free IMA update for HCHII 2006-08 from American Honda

Discussion in 'Honda Hybrids' started by hunter44102, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. hunter44102

    hunter44102 Well-Known Member

    I got a voicemail today from American Honda.

    It says I will be receiving a letter from Honda about getting a free IMA software update. If I don't get the letter to call 800-999-1009 option 4.

    The voicemail said for 2006 thru 2008 models.

    I'm curious if this is a re-call? because normally they don't contact you unless it is. I wonder what particular issue its about
  2. tstodola

    tstodola Crazy California tree hugger

    I recieved the same call today as well. At least they know I exist! Seriously, this has been discussed on another thread here by MSantos. I went to my local dealer and he said if my car runs fine, don't do the upgrade.
    I am curious if with 129,000 miles on my '06 this upgrade will have any impact on my car.
  3. bear15

    bear15 Well-Known Member

    We got the same call from Honda America, and are also uncertain on whether we want the updates or not. The car has been working fine and has 50,000 miles on it averaging a little over 68 MPG . What do you think
  4. Harold

    Harold Well-Known Member

    I would not do it if my car is performing without Pack crashes and recal's That is only were I stand on any up-grades. Honda will really have to show me what it will do for my HCH2! My car is performing too well to play with! Haven't got a call here in Canada yet. H
  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    No call either.

    I'm really on-the-fence on these updates.: I hope it's a good thing, but am wary...

    It would be nice if Honda would put it's cards on the table, ie: spell out what the update is for. Also, I believe once the update is done, there is no undoing possible, at least not without physically replacing the car's computer.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010
  6. Harold

    Harold Well-Known Member

    I agree with you Mendel. Why make changes when you are happy. I couldn't make myself do it! Yes and I agree Honda should address this issue.It is hurting them? H
  7. tstodola

    tstodola Crazy California tree hugger

    OK, I got my letter. I will call another dealer in my area to see what is up.
  8. GordonLightfoot

    GordonLightfoot Active Member

    I just got my call, too. I'm suspicious. I don't believe Honda really cares whether my 07 car is performing at its optimal or not. I suspect that there is some kind of emissions issue that they have promised to address and this update is for Their benefit, not Mine.
    Unless some of you guys know differently, I'm sticking with what I have. No complaints.
    If it aint broke, don't fix it.
  9. kristian

    kristian Well-Known Member

    I'm going to do the upgrade. Like the other software upgrades that I've had so far, I think it's a software solution attempting to fix a hardware problem. However, since I my car has the hardware problem and have gone down the rabbit hole already, I might as well keep chasing the bunny. Hopefully I don't find a badger in the hole instead...
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    Post #64 in this thread over at GreenHybrid outlines the content of a letter one owner got. In the summary, two items relate to Auto-Stop behaviour, one relates to reduction in the amount/duration of Integrated Motor Assist, and one is that the State-of-Charge bars "more accurately indicates the battery's SOC".

    Could anyone who got a paper letter comment: does this sound about right?

    I continue to wonder if we've got a stealth upgrade, as I describe in posting #29, in this CleanMPG thread (same forum):
  11. bear15

    bear15 Well-Known Member

    We got our letter today in the mail. Here is what it said:

    What is the problem?
    Your IMA battery may deteriorate and eventually fail before its normal life is reached. Frequent stop-and-go driving during war weather speeds up the IMA battery deterioration. To help prevent early IMA battery deterioration, a software update is needed for the IMA battery.

    Here is the list of changes it said:

    -When the vehicle is in auto idle stop, the engine restarts sooner. It also now restarts with only two bars displayed on the IMA battery level gauge.

    -Even with up to four bars displayed on the IMA battery level gauge, auto idle stop may not occur.

    -To ensure there is plenty of power for engine starting and accelerating from a stop, the IMA system reserves more battery power. This reduces the IMA assist as the vehicle speed increases.

    -The IMA battery level gauge more accurately indicates the battery's SoC. You will also notice that the level bars stay in the middle of the gauge much longer.

    So basically it sounds like it will not be using the battery as much so it doesn't wear out. I don't think we are going to do this update, as our Civic is working perfectly right now, and we don't use the battery too often.
  12. ematzen

    ematzen Well-Known Member

    Well, as someone averaging 34MPG without ac on, frequent recals, and totally dead hybrid battery when starting the car after a few days of sitting in the shade, I'll do whatever I can to make this car more efficient. I know there is something wrong with my 2006 HCH, the problem thus far has been getting anyone to admit it. What a shame, because this experience has convinced me that IMA is a waste of money. This doesn't come close to my prius.

  13. cakes

    cakes Member

    I got the same letter a couple days ago. I've read the following two sentences over and over and still have no idea what they mean:

    I called American Honda today, and the guy who answered didn't understand it either. He said they would call back with an explanation.
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    Wording aside, I think the gist is that AutoStop "permissions" are restricted further. With the mention of warm weather, it sounds like Honda is realizing that the IMA battery can run down pretty fast powering the air conditioning during AutoStop.

    FWIW, we avoid using AC in traffic jams, and/or any sort of stop-and-go traffic, short trips, etc.
  15. Jess

    Jess Well-Known Member

    I too, just got the letter in the mail and all I could think of while reading it was, "how much less of a hybrid will my car end up being after this update?"

    I do like the idea of the battery's SoC being more accurate though.

    MSantos, would you say that this could be the latest software update that you have gotten recently?

  16. hunter44102

    hunter44102 Well-Known Member

    The letter says we have until 2013 to get this update performed.

    If thats the case, what if they release a newer update, for example, in September. Do they give you the september update, or just the recall update of July 23rd.

    I may wait a couple months to see if anything else shakes out. Since everyone will be getting this update, they may find something else possibly
  17. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    I think that is the number one question on a lot of recipients minds.

    It's too often that I'll receive something, read something, hear something, from some corporate entity, and the number one thought in mind is: why the heck don't they mention such-and-such, or allay fears regarding so-and-so, or how come no mention of etc, etc.

    There seems to be a bizarre disconnect with these guys, ie: they seem to be oblivious to front-and-foremost concerns...

    By the by: I'm still under the (possibly pure paronia) impression we got the upgrade, or got something, when we had our car in last week for suspension work. The service writer says nope, but I've not got the documentation yet (repairs ongoing). I do know the car is behaving a lot like the recall description, ie: more stingy with assist (but not bad), and generally high state-of-charge.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2010
  18. 06hch2

    06hch2 Well-Known Member

    can we refuse the update? would there be consequences, such as honda voiding our battery warranty?
  19. hunter44102

    hunter44102 Well-Known Member

    Mendel - the letter says they need like 1/2 a day to do the update, so I'd wonder how they snuck all that in without any record of it.

    From what you stated, it does sound like yours is behaving like it has the new update.

    One of my biggest complaints on my HCHII was the stop-n-go driving, and the assist was overkill and would drain my battery in just a few minutes.

    So I will probably do the update because I am close to 80k miles (ohio warranty) and don't want my battery to die. I'm guessing the engine will outlast the battery so even if it gets more RPM's, it should still last with regular oil changes
  20. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    They had the car for a full day: I guess they could be doing mechanical work in tandem with the update. I did not have an inkling about the latest, when I picked up the car, but of course I did know about previous, similar updates. I really wan't looking for something like this, I was paying more attention to the suspension/drive components, we'd been hearing noise.

    The difference in IMA behaviour was enough to draw my attention away from my first focus. Again, it could be paranoia, but I would not be suprised to find out something's been done.

    If we've gotten the update, I'd say it's a good thing. I suspect it's going to be slightly detrimental to mileage, but it could be just a relearning process (driver's) to get it back. It seems like assist is there when you really need it, and held back for superfluous application.

    This could all just be placebo update, though, LOL.

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