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My 2001 Insight with 18k miles appears to have lost on the order of 1/3 of its original capacity, mostly in a short period over a year ago, in circumstances consistent with a weak cell. I asked my Honda dealer to check the battery during routine maintenance; they did so by driving it around the block and reporting that it seemed to work fine. They said they have no equipment, protocol, or criteria for determining whether an Insight battery pack is still working properly. But an uphill drive I do frequently (16 miles + 900 vertical feet), which the new battery could do pretty aggressively, now depletes the battery partway through the journey even with mild use.

I therefore asked a friend at Honda what their test methods and criteria are for determining whether an Insight battery pack qualifies for warranty replacement. The answer I got back, to simplify a bit, is that this is determined by proprietary (hence inscrutable) onboard firmware, not by any external test method or equipment, so if a maintenance code indicating battery failure doesn't display, the battery remains qualified under warranty.

This seems to me an odd way to define a warranty, and not one likely to inspire the customer confidence that I think this generally excellent vehicle merits. Can anyone else shed light on this issue? Perhaps someone has a hack for extracting battery-status numbers from the data bus (I've heard rumors of Palm software to do so on a PDA), or knows how Honda defines battery failure for purposes of warranty?
 

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The IMA code of "death" is the warranty threshold. ALL rechargable batteries will display performance degredation with age. With the remaining amount of your IMA warranty I'd say the cost of a pack is the least of your worries. :)

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
battery deterioriation

But does anyone happen to know what numerical criteria are incorporated into the IMA code of "battery death"? It does seem to me odd in principle that a warranty is defined by a numerical criterion that is hidden inside proprietary firmware and cannot be revealed to the customer.
 

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Odd :!: :?:

Seems perfectly clear to me. :|

If such information were published then there would be a few to try and force the code and fraudulently get an otherwise serviceable pack replaced under warranty. :shock:

IMO it wouldn't take long for _any_ goodwill extension of the IMA warranty to evaporate should it become public domain knowledge. And probably some extreme jumping through hoops for regular warranty. As in a reproducible code on a defined road test plus a thorough inspection of the IMA system for _any_ modifications. :( :( :(

Please consider this subject as off-topic (OT). Locking.


Sincerely,
 
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