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Some of you may have been following my ongoing problem in the Problems and Troubleshooting section. This post is actually a result of a conversation I had with the tech at London Honda. It struck me as so sad and funny that I just had to make a separate topic.

But for those who have not read the considerable length of my original topic, here's a quick rundown. On Jan 15th, I lost all electrical assist. Car went into London Honda, got a replacement ECU and LAF sensor. Got the car back a week after it was dropped off, and had my assist back. Two days later, the CEL light came on. Car ran rough, no lean burn, limited assist/regen, and a few other problems. Went back into Honda, and they replaced the secondary O2 sensor. After I had the car back, three days later, the CEL light came back on. Car lacking power, running rough, no lean burn, etc. Drove it like that for about 2 weeks while I called Honda Customer Service, talked to the dealer, etc. Brought the car back to London Honda, resulting in the replacement of my cats. The CEL light then went away, but I still have no lean burn and rough running. Another call to Honda, and the car went in on Monday. I got it back yesterday, a full 3 months since the problem began. Needless to say, the car is not fixed, but that's another topic altogether.

Now here's where things get odd.

I went through great lengths to show the mechanic at London Honda what lean burn is, how to drive in it, and what the problem is. We went on about an hours long drive, I showed him the instantaneous MPG meter, how it acts, the pedal techniques required to drive in lean burn, and even LAF sensor readings that tell you when the engine has entered lean burn.

Yesterday, in talking with him, he made a few statements that literally left me dumbfounded. He mentioned that he had been talking to Honda Tech about my problem, and they told him that lean burn doesn't exist! That stunned me, but he continued. Honda Tech said that they have heard the "internet clubs" referring to lean burn, but Honda Tech literally said they "don't know what they (internet posts) are referring to". Furthermore, Honda Tech said that the mode was actually "fuel cut", and that the car was not designed to run in that mode. Well, anyone who knows anything about EFI systems knows that at zero throttle, the injectors are cut, and the engine is not fueled until it reaches a speed close to idle (for our cars, 1000 RPM is the "back on" point). This is fuel cut. I attempted to explain the difference between lean burn and fuel cut, but of course, he was stuck with what Honda had explained. Honda Tech apparently doesn't know/won't admit that a major function of the car is in fact, well, real. Maybe this is their way of trying to not solve my problem, but more then likely, I would have to assume that the people on the other end of the phone are simply incompetent.

I find this AMAZING. Literally, one hand of Honda has NO CLUE what the other is doing.

If lean burn was a myth, then what is the point of the car? The aero? The incredible engine? Vtek-E system? Special sensors? Etc? To even suggest that lean burn doesn't exist is just ludicrous.

Now I don't think I need to point out that I don't believe a word of what Honda says, but it shows I guess what kind of an uphill battle that we all have. I'll be starting my battle again this afternoon, calling Honda and escalating my call until I can actually talk to someone who knows more about the car then me. But I feel for those who won't have the knowledge, and have to take what Honda says at face valve. How many broken Insights are there that won't be fixed? How many owners are unhappy?

Just goes to show you how much Honda really cares about it's customers, the environment, and the future of transportation.

Premium Member
830 Posts
In "Development of Integrated Motor Assist Hybrid
System: Development of the ‘Insight’,
a Personal Hybrid Coupe"

From,available at: ... 771011.pdf

It says:

"New engine technology includes the application of a new
VTEC (Variable valve Timing and valve lift, Electronic
Control) cylinder head design promoting high efficiency
and fast catalyst activation, and a new lean NOx catalyst
system which promotes lean burn combustion and a
reduction in emissions"
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