing 2018 bulletin (their system wont even let them, but if it was possible) would probably break it as it would not match the correct offset in the flash. I had them turn the screen and show me how they manually search for the Bulletins, and then they also have a thing where they can pull up everything applicable to every Clarity, and we went through the whole list.

Anyhow, they charged it all the way up at their charger (the same charger that was used when I bought the car, that always worked), and then took it to another one, which also worked. They opened up the case with Honda headquarters (who by the way have been extremely diligent on following up with me and making sure there is a plan of action). Next step would be for their tech to take 2 vehicles to the non working chargers and diagnose the problem on the spot to potentially submit for a software update.

Today I tried the charger that didnt work before at my work, and lo and behold it works. Drove to the other chargers that didnt work. They all work now. So I dunno what fixed it, perhaps hooking up to Honda diagnostics equipment reset the system somehow or pushed a background update, or maybe it needed a full charge (where it charges and then stops on its own because it detects that its full).... dont know. But it works now. And just to be clear, I still think it was something up with the car and not the chargers. I had another Clarity user pull out of their spot that they were charging in so that I could pull in, use their account (just to make sure a known working account was used), and my car still refused to charge, in the spot where their Clarity was charging just a minute ago. Also these trials were done over course of 3 days (total close to 20 attempts across 3 charger locations), it didnt work even once.

Now after getting the car from the dealer it works everywhere. I contacted Honda headquarters and the dealer to update them on the situation and to tell them they can close my case.

Summary/TLDR: If you have this issue, take it to the dealer and have them run diagnostics, and charge the car to 100%. Even though there are no updates to push to the car that seems to have fixed it for me. Perhaps hooking up to Honda diagnostics system did the trick by resetting something.
 

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Some people with 2019's have experienced charging issues although it seems quite rare compared to 2018. They were advised to have the dealer apply 18-097, never heard back from them so it was assumed that fixed it, you are the first that I know of to report that dealers are apparently not able to apply 18-097 to 2019 models. Maybe they were originally but it has since been changed.

Then again 18-097 didn't fix all charging issues for all 2018 Clarities so probably there is not only one issue. 2019's presumably have updated software, or as your dealer claims there is new charging hardware. So presumably your situation was one of the more rare ones that occurs even on updated cars.

One less common symptom I have seen reported by a few people is they experienced that once the car has a bad experience with a charger something gets set and it now won't accept a charge from that charger, but after using the OEM charger, now the "bad" charger works. This has some similarity to your experience about it being reset by charging at the dealer. But it doesn't explain why it didn't get reset by using your OEM charger. You mentioned charging to full as being possibly a variable, have never heard of that being one of the criteria but I guess it's possible. Did you not charge to full with your OEM cable?

Hopefully it was a one time glitch and you will never have it happen again, but if it does happen again you may be able to experiment and maybe find one single action that clears it without having to take it to the dealer. On a side note, probably unrelated, I have heard of people who have issues with Chargepoint have some success by plugging in just for a moment then immediately unplugging and plugging back in. Again probably unrelated to your problem but just another tool to keep in the troubleshooting toolbox in case odd problems appear. Also one person reported there were some chargers where they could charge only when there were no other cars nearby using adjacent chargers, which indicates that in that situation apparently the voltage just wasn't stable enough for Clarity. Possibly their situation was fixed with 18-097 but that I don't know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Some people with 2019's have experienced charging issues although it seems quite rare compared to 2018. They were advised to have the dealer apply 18-097, never heard back from them so it was assumed that fixed it, you are the first that I know of to report that dealers are apparently not able to apply 18-097 to 2019 models. Maybe they were originally but it has since been changed.

Then again 18-097 didn't fix all charging issues for all 2018 Clarities so probably there is not only one issue. 2019's presumably have updated software, or as your dealer claims there is new charging hardware. So presumably your situation was one of the more rare ones that occurs even on updated cars.

One less common symptom I have seen reported by a few people is they experienced that once the car has a bad experience with a charger something gets set and it now won't accept a charge from that charger, but after using the OEM charger, now the "bad" charger works. This has some similarity to your experience about it being reset by charging at the dealer. But it doesn't explain why it didn't get reset by using your OEM charger. You mentioned charging to full as being possibly a variable, have never heard of that being one of the criteria but I guess it's possible. Did you not charge to full with your OEM cable?

Hopefully it was a one time glitch and you will never have it happen again, but if it does happen again you may be able to experiment and maybe find one single action that clears it without having to take it to the dealer. On a side note, probably unrelated, I have heard of people who have issues with Chargepoint have some success by plugging in just for a moment then immediately unplugging and plugging back in. Again probably unrelated to your problem but just another tool to keep in the troubleshooting toolbox in case odd problems appear. Also one person reported there were some chargers where they could charge only when there were no other cars nearby using adjacent chargers, which indicates that in that situation apparently the voltage just wasn't stable enough for Clarity. Possibly their situation was fixed with 18-097 but that I don't know.
Hey thanks for the reply. Yeah I only used OEM charger for like 5 minutes to make sure it works when I got the car home. Its more expensive for me to charge at home than buying gas, so charging to full didnt make sense. If this happens again Ill try taking it to a Volta charger (which has worked when I was experiencing this problem) and charging it to full to see if that fixes it. And ill update here if I see the problem again. I was super bummed out that the dealer couldnt do anything to fix it... but was pleasantly surprised that it started working, so I guess my word of wisdom is, take it to the dealer, have them charge it up to full.. and that may be enough to fix it :)

Now I do not know how to feel about Honda on this one. Ive had several Accords in the past, all of which performed beautifully, so I trust Honda's reliability/quality. But I am torn on this charging thing... its either 1) Their equipment is actually really good and well calibrated and rightfully do not accept flaky chargers that may damage things... or their stuff is buggy. Accords have been around for decades, iteration over iteration, these are new... I hope its not that its buggy...
 

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What I have read in the past from a few people with this issue is that they could fix it by using their OEM cable to charge, which seems to reset something and now they can charge at 240V locations where it wasn't working. I also heard of someone with a 240V charger at home that sometimes didn't work, which they could fix by momentarily plugging in their OEM cable.


While it's hard to imagine that there is something magical about the OEM cable and it has special built in problem fixing capabilities, one big difference is that when using the OEM cable it is charging at 120V which uses a different circuit inside Clarity (we know this from a problem that a BEV Clarity owner was having). What I think might be happening in these cases is when the Clarity onboard charger has a particular problem when using a 240V charger then it goes into a different mode where from that point forward it will either not work with 240V chargers anymore or it won't work with all of them. Whatever the cause, charging with 120V seems to reset something internally which then solves the 240V problem. Or the Honda OEM cable has magic pixie crystals inside, but since very few people would have a 120V non-Honda cable I am going with the theory that using 120V is what resets and fixes the 240V charger problem.

Again this seems to be a rare issue, but it seems like this is what the OP experienced. Rereading their posts I don't see anything contracting my theory, even though the OP is still convinced that charging at the dealer is what fixed it. But it also sounds like they didn't try their OEM cable after the incident started. Which is understandable since they said they only used their OEM charger a few times when they first got the car, but since their home electricity is more expensive than gas they want to charge at work and Volta stations, they even said they would probably use HV Charge rather than charging at home. So again it's understandable if they didn't try the OEM cable at home after the problem started, since they knew of at least one other Chargepoint charger where it did work. My theory is that if they had plugged in their OEM charger after the problem started it would have fixed it.

One key piece of evidence supporting my theory is they said the dealer "charged it all the way up at their charger (the same charger that was used when I bought the car, that always worked), and then took it to another one, which also worked." Hmm, I wonder what the "other" charger was that the dealer tried, maybe it was an OEM cable plugged into 120V?
 

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Interesting theory 2002 !

I use a aftermarket 120V/240V dual voltage EVSE from Duosida and use that at home as a L1 charger - haven't had an issue yet so fingers crossed!

It's rare I use 240V L2 charger unless I am out and about looking for Chargepoint or free charge stations.
 

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I’m having a similar sort of problem on my 2020 Clarity. At my work there is a level 2 charger. If I plug in first thing in the morning it charges to full just fine. But it seems if I’m not the first car of the day it won’t charge. After the previous car finished I plugged in my car and it just won’t start charging. I unplugged and plugged in And no difference. I drove a lap around the parking lot and plugged in; nothing. I plugged in the level 1 OEM charger and it charged slowly. Then I plugged in the level 2 and nothing. I drove to another charger and it started charging just fine. I drove home and charged off my home level 2 charger. The next day I drove to work and plugged it in and it worked just fine. The next week someone was using the charger when I arrived so I waited and then it wouldn’t start charging at all. Drove to another charger and it started just fine.

I can’t just use the other charger to charge as it’s too far from my work, and I don’t want to add 2.25 hours to my commute to charge, and I don’t want to stay at work 12 hours to charge up to full on the oem charger.

The facilities guy at work has determined that I just need to buy another car … so they’re unlikely to look into a charger issue…

ideas?
 

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I’m having a similar sort of problem on my 2020 Clarity. At my work there is a level 2 charger. If I plug in first thing in the morning it charges to full just fine. But it seems if I’m not the first car of the day it won’t charge. After the previous car finished I plugged in my car and it just won’t start charging. I unplugged and plugged in And no difference. I drove a lap around the parking lot and plugged in; nothing. I plugged in the level 1 OEM charger and it charged slowly. Then I plugged in the level 2 and nothing. I drove to another charger and it started charging just fine. I drove home and charged off my home level 2 charger. The next day I drove to work and plugged it in and it worked just fine. The next week someone was using the charger when I arrived so I waited and then it wouldn’t start charging at all. Drove to another charger and it started just fine.

I can’t just use the other charger to charge as it’s too far from my work, and I don’t want to add 2.25 hours to my commute to charge, and I don’t want to stay at work 12 hours to charge up to full on the oem charger.

The facilities guy at work has determined that I just need to buy another car … so they’re unlikely to look into a charger issue…

ideas?
Sounds like the charging station might be putting out some extraneous noise on the circuit, which perhaps clears up if the charger hasn't been used for a while (maybe it is powered off at night and that clears it?). If your Clarity is affected by this but other cars at work don't have a similar problem, then see if you can get the dealer to apply 18-097 to it. There is a theory-rumor-guess that even after 2018 Honda did not automatically apply that fix to newer model Clarities because these type of level 2 charging problems are somewhat rare and so they only apply the patch when a customer says they are having level 2 charging problems. However it's also possible that your dealer will say their system won't allow them to apply 18-097 to a 2020 model, but it's at least worth asking.
 
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