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Posts Tagged ‘Honda Civic Hybrid’

Honda Set to Kill Off Insight Hybrid

Maker shifting focus to new generation of hybrids.

by on Feb.26, 2014

Honda CEO Takeo Fukui (l) was one of those celebrating the introduction of the latest Insight hybrid.

It appears Honda finally is ready to end production of its dedicated Insight hybrid-electric vehicle as the Japanese automaker moves to address some long-festering problems.

News reports from Japan indicate Honda executives have finally pulled the plug on the latest version of the Insight, the successor to Honda’s first hybrid model originally introduced in 1999.

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The likely demise of the Insight has been the subject of rumors for months and appears to reflect Honda’s inability to generate much consumer interest in the model which was once seen as the maker’s answer to the Toyota Prius.  Toyota’s hybrid was the best -selling vehicle in California last year and dominated sales charts in Japan, as well, while the Insight was never in the hunt.


Honda Will Build Accord Hybrid in U.S.

Marysville, OH plant to add 50 jobs, 95,000 square-feet.

by on Jan.10, 2013

Honda will offer both a conventional hybrid and this plug-in version of its latest Accord sedan.

Honda’s oldest U.S. assembly plant will take on production of the maker’s newest gas-electric model when the Accord Hybrid goes into production in Marysville, Ohio later this year.

The move comes as part of a major shift in strategy by Honda, which like its Japanese rivals has traditionally retained production of its most technologically advanced models for its home island plants.  The Accord Hybrid Sedan will become the third of Honda’s latest gas-electric vehicles to go into production in North America, following the Civic Hybrid and Acura ILX Hybrid models.

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Honda will spend $23 million to upgrade the Marysville plant and add an estimated 50 new “associates” to handle the new model. The factory will add a new 95,000 square-foot facility specifically for the Accord Hybrid.


Honda Upping the Ante in North America

Expanding production, increasing exports.

by on Jul.20, 2012

Honda Civic Hybrid production will shift to the U.S. as part of the maker's big North American build-up.

Honda Motor is adding additional capacity at its plant in Indiana as it shifts more production and more responsibility to its operations in North America.

In addition, it expects to double its exports of finished vehicles from the United States to other parts of the world by the middle of the decade, a senior Honda official said Wednesday.

Honda’s North American plants will export about 100,000 units this year to markets in Europe, South America and Asia, Rick Schostek, senior vice president of Honda of America Mfg., Inc., said during an appearance at the Automotive Press Association.

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“That number will double in the next couple of years,” he said, noting that as recently as 2011, Honda’s operations in the U.S. exported just 53,000 units beyond North America.

Honda, which was the first Japanese maker to produce cars in the U.S. – with the opening of its original Marysville, Ohio plant in 1982 – hit a milestone when it produced more vehicles in North America than in Japan last year.


Judge Sides With Honda in Small Claims Verdict Appeal

Court says Honda justified using optimistic EPA numbers.

by on May.09, 2012

Heather Peters with her 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid. A Superior Court overturned her small claims victory.

A California Superior Court Judge has reversed the high-profile verdict in a small claims case filed by a woman who claimed her Honda Civic Hybrid delivered significantly worse than the maker’s advertising claimed it would.

The original case, filed by Heather Peters, won a judgment of nearly $10,000 to cover her increased fuel bills and reduced trade-in value. Peters had decided to fight Honda on her own in Small Claims Court rather than participating in a class action settlement she argued would not adequately compensate owners of 2006 to 2008 Civic Hybrids.

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“We are never satisfied when a customer is anything less than satisfied with one of our products, and the company does not relish the necessity to defend the truth in opposition to any of our customers,” said a statement from American Honda Motor Co.

But the maker also said it “is pleased with the Court’s decision which affirms that Honda was truthful in its advertising of the fuel economy potential of the 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid. We are thankful for the support we received from the many satisfied Civic Hybrid owners who expressed their support throughout the legal process.”


Honda Appeals Hybrid Owner’s Small Claims Win

Maker aiming to overcome small claims verdict - even after settling class action suit.

by on Apr.20, 2012

Heather Peters with her 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid prior to her original small claims trial.

Honda has filed an appeal of the small claim’s verdict that awarded nearly $10,000 to a California woman who had gone to court claiming her Civic Hybrid delivered significantly lower mileage than the maker had claimed.

One-time corporate attorney Heather Peters had taken the small claims route after opting out of a class action settlement that she felt enriched plaintiff attorneys, minimized the costs to Honda and left little for the actual owners of the first-generation Civic Hybrid.

“Two hundred dollars and a coupon? That was worth fighting,” she previously said.

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A California judge awarded Peters $9,867 to cover the additional fuel used in her Civic Hybrid, along with the anticipated lower trade in value.  By comparison, the class action settlement more recently approved by another California court will see about 200,000 owners receive between $100 and $200 in cash each, along with a coupon of up to $1,500 towards the purchase of another Honda.


California Woman Aims to Sink Honda Class Action Settlement

Heather Peters fought and won in small claims court.

by on Mar.16, 2012

Heather Peters with her 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid prior to last month's small claims trial..

After taking on Honda and winning a judgment over the inflated mileage claims for her Honda Civic Hybrid, a Southern California woman now hopes to derail a class action suit that would provide other owners just a fraction of the compensation she was awarded in small claims court.

Honda has been under fire for advertising significantly better fuel economy than it allegedly knew motorists would get with the Civic Hybrid sold between 2003 and 2009.  A proposed settlement covering 200,000 owners is now waiting for a final decision by Superior Court Judge Timothy Peters.  Until recently, it appeared likely the agreement would be accepted, but Peters shook things up last month when she decided to go it alone using the small claims process.

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The former corporate attorney – one of 1,700 Honda hybrid who opted out of the class action process — was awarded $9,867.  By comparison, the proposed settlement would provide owners $100 to $200 and a coupon good for a discount if they returned to buy another Honda.


More Headaches for Honda Over Hybrid Mileage Gap

Judge delays class action settlement while opposition mounts.

by on Feb.17, 2012

A judge delayed a decision on a class action lawsuit involving older Honda Civic Hybrids.

Honda’s hybrid mileage headaches may soon get a lot worse as a California judge considers whether to accept, reject or revise a class action settlement in a case filed by owners frustrated that their Civic Hybrid models failed to get nearly the mileage the maker original claimed.

The attorneys-general from five states, including California and Texas, have asked for more time to consider a proposed settlement that would provide owners with as little as $100 in cash – and a discount on another Honda – while plaintiffs’ attorneys would pocket millions.

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The delay was sought in the wake of a verdict in a separate California case in which Heather Peters was awarded $9,867 to cover higher fuel costs and a lower trade-in value on her 2006 Civic Hybrid.  A former corporate attorney, Peters took her case to small claims to protest the proposed class action settlement – and to show other owners there were alternatives to the proposed settlement.


Officially official: The 2012 Honda Civic

Six new versions, including all-new HF, but no real surprises.

by on Feb.18, 2011

Honda has unveiled six new Civic models for 2012.

Honda has made it officially official, lifting the covers on the 2012 Civic line, which now covers six different models, including the all-new Honda Civic HF.

But for those who saw the two thinly-disguised Civic concept models at the Detroit Auto Show, last month, there are few surprises.  And that, say some skeptics, could be a big problem for Honda, which is going up against some tough new competition in the compact segment it – and Japanese rival Toyota – have long and overwhelmingly dominated.

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Along with the standard-issue Civic Coupe and Sedan models, the 2012 line-up will include the sporty Civic Si, in both 2- and 4-door configuration, and the Civic Hybrid.  While there’s no word on when the natural gas-powered Civic will be introduced, the compact mix will feature a new entry, the Honda Civic HF, short for high fuel-efficiency.

The HF will be powered by a 140-horsepower 1.8-liter i-VTEC engine, paired with a 5-speed automatic.  It will also get the Honda EcoAssist system, a computer-controlled technology designed to tweak throttle response and shift times to maximize fuel efficiency.  There will also be some body modifications to improve aerodynamic efficiency, with low rolling-resistance tires designed to further improve mileage – which is rated at 41 mpg Highway, or 1 mpg better than the stock 2011 Hyundai Elantra, which Honda will likely promote heavily in the marketing campaign for the new Civic.


Single Occupant Honda CNG and Fuel Cell Vehicles Granted California High Occupancy Vehicle Access

Civic GX and FCX Clarity retain special access, while more popular and effective Honda and Toyota hybrids are ousted?

by on Jul.13, 2010

The Civic GX is the only dedicated natural gas vehicle from a major automaker in America, and Honda Manufacturing of Indiana is now its exclusive source.

Ah, the ongoing joys of observing California legislators bestow economic advantages on companies that are marketing the green flavor du jour.

The state that brought you the ill-fated Electric Vehicle mandate that cost automakers billions upon billions of dollars developing what turned out to be non-saleable EVs is again intervening in the market for other alternative fuel vehicles that are now in favor.

Once again it is electric vehicles and some latter day variants that have caught the fancy of lawmakers.

The root problem here is that politicians keep trying to set design standards – favoring one type of technology over another – rather than performance standards, which simply set the goals desired and let companies fight for customers in the marketplace. This results in faster development times and economically feasible results– not that politicians care if anyone will buy the things they are mandating – just look at the whole sorry history of the previous California EV mandate of the 1990s.

In the latest example of this ongoing folly, the recently passed California Assembly Bill 1500 extends HOV lane access to “Inherently Low Emission Vehicles” (ILEV), which includes cars that are certified as zero emission and CNG vehicles. In addition, new HOV stickers will be available for those driving pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, such as the Tesla Roadster.


California drivers of compressed natural gas (CNG) powered Civic GXs, and the “zero-emissions” FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle will continue to have access to coveted High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) highway lanes until January 2015.


California Yanks Prius Owners’ Express Lane Passes

Hybrid owners will now have to crawl through traffic like everyone else.

by on Jul.09, 2010

Prius, Insight and Civic Hybrid models with this sticker will no longer have access to California HOV lanes after December 31st.

For the past several years there’s been a booming gray market, in California, for the Toyota Prius.  Not just any Prius, but specifically those which have an HOV access sticker pasted onto the bumper, a perk that can save a lucky, long-distance commuter an hour or more a day in travel time.

California regulators limited to 85,000 the number of High-Occupancy Vehicle stickers – which give access to the normally restricted car pool lanes.  And only the three highest-mileage hybrids and electric vehicles, including the Prius, the Honda Insight and Honda Civic Hybrid qualified.

But as of December 31st, those three gas-electric models will have to fight it out for space on the I-405 and other crowded Golden State freeways along with Camry sedans, Ford Explorers and, gasp, gas-guzzling Chevy Silverado pickups.

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While the Governator, California chief executive Arnold Schwarzenegger, has signed into law a 4-year extension of what had come to be known as the “Prius Perk,” the extension notably now excludes mere hybrids.  The new focus is on pure battery power, something California regulators have been trying to promote since an ill-fated zero-emission law was briefly implemented back in the early 1990s.