Clarity Issues

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by jdonalds, Dec 22, 2017.

  1. rodeknyt

    rodeknyt Active Member

    Not if they pushed the button to enter it into DMV's system. That is a one-way trip with no return.
  2. Kevin McGuie

    Kevin McGuie New Member

    I too am having the loss of power, as if the car is disengaging at the cvt/motors. It’s happened at least 3 times, and I’ve contacted Honda. This is a serious matter. My wife will not drive the car or be a passenger if the trip is longer than 20 miles one way.

    For me, it’s been when the battery runs out and ice kicks in, on uphill climb. Floor it, just like Yannick, and you get nothing but high revs. No acceleration, and loss of speed as it’s going up hill.

    I too thought of using an OBD, but thought better. Unless Honda gives it to me, I feel that I’m risking any action that can be taken with Honda. A $20 obd installed while driving..... I think Honda could claim I’m affecting their sophisticated sensors and computers, and lord help me if I were to actually be involved in an accident with the obd installed. I’m afraid it would be game over.

    If Honda approves of one and or provides one, I’ll be glad to drive around and wait for the moment to happen.

    Come on Honda, man up. There are just too many complaints with video evidence of this unsafe situation. You have the lead in phev sales. Don’t let this and COnsumer reports ruin what has always been a safe choice. We just want a fix, and techs that understand the technology. Just because a DTC isn’t thrown doesn’t mean there’s not a problem.

    Get ahead of this. Take one of our cars for a week or two, not 20 minutes. Experience what we have. It’s not faking the car to act like this. I think we have been the reason you have the top selling phev. Don’t lose us. That’s what you are doing by ignoring this.
  3. MPower

    MPower Active Member


    Today I finally tried going up the very steep hill. I had to enter the hill from a stop light and left turn so baisically from a dead stop.

    The hill is so steep that there is a runaway truck ramp on the down side. The weather was warmer 43F, the heater was on, there was 3/4 full battery using ECON EV. The car went up the hill with no hesitation. (unlike my old 2012 Prius Plugin which always struggled). In fact I suddenly realized that I was doing 57 (speed limit 50) and about to run over the car in front.

    Once I reached the top and was on the flat and was stopped at a red light, the ICE came on. There was still more than 1/2 charge in the battery, the car was sitting still. Don't know why the engine came on. It stayed on until I shut the car off in the mall parking lot a coulpe of minutes later.

    My theory is that it panicked at the sudden drop in battery cause by my unusual use of the accelerator. (I did not go passed the click point.) Normally I would have accelerated slowly and driven up the hill at no more than 50 mph. This driving was out of character and the car knew it.

    After I finished my shopping all was normal on the way home--mainly down hill with no ICE.
  4. Richard_arch74

    Richard_arch74 Active Member

    Sorry to hear that you are one of the few(?) owners that are having this problem with your car. If enough of you file complaints with NHTSA maybe Honda will have to finally step up, fess up and fix it.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Inside EVs mobile app
  5. Monir

    Monir New Member

    You should record and put it up on youtube or some other social media maybe tagging Honda and I think that will wake them up. It is dangerous to have a car just choke up in the middle of hwy driving. Honda has a reputation for safe, reliable cars and I am sure if they see this, they will react and hopefully have some kind of recall.
  6. Kevin McGuie

    Kevin McGuie New Member

    Before I become a Pain in Honda’s rear end, I’m going to let them have there chance to make things right. I have contacted them, and have an upcoming “inspection”. I’m not expecting much as I’m not allowed to be there for the inspection, nor speak with the inspector. It won’t be a dealer tech performing this “inspection”. This ritual is already known how it plays out.

    Look, I leased the car knowing it was a 1.0 version. One has to expect some glitches. In my career, I’ve always been a beta tester, providing feedback on glitches so they can get fixed. I think we are all fans of this technology and want to help Honda make a better product. Unfortunately, for those ahead of me, Honda is acting like they are avoiding responsibility and unwilling to dig into the issues. All they have to do is be sincere to us and provide expert tech support and service. The dealership service folks do not understand the technology. They treat it like they do an accord or crv, which it is not. They want DTC codes thrown, and without those, there is nothing wrong with the car, and nothing to fix.

    Honda is blowing it with its customer relations to the early adopters of this technology . If they want to make their product better and safe and reliable, they need to open up their ears and eyes to what is being provided to them, instead of ignoring and treating us like “pests”. It’s as if they are afraid of finding out the car is not perfect and unwilling to fix it, or worse, they know the fault and it’s too expensive to fix it. Heck, there isn’t another car at this time that I would rather have, but it’s got an unsafe, and potentially fatal issue, that so many have reported. It’s not an annoyance; it’s unnerving and scares the crap out of you when it happens, and under the right condition, is going to get people killed. Let’s hope it doesn’t take that to happen before they get serious about fixing it.

    Give us the time of day when we tell you (and show you video evidence) of this phenomena taking place. It doesn’t happen frequently (at least for me), but collectively, there is ample proof that something isn’t right, and there is not a sensor for which a DTC will be thrown.

    Honda, act like Boeing. Yes, there have only been a few incidents with the 737Max8, with hundreds of thousands of flight hours without issue. But those incidents were fatal, and now Boeing, the airline industry, passengers, investors, and employees are affected. But, what did it take to get them to ground the plane and find the root cause. Honda, don’t stick your head in the sand and blame the driver. Treat us like an investment to make your ev product line safe and reliable, not as “pests”. There is something wrong with the Clarity. Ignore the costs of finding it. Believe me, it will be cheaper to work with us than against us.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
    MPower and Johnhaydev like this.
  7. David Towle

    David Towle Active Member

    But it would be good to have the recording already made, and inform them when you drop the car off that you have a recording and you are going to post it to FB etc. if they fail to take any action.
  8. Kevin McGuie

    Kevin McGuie New Member

    I made the recording last time it happened. It was provided to the dealership. There are plenty of recordings that have been provided to Honda actually better quality than mine. Mine will not outweigh the others. As a group, we will get them to fix this. Temper tantrums are not the way to solve this. That has already failed. Let’s see what happens after the inspection. At that point, I will have done all I can do to have this taken care of while they still have the opportunity to make it right. After that, then I guess we’ll have take the gloves off.
    MPower likes this.
  9. Atkinson

    Atkinson Active Member

    I haven't had an issue with loss of power in the Clarity, but I did have an Accord Hybrid for a month years ago while our old Fit EV had airbags replaced.
    The dealership said the Accord was not for sale (which I thought was odd).
    On at least 2 occasions over the month we had the car, it lost drive power completely.
    The engine was off and the electric motor just stopped on the highway.
    No warning lights displayed, so it was like the accelerator pedal wasn't working.
    I was on the highway both times and it was like what you'd expect if you were running out of gas.
    I powered the car off and back on - and everything worked great.
  10. Kevin McGuie

    Kevin McGuie New Member

    After battery depletion, and above 46-47 mph, the engine drives the wheels, not the electric motors. What I am experiencing is engine comes on after battery runs out, but trans is not engaged, like it’s slipping. When you press the accelerator the engine revs, but no power or acceleration. In fact you lose speed since I’m going up hill. It’s like you’re in nuetral. I have seen several reports of the same experience by others. Honda has enough reports but they are unwilling to take a car for a week or two and drive it like we do. Honda will give you an hour, and if they can’t reproduce the problem, there is no problem in their eyes. “Functioning as designed” is there explanation..
  11. MPower

    MPower Active Member

    To me it sounds like it's a bug not a feature.
  12. Gearhead

    Gearhead Member

    I sent NHTSA an email asking why they haven't opened an investigation yet. My experience came when, according to the manual, I 'misused' HV Charge by turning it on at low speed going uphill. If this is misuse it shouldn't be possible but I digress. The performance of the drivetrain was the severe power loss scenario as described here. Is it possible some cars for some reason go into HV Charge when the battery runs out? Anyone's guess at this point but if you want your Honda service folks to experience what you're experiencing try having them go uphill in HV charge. At least they'll get a sense of the risk of disaster here.
  13. Phunny

    Phunny Member

    I agree it makes sense to have videos already made. That will help with their diagnosis.

    And if you post them now, you'll help others to avoid the issue possibly saving lives.

    Be careful with making threats where you'd be the sole beneficiary of your desired outcome
  14. Kevin McGuie

    Kevin McGuie New Member

    I found this thread by looking for anyone else having similar issues I was, and to see if any tsb was issued for the cure. When I found it, I was encouraged that many were having it, and explaining it better than I. Some have the exact issue, while others have it, as well as other trouble with the engine coming on when it shouldnt. Surely, a company like Honda with its reliable and safety reputation intact would be all over this and have it fixed. Unfortunately, either they aren’t listening, or aren’t getting enough complaints, or can’t reproduce the problem in the 20 minutes they allocate for troubleshooting.

    In this world of “me too”, I’m hoping more will simply step up to the plate and post that they too have experienced this power loss phenomena. The reality is, most won’t take the time, or don’t want to have their name in the public, hoping that someone else will post and they will benefit from the fix. We need numbers folks. Be part of the solution. Don’t just lurk. Take the time to post here. Open a ticket with Honda, then if we don’t see sincerity from Honda about fixing the problem, we bring more pressure to bear including NHTSA, or other legal means. But small time blackmail is not the answer.

    I’ve had this happen to me 3 times within a year. When it happens you are alarmed, and safety is your primary concern. Grabbing your phone to take a video takes quick thinking, and assumes you can drive a disabled car while taking a video. I can’t make this happen at will. Im leasing my car, and not going to add miles just to try and make another video of better quality than my first, especially when there are fine videos already available that show this. Yannick has good quality stuff that Honda is supposedly reviewing.

    Honda knows this is happening. As clarity owners we need to show how big the problem is. Don’t just lurk here. Make a post if your clarity has high revs, power loss, and no acceleration. Even if it’s just “me too”. Other issues should probably be in a separate thread, or this one should be. I know I learned about the passenger dash rattle here, and will be getting that fixed during my inspection. But we’re going on 36 pages. Perhaps, if the moderators will support it, we can categorize the issues into separate threads?

    From what I’ve gathered, the common theme is battery depletion, ice comes on, going uphill, and possibly temperature and altitude. This is not for all flaws, but the safety issue of power loss seems to have this as conditions that bring this on. Since my wife won’t drive or ride in the car until a fix is made, it’s difficult to reproduce this with my typical driving patterns. Today, we are going where the problem has happened before, but will take two cars. The variables will be changed though. It’s much warmer today, and the weight will be different as there will be fewer occupants. I might even make it to the destination with battery remaining. It’s a 40 mile one way trip, with a 10 mile climb from sea level to about 3500’.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
  15. fotomoto

    fotomoto Active Member

    This happens to hybrids because the ICE (gas engine) is purposely designed to provide less power (for efficiency) than a conventional vehicle. The EV side provides the rest of the motive force; hence hybrid. So, if the battery is run out, the ICE is trying to both charge the battery and propel the car. Add a steep hill into the equation and something has to give and that something is acceleration.

    Next time put the car into HV Charge mode (push and hold HV button till charge comes on in left screen) well beforehand to build up some battery power or just switch over to HV mode before you run out (this is the better way). Then, when the car starts to make the ascent it can draw on both the pack for EV and the ICE for 100% power delivery.

    On my former chevy Volt, this procedure was called mountain mode.
    jdonalds likes this.
  16. Gearhead

    Gearhead Member

    How does mountain mode work? I've never driven the Volt but understood the powertrain works like a 2 stage rocket, all electric then hybrid. Also, I didn't think there is a HV Charge Mode equivalent.
  17. fotomoto

    fotomoto Active Member

    I had a 2012 Gen 1 and mountain mode worked just like the Clarity's HV+charge. Just push a button and the ICE would come on to build charge back into the pack so one could tackle steep grades with less drama. During this, the volt would run the ICE just like a portable generator at one set rpm regardless of the vehicle's speed which was hard for some drivers to get use to; especially at a stop light. The computer had three rpm levels to choose from depending on conditions: quiet, loud and and loudest. LOL

    I also have a 2013 C-Max Energi and it has a giant in comparison 2.0L engine. It does not have a mountain mode and must solely rely on the ICE with some EV assist in these situations and the car does fine on steep grades. The downside of being so large is it gets pretty crappy gas mileage on the highway (low 30's).
    Gearhead likes this.
  18. Kevin McGuie

    Kevin McGuie New Member

    I appreciate you providing an explanation for a workaround, however, if your workaround is based on how the Volt worked, I think we're comparing two different technologies.

    My understanding is the Volt did/does not have the ability for the ICE to directly drive the car. It either uses the battery for pure EV mode for the wheel motors, or the ice comes on to provide power to the wheel motors. There is no transmission. The Clarity on the other hand, can engage the drive train to propel the vehicle on ICE. Two separate drive mechanisms.

    I believe our complaint is that something is failing after the HV battery depletes, and the ICE comes on. For a mile or so, it propels the car, then disengages, and you are no longer in control of the speed of the car. The natural reaction is the step on the accelerator and expect propulsion. We do that, and get redline like RPM. We are expecting the ICE to propel the car and its not. Im not talking about a 10% grade. This is more like 6%. The car feels like its in neutral, and it slows down. We are sitting ducks, just waiting to get rear ended.

    With all of the intelligence built into this vehicle, there should be no reason we have to do anything for the car to continue as it was going on EV. HV charge mode is up to me if I want to use the ICE to charge the battery, otherwise the ice should propel the vehicle. I wouldnt mind the high RPM if I could feel the acceleration, but its not there. Its disengaged, unless I pull over, stop the car, and restart it. If I do that, I can continue on the same incline, at 70MPH without high RPM, and in complete control of the acceleration. I refuse to believe there is not a bug/flaw in this system. I dont doubt that there is a set of parameters Honda has not encountered to make a software update. But so far, Honda thinks we are fabricating the stories. They are yet to get serious about fixing this issue.
  19. sniwallof

    sniwallof Active Member

    Kevin, It maybe a completely different situation, but today I had a minor momentary feeling of loss of power when I needed it. I do not remember for sure, may have been in HV on ICE. I tapped the Sport button, and all was well, there was plenty of power. It happened so fast, I did not have time to explore. Also, different, my battery level was more than half at time. I generally keep 1/2 to HV charge level, except the last tens of miles before home, when I aim to discharge to 2 bars "0" by the garage.

    If the loss of power happens again, or if it's repeatable, it might be interesting to push the sport mode button to see if there is any improvement. I understand your situation is at or past battery 2 bar "0" depletion, however there may still be some lower reserve in those two bars that can be accessed. I keep wondering if there is some meaning to two bars, rather than no bars for regular EV "0".
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
  20. Kevin McGuie

    Kevin McGuie New Member

    Thanks for weighing in. I think what you experienced is different than me. When my situation happens, it’s game over until you stop the car and restart it. I think I’m in what Yannick calls limp mode, meaning sub 25mph, with the engine raging. Changing modes does nothing. What’s worse, is putting it in neutral and back to drive, you felt nothing change.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019

Share This Page