Clarity Issues

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

  1. Yannick

    Yannick Member

    Coming from someone who has major issues and about 15 testimonials from Clarity owners who say that if they had know they would have never purchased the vehicle in the first place: If you are lucky and you purchase a good one, great car but IMO for the price Tesla 3 is way better. If you are unlucky and get a problem car don't expect Honda to do ANYTHING for you. Been fighting them for about a year now and they find excuses for everything! Buy one of the new electric vehicles coming out, no agree bees, engine turning on at random, excessive rpm and waste of gas... I can go on and on... Hope it helps.
    Rajiv Vaidyanathan likes this.
  2. Serge

    Serge New Member

    Hi, I did have the issue of lost of power and hi engine rev once after owning the car for about a year. It was last Christmas and it was a cold day (-12°C, 10°F) at highway speed running in HV mode with some battery left but not much above the the 2 bar. I forgot to push the HV button after I stop. It happen as I was getting off the highway so I stop, notice that my battery was low and put the car in HV Charge mode. A few minute later, the car was running fine. After the holidays, I received a recall from Honda for a software upgrade. I got it done.

    No issues since then but I make sure the battery stay about half full on long drive. I keep what is left in the battery to use in EV mode as I'm getting closer to a charging station or home. Remember that you only have 100 hp and what ever battery the car keep to run in hybrid mode to move this big heavy car around. What is in the battery might not be enough in hard condition (cold, high speed, climbing hill, ...)

    So don't be affraid and get the car, it is great. I did lease mine just so I could give back the keys if it happen to be lemon. It looks like I will buy it at the end if I don't have any more issues. I love it.
  3. Eddgie

    Eddgie Active Member

    I am a somewhat low mileage driver less than 7,000 since ownership in July of 2018) and I have had zero mechanical issues with the car. Range does indeed vary by climate, but I have never had less than 40 miles on a charge (traffic and cold) and in most weather (and light traffic) I get 55 miles on a charge. My ICE has not been on in months. I am retired and only use the car for general running around, and just about never go more than 50 miles in any given day.

    I had a Gen III Prius prior to the Clarity, and while it was a most excellent automobile, the Clarity is (in my own opinion) a much nicer car to drive. It is comfortable, quite, spacious, and smooth. It feels much more like a luxury car than the Prius, which seems feels more like a sub-compact. I did love my Prius, but always felt like I was sacrificing a lot to drive a car with low environmental impact (which was my motive for the Prius, and the Gen 1 Honda Insight before that). With the Clarity, I don't feel like I am giving up anything. It is a really nice car. Probably the nicest I have ever owned.
    Texas22Step and MPower like this.
  4. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    Let me answer this way...

    I fully agree with you about the superior reliability of Toyota products, having owned two fault free Prius Hybrids with a combined 200,000 miles on them. Honda certainly has not kept up with their history of super high reliability vehicles lately. But...

    I am one who has had a problem with the car, and Honda has not responded well. My EV Range dropped between 5 and 10 miles which happens to hit us in our sweet spot so it is a bother. I expect next winter that our daily trips will run out of electric power and revert to the gas engine. But...

    I love the car. It is the quietest, most comfortable, smooth riding, spacious, well handling, economic (due to our home roof solar system), and otherwise reliable car. There is no comparison with a Prius Hybrid nor Prius Prime.

    I've been on this forum since December 2017 when we bought the car. Certainly there are many topics regarding things people don't like about this car. I can point out a few myself. But save for about two items the rest are all subjective niggles.

    The most common early complaint was about the "Angry Bees" which I have heard exactly once in 29,642 miles and 18 months. I considered it was operating as designed with a small efficient ICE trying to charge the battery while supplying all the power needed to climb a grade.

    Probably the most disconcerting issue is the report of lack of power on hills which I have not experienced.

    The other thing my wife complains about is how the car will mis-read other cars around us when in ACC. Sometimes on a curve a car traveling in the other direction will be picked up by the radar and the Clarity thinks we're gong to have a head-on collision. Or when a car in front of us turns off to the right to a side street, driveway, or exit ramp, the car will brake (using the accelerator in those conditions overrides the car and I continue on my way). Much of this is growing pains as cars move toward autonomy. The car could be smarter. It would be nice if Honda did a software update to improve some of these issues. But then again just turning ACC off will eliminate them as well. I tend to use ACC a lot because I'm a nerd and want to see what the car will do. But by far the best use for ACC is on a long straight highway/freeway where it does a superb job.

    I haven't scoured other car forums such as the Prius Prime PHEV to see if they have like issues. What is your experience with ACC in the Prime?

    In the end there is no other car on the market that so closely matches my wants and needs than the Clarity.

    As you know charging at home, not having to stop at gas stations, is wonderful to say the least. Our charge cable hangs on a retractor over the car. After pulling into the garage the amount of time we spend opening the charge port and plugging in is under 10 seconds.

    There are no changes to the 2019 model. It is the exact same car as the 2018, save for the assembly date.
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
  5. 4sallypat

    4sallypat Active Member

    ^^^ is correct - thanks @Tangible

    My wife who now drives the car daily now that she has seen the advantages over her traditional ICE car (no fuel - all EV miles, HOV carpool single driver privilege driver, never goes to the gas station, and enjoys no noises/shifting, etc), is not a forum type person, she just drives it and enjoys it - she does not care about oil changes, tire rotations, inflation pressures, etc...

    I am the forum type who likes to be an "armchair engineer", always checking the car, and over analyzing things that we discuss on this forum. But then that's the geeky type of person I am....

    So guess who is more into keeping the car in shape - me....
    Guess who loves the car and hears nothing about the small percentage of forum users who may complain about every little thing - her.
  6. Johngalt6146

    Johngalt6146 Active Member

    I have 17 months on mine now (mainly EV) with zero problems. (Purchased Dec 2017)
  7. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I have little to add. You have to take the comments in this thread the same way that you would use reviews of a product on Amazon ... You can find good and bad. This forum is mostly made up of folks who like the Clarity, so of course most of the comments will be positive. And I agree ... I have been very pleased with the car.

    My only hesitation is the way Honda is not supporting it. Local dealers, in many cases, don't have a clue, and I don't get the impression that they have good backup at Honda National. If you have a capable local dealer, and live in an area where that dealer has sold a significant number of Clarity models and is committed to the PHEV concept, this is unlikely to be an issue for you. I don't. If I have a serious issue with my Clarity, I'm going to be in a world of hurt. This is in stark contrast to the level of service/support I would receive on a Prius. Even so, my decision was to go with the Clarity because, for me, it's a better choice.
    Rajiv Vaidyanathan likes this.
  8. Tomrl

    Tomrl Member

    Count me as one of those who are nearly evangelical in their satisfaction. I am going on 6 months of ownership and the car has been absolute perfection to this point. Not a single issue and exceeding my expectations in all ways. We went 3 months without buying any gas, then took our longest out of town trip of 600 miles, ran HV unless in town with no charging, came home w/ 0 EV miles, no angry bees, just performance as expected. Ran at 70 - 80 mph, completed the trip w/ 60+ MPG. With the luxury of the Clarity and this level of performance, who could ask for more...
    Texas22Step likes this.
  9. Blue Adept

    Blue Adept New Member

    I have a 2018 Toyota Prius Prime. I drive alot. About 25,000 miles per year. If your car is not a lease and you don't have any any major gripes just keep it. The Clarity is a great car for the money and completely reliable. I had to back out of my Carity purchace since I needed a hatchback for my equipment.

    The technology is changing so fast that better EV's and PHEV's will be here by 2020. Was reading that the PHEV Rav4 and Honda CH PHEv will be here by mid 2020. Range on both will be about 75 miles per charge then HV. A small SUV would be Great.

    If money is no object get the Clarity. The used Prius Prime will sell fast on line. is a good place to post it.

  10. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    No upcoming EV I've read about will be able to recharge in the time it takes to fill the Clarity PHEV's 7-gallon tank, so the Clarity PHEV has the advantage there.

    The modest sales of the long-range PHEVs, the Clarity and the Volt, haven't encouraged other manufacturers to develop new, worthy competitors. The government-subsidized price of gas is just too low to make them popular. I believe the Clarity will have the low-hassle, electrified-vehicle sweet spot all to itself as long as Honda cares to make it.

    I keep wondering whatever happened to the Pilot Plug-In Hybrid? Did Honda's experience with the Clarity PHEV make them realize that their clueless dealers (Germain, my Ann Arbor dealer, excepted) just weren't up to the task of selling and servicing plug-in hybrids? Or are the batteries needed to propel a Pilot 47 miles still too expensive?
  11. fotomoto

    fotomoto Active Member

    Here's a copy/paste from today's PriusChat forum:

    " After 10000 miles, for the first time today I felt the Prius was really underpowered.
    I was driving uphill on a freeway that had about a 6% gradient. The speed limit increased from 65 to 70, and I pressed on the accelerator to increase speed. Almost nothing, then I realized my foot was pressed all the way to the floor. I was in pwr mode at the time. I noticed the battery indicator was at 1 bar.

    It was a bit unnerving. Anyone experienced similar?


    I've owned three Toyota hybrids (still have a gen 2) and the clarity is my third PHEV. You've got nothing to worry about. Most of the performance issues reported in this thread are coming from first time owners new to the ways of the hybrid philosophy, e-cvt's, batteries, etc.
    CyberDyneSystems likes this.
  12. MPower

    MPower Well-Known Member

    I have had a base Clarity since October. With over 6,000 miles so far I have had no issues. My previous car was a 2012 Prius Plugin which I handed down to my daughter when she needed a new car because the 2006 Prius I gave her became unreliable and needed expensive repairs. I was just going to go and buy yet another Prius and then I discovered that the Prime had only 4 seats! (If I handed that down to my daughter, we would never be able to go out as a family.)

    I never paid much attention to the details of my Prius Plugin, just drove it. But having participated in this forum I realized that these folks don't know from "angry bees". My Prius was angry all the time any time I accelerated uphill. The Clarity is so smooth quiet that when it does do high revs, you really notice it, but it has only happened to me once.

    My loooong trip each year is 1500 miles. I decided I was getting too old to do it in 3 days so when I took my Prius out to my daughter in KS, I took an extra day on the road. At Christmas when I went out again, I had the smooth quiet ride, and the ACC and LKAS and just tooled along listening to podcasts and audio books. It was much less tiring and I did it in 3 days without trying.

    I am not a car enthusiast. I don't wash it. I use the floor mats it came with. I don't care what the wheels look like. I just require that when I push the button, it starts and takes me where I want to go comfortably using as little energy (mine and fuel as possible) and does it for years and years and then does it again for my daughter. This car fills the bill.

    So far, I really like this car.
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
  13. This is a continuing concern, even after the excellent replies here in this thread. When I test drove the Clarity a few weeks back, it was evident that the dealership was not at all as aware of the Clarity as my Toyota dealership was. Still, I think I'm going to make the switch soon.
    Rajiv Vaidyanathan likes this.
  14. Thanks for your reply,

    It's an amazing feature on the Prime, and frankly it's near flawless. It very rarely miscues the brakes, like hardly ever. I can put it on in bumber to bumper traffic and just wait it out. Amazing.

    I have test driven the Clarity, and thus I am totally convinced about the comfort level vs. any Prius model. They are not at all comparable in that regard. One remains even after 4 generations, a eco car from the ground up. this has it's advantages,. but the Clarity, is much more like an Accord that happens to also have an EV engine on board. That is the future of hybrids clearly, and it's what set Tesla apart for EV.

    Prime is now on year three, and no changes, no upgrade to the low battery life, no rising to the challenge that Honda put down with the Clarity a year after the Prime was released, nada, and as I understand it, nor will we see any range improvement for 2020.

    This was what drove me to seek out Clarity.. but then I test drove it, and now there is so much more that is appealing.
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
    JFon101231 and MPower like this.
  15. DucRider

    DucRider Active Member

    My EV charges in much, much less time than it takes you to visit a gas station and fill your tank. About 5-10 seconds to plug in, and the same again to unplug. Start every day with a full "tank", and rarely use more than about 1/2 of it. I call it a very clear BEV advantage (and no need for oil changes, etc)
    jdonalds likes this.
  16. Johnhaydev

    Johnhaydev Active Member Subscriber

    I purchased my clarity PHEV July 2018, now have about 8 k miles on odometer. No problems, no regrets, would buy it again if had to replace it.
    4sallypat likes this.
  17. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Your EV charges in 10-20 seconds and the slowest part of the process is plugging and unplugging? That makes long trips much easier than with any EV I've ever read about.
    LegoZ and fotomoto like this.
  18. DucRider

    DucRider Active Member

    Yes, the only part of the charging process that takes us any time is the plugging/unplugging. We (and the car) stay home at night. Charging while we are there takes virtually zero of our time.

    What makes you assume I take long trips in my EV (or even want to)? Or that all other people have the same usage pattern you do? My EV has sufficient range to go from Portland to Chicago/San Jose/Austin on a single charge (with a little help from Alaska/United/etc). Our "road trips" are done on our motorcycles with the camping gear on the back. We do have a 43mpg gas guzzler for the occasional longer trip (about twice a year?). The one who is driving less miles in a day also gets relegated to the hybrid (it gets much less than half the annual mileage as the EV). A 200-250 mile EV would eliminate the need for the hybrid completely. If we really needed a road trip vehicle (seems to happen once every two years or so), there are rental agencies. Within a year or so, the CCS infrastructure will likely allow a 250(ish) range EV to travel many places only stopping for charging less often than we would stop anyway. For most people, stopping for half an hour or so for every 3 hours of driving is not a hardship.

    If I had the Clarity PHEV, it's lower range would require trips to the gas station, the dealer for service (or my time to do the oil change, etc). In a year, that is magnitudes more time than the time I spend waiting for the BEV to charge. And there is also the money spent to feed and care for the ICE components.

    I read plenty of posts on this (and other PHEV) forums) where people brag about not using gas for 6 months on a car with <50 mile range. And worry about the gas going bad because they never use it. There are some who have multiple vehicles or just don't take road trips and a short range BEV works. I see it as a waste of time. resources and money to haul around an ICE that is never used, but still needs maintenance, etc.

    Is your use case different? Most likely. But that doesn't make a PHEV a better vehicle or better choice for everyone. Nor require you to criticize BEV's. Does pointing out a perceived drawback to the EV make you feel better about driving a PHEV? The lack of ability of a sedan to carry 4x8 plywood, tow a fifth wheel trailer, seat 7 passengers, or anything else another vehicle is batter at does not make it a lesser vehicle. It just has different strengths (and weaknesses) than vehicles that can do those things. While the majority of forum members are indeed PHEV owners, this forum is also about the BEV and FCEV versions.
  19. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I misunderstood you when you wrote:
    I thought you were saying that your EV charges in much, much less time than it takes me to visit a gas station and fill my tank.

    Now I understand that you were referring to your involvement with the charging, not the required charging time for your EV.

    I didn't assume you want to take long trips in your EV, but when you told me that your EV charges in much, much less time than it takes me to visit a gas station and fill my tank, I commented you had the ideal EV for taking long trips (even if you decided not to do so). I assume your 43-mpg gas guzzler is more comfortable than your EV, which is why you prefer it for long trips.

    Actually, my usage pattern is more like yours than you might guess. Our Clarity PHEV's first visit to a gas station occurred 10 months after purchase. Here's the big difference: That fill-up happened on our only long trip and in my case, the Clarity PHEV is the more comfortable car for long trips. It easily beats the comfort level of my tiny 70-mpg, gas-guzzling Insight.
  20. Thanks again for all your input.
    FYI, if anyone is actually interested, I must have a hybrid, as weekly I will need to exceed the normal EV range of most EV. That said, my twice a day commute is exactly 25 miles. So if the "Prime" were up to spec, and I could charge at work (often I can) I'd be set, but the Prime gets me 25 miles on battery only about 9 months out of the year here in New England. With the Clarity, I will be able to always get to work on battery, all year, and get much/most of the way home even on days I can/t charge at work. After the commute, the car really needs to be a longer range vehicle. When I said I'd only had two long trips in two years, I did not mean two trips beyond EV range! I meant 1000 mile trips!

    I have seen specs for 2020 Prime and the drivetrain is reported to be unchanged. If the 2020 would bring me a 50 mile-ish EV range, I might chose it, but according to my sources, that is not going to happen.

    For now,. due to construction at work, I can't plug in, and that's tragic! :)

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