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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Just to premise this post... I'm about ready to sell my 2020 Insight Touring just because of the ___(fill in the blank) service I've received when the vehicle has left me stranded over the winter.

Backstory:

12/20/20 - Visiting in-laws in PA, cold <20F morning. I attempted to remote start the vehicle only for it to kick off after about 5 second. I enter the vehicle and the dash states, "Do not drive - 12V battery low" error on the dash. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of the dash but either way, I had to let the car sit for about 4 hours till it warmed up with the sun and I was able to start the vehicle.
1/30/21 - Attempted to take my vehicle in for service for the recall notices but again, vehicle would not start due to low 12V battery - Still didn't get a pic of the dash....
2/4/21 - Vehicle serviced for the 2 recall items - BCM and DC-DC SW update
2/17/21 - Went to a drive-in movie. Ran the heated seats with the vehicle in EV mode. Vehicle threw up a TON of codes, pictures below - Again, didn't specifically say low 12V battery but the suspect is that the low voltage tripped all these errors
2/18/21 - Complained to Ourisman Honda (where I purchased the vehicle in Nov 2019) about the persistent issue and their willingness to do nothing about it - scheduled a service appt for 3/13/21
3/13/21 - Drove the vehicle in for service - They were able to find the low 12V battery code in the computer but they said they had no problem driving the vehicle (duh...I drove it to the dealer....) and also provided all the pictures from below to the service managers I've already complained to. The managers said they would take care of me. The asst. service manager that I worked with at the dealer said there was nothing they could do if they couldn't replicate the exact problem even if they found the error codes in the computer. They would not warranty the battery because ATM it tested fine in the shop...it was 60F out btw.


I'm to the stage where the vehicle isn't safe to drive with the battery that is 1 year and about 3 months old. It should be under warranty and Honda is refusing to warranty the battery. The service manager said that even if I get stranded and get a tow to their shop and if they cannot produce the same error they won't do anything... I feel this is borderline unethical as Honda is not standing by their product nor are they admitting to any problem with their computer in the car captured the issue...what's the point of error codes if they ignore them? The asst. service manager - Teddy - essentially told me that if I get stranded somewhere, roadside will help me out and there's nothing else they can do. He also didn't believe me and said I could have left the dome light on in the vehicle and that's what gave the code, basically ignoring my pictures and proof of the errors and didn't believe my story.

I'll be following up this complaint with Honda corporate along with the BBB and attorney general for the state of Maryland for the dealership's lack of regard for basic safety and failure to stand by their product. The warranty period is still active and I have digital evidence that the battery has posed a significant enough voltage drop that the computer has captured error codes that it is faulty, well before the warranty period is over.

I'm to the point of selling the vehicle just for the mere fact that Honda isn't standing by their product with significant issues that might leave me stranded somewhere in the winter. I'll attempt a different dealer but if their service is the same, I'm honestly considering this vehicle a lemon (or at least the battery).
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Did I understand correctly that the dealers did not try to remove the battery 12V from the vehicle and recharge with a charger?
 

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2/17/21 - Went to a drive-in movie. Ran the heated seats with the vehicle in EV mode. Vehicle threw up a TON of codes, pictures below - Again, didn't specifically say low 12V battery but the suspect is that the low voltage tripped all these errors
To clarify, was running the heated seats in EV mode while the car fully powered on (ready to drive but in gear)? @Wifey'sInsight also frequents drive in movies and mentioned keeping the car powered on (while figuring out how to turn headlights off).

I think you previously mentioned running the heated seats while car was off. The owners manual (OM19 pg 223) cautions that running the seat heaters even in low mode with power system off can weaken the 12V battery.
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The dealer was also obliged to check the 12V battery and find the reason for the decrease in its voltage and capacity. I am attaching two documents on this topic.
It seems like at least receiving a report on 12V battery test results/status from dealer would be fair. Are they willing to provide that? The standard warranty should cover 12V battery replacement, labor and installation if "defective" - which could be indicated by the test results. Hopefully you can re-test with a new battery, before considering permanently parting ways with the car.
 

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The asst. service manager - Teddy - essentially told me that if I get stranded somewhere, roadside will help me out and there's nothing else they can do. He also didn't believe me and said I could have left the dome light on in the vehicle and that's what gave the code, basically ignoring my pictures and proof of the errors and didn't believe my story.
Best advice is too check in with a different Honda dealership. Do research on google/yelp reviews for their service department before you go. A dealership that doesn't believe you or willing to diagnose the problem isn't one you want to keep going back to. Based on what you wrote above I doubt they even submitted the paperwork to Honda for a warranty claim. That would require them diagnosing the vehicle and submitting proof to Honda for a response.
 

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But you’ve done so much work to your car it would be a shame just to sell it over a crappy experience with a dealership.

The only way I’m getting rid of my car is if it’s totaled (knock on wood). I’ve been lucky with no real issues so far after so many miles.
 

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I'm guessing as a 12V AGM battery ages, it will gradually lose its ability to perform at colder temperatures starting at the extremes. It could also be that we in Chicago just happened to have a milder winter 2018/19 and 2019/20. I have set myself a reminder that when my Touring's 3 year anniversary comes around October, I'm bringing it back to the dealer for a battery health test.

For now, I've adjusted to Powering ON when using anything more than just the radio and maybe charging a phone and how to get a jump.

I do recall, that my 1994 Civic (in Houston) and 2007 Civic (early December in Chicago) factory batteries died in warm weather right at the 3 year mark.

I think the next topic to come up with is what aftermarket batteries options there are to replace the factory battery, but for now, we're focusing on getting warranty replacements to carry us to maybe the 5/6 year mark?
 

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I think the next topic to come up with is what aftermarket batteries options there are to replace the factory battery, but for now, we're focusing on getting warranty replacements to carry us to maybe the 5/6 year mark?
The 12V battery credit is pro-rated up to 100 months (8.3 yrs), but the credit rate drops so much (5-10%) after 7 years that it doesn't seem worthwhile to return for warranty coverage. We've started to see sites list aftermarket AGM options for the Gen3 Insight, so we have some non-OEM options available. - 12 Volt AGM Battery - specs and replacement
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the help guys. I spoke with Honda corporate and I have a case # now. They said to go ahead and get a 2nd opinion from a different dealer and if they have the same result corporate will kick in on the case. The paperwork I've received from the previous dealer states the error codes with the 12V battery low voltage warning code, however, their claim is that I could have left a dome light on or something...thinking I'm a _______ing idiot or something. It doesn't make any sense why they'd reject a warranty claim as if they have sufficient evidence to warranty the part, they will just get reimbursed from honda corporate warranty division rather than have it come out of the dealers pocket...makes no sense.

I'm really getting sick and tired of doing the whole drive in to a service shop...drive home...wait all day...then go pick it back up. It's taking up a better half of a day since its almost an hour drive 1-way to the nearest dealer in DC once you add traffic (3-4 hr's total just commuting to the dealer).

I'll keep ya'll posted here...
 

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Thanks for all the help guys. I spoke with Honda corporate and I have a case # now. They said to go ahead and get a 2nd opinion from a different dealer and if they have the same result corporate will kick in on the case. (snip) It doesn't make any sense why they'd reject a warranty claim as if they have sufficient evidence to warranty the part, they will just get reimbursed from honda corporate warranty division rather than have it come out of the dealers pocket...makes no sense.

I'm really getting sick and tired of doing the whole drive in to a service shop...drive home...wait all day...then go pick it back up. It's taking up a better half of a day since its almost an hour drive 1-way to the nearest dealer in DC once you add traffic (3-4 hr's total just commuting to the dealer).
I can't say that I'm quite in the same situation yet since in both my tests, I was using at least the rear window/side mirror defrosters. (did not intend to use seat warmers, but there might have been one left on the first time). Given that, I think the Insight simply shouldn't allow you to use these features given the possibility of keeping you from getting into DRIVE mode. I also think that drivers who aren't storing the vehicle, driving it at least weekly shouldn't need to worry if they drove enough so that the battery will be charged enough to start it up again. Any added caveats to driving an Insight vs. some other vehicle just discourages adoption.

We just have the one car, so when I brought it in for battery testing (after getting it jumped), it was the whole morning, rather than getting a ride or taking public trans. The tech had to fully charge the battery and I guess do a load test which it passed (and thus they wouldn't be able to request a warranty replacement). Indeed when it happened the second time (I anticipated the failure with testing defrosters again, no heaters) - I waited, didn't get it jumped, since I knew from the flicker that there was life in the battery. But it was at least 2 hours later in the morning, and the only change could be temperature and not electricity magically being added.

With the warmer weather of late, I did have a map light left on overnight (darn there's no warning about that), but no issues starting it up the next day.
 

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I see now that in the manual under Push Button Start that "The engine is harder to start in cold weather and in thinner air found at altitudes above 8,000 feet (2,400 m). When starting the engine in cold weather, turn off all electrical accessories such as the lights, climate control system, and rear defogger in order to reduce battery drain."

Just didn't think that Chicago winters, even this year, would be considered extreme conditions for any car starts. Of course, if you had the lights, rear defogger (or worse, seat heaters) on already in ON mode (all electrical accessories, not just ACC), it'd be too late to turn them off just before trying to engage DRIVE mode.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So the other honda dealer won't do anything, same runaround. I'll call corporate again and see what they will do with my case. At this point I'm so sick of trying to deal with this. I've got the fuel pump recall that's now apparently expanded too so it'll be my....5th time to the dealer in 4 months...
 

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It's taking up a better half of a day since its almost an hour drive 1-way to the nearest dealer in DC once you add traffic (3-4 hr's total just commuting to the dealer).
There must not be many Honda owners in DC to have 2 different dealerships spaced an hour apart 1-way. 😕 Pretty much explains the lack of service you got since they don't really have to worry about losing business to another Honda dealership. Dealerships only worry about dealerships in the same brand vs another brand dealership.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just a little update. Honda still won't do anything. I checked the battery voltage after letting the car sit for two weeks. I was at 12.1V...pretty low. Charged it up to 12.65v so I'll just have to routinely do this. SO annoying...
 
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