Thursday, July 08, 2004

Slight Improvement, But Not Much

As a courtesy to Honda, and just to demonstrate I'm not on a vendetta, I refrained from submitting anything to this blog until I fully tested my Hybrid car (e.g. drove several hundred miles) after its SECOND inspection. Now, let me report both good news and bad news. The good news is that the Honda dealer did in fact find a few problems with my car that the first dealer didn't spot or correct, and so Honda's "Office of the President" called it right by suggesting I get a "second opinion." Here's what the report said: "C/S is only getting 31 MPG -- has had Superior Honda look at many times -- they keep saying no problem found - has been on CBS News. Best mileage has ever gotten was 33-35 MPG. Test drove vehicle checked codes in system - Fuel trim in specs. Found alignment out of spec. Competed 4 wheel alignment and set tire pressures. Only 15 PSI in all tires. Now Vehicle getting 36 MPG City Driving." The bad news is that while the mileage is up a mile or two (attributable to these changes), I'm still only between 34 and 35 MPG, still nearly 15 below the advertised mileage. All in all, despite Honda's good intentions, very disappointing. My wife thinks I've been had and insists I go the distance to get either a refund or a hybrid car that marries up to the hype, even if it's a new model. She's right, and I'm not giving up.

Now, there is a bit of humor in all this. When I dropped off my car for an inspection, the only car available through Honda (and their rental car agency, Enterprise) as a replacement vehicle was a monster-sized Dodge Ram pickup truck -- the biggest I had ever seen, much less driven. It bordered on hysterical that I dropped off my teeny hybrid car for an inspection and left with a tank-sized pickup truck that practically required a ladder to enter. My entire office was on the floor.

32 Comments:

At 9:32 AM, Blogger Larry said...

I too am getting disappointing mileage on a USED 2004 HCH 5-speed I just bought four days ago. TRUE, I'm in Phoenix, and I have been required to use the A/C on full blast almost every second in the vehicle, but after 140 miles driven, ALL CITY DRIVING, my trip computer registers 37.0 MPG for this current tank. Which is fine for me when compared to the 13.8 MPG I was getting from the Chevy Avalanche I was driving before I bought the HCH. But the HCH is rated at 45 city, and I am getting only about 80% of the rating. I guess that's not too bad, considering the other emission benefits of the car and the increased resale value I will have at sale time. Laters........

 
At 10:16 AM, Blogger Larry said...

I too am getting disappointing mileage on a USED 2004 HCH 5-speed I just bought four days ago. TRUE, I'm in Phoenix, and I have been required to use the A/C on full blast almost every second in the vehicle, but after 140 miles driven, ALL CITY DRIVING, my trip computer registers 37.0 MPG for this current tank. Which is fine for me when compared to the 13.8 MPG I was getting from the Chevy Avalanche I was driving before I bought the HCH. But the HCH is rated at 45 city, and I am getting only about 80% of the rating. I guess that's not too bad, considering the other emission benefits of the car and the increased resale value I will have at sale time. Laters........

 
At 4:37 PM, Blogger CSCoconut said...

I am a new Civic Hybrid owner. I've had the car for 1 month. I am also experiencing the same mileage discrepancies. I have been averaging between 32 and 35 mpg. My driving is mostly highway miles. I noticed in a comment earlier, you made on unable to email Honda with your concerns. I found this to be very disturbing. I have been running into the same brick walls. I bought the car because of the claimed better mileage. I gave up a Mercedes for my civic. I am unsure who to contact on this matter at this moment. I feel like I have been cheated and tricked by false advertisement. The sad thing is, Honda is aware of this problem and do nothing about it.

 
At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings!
I would get my money back immediately- Don't let sheisty Honda get away with that false advertising to deceive you for your money & being locked into a debt over some mediocre car that you would NOT have purchased had you received full disclosure. All the car corporations have intentionally over the last 12 years gradually lowered the fuel economy of all their cars, so that the current 2004-2005 models now are basically gas guzzlers.
To prove this, look at the Civic. Back in 1992, the Honda Civic VX got 48mpg city/55 hwympg(44mpg city/51 mpg hwy on CA models), and this was accurate according to the owners and EPA estimates. From 1993 to 1995, they lowered the Civic's mileage from its 1992 level down about 4 miles per gallon in both city and hwy. In 1996-2000 Civic models, they even fared worse. So just like OPEC/US oil corporations gradually raised fuel prices to have the masses GLAD to pay ONLY $2/per gallon(when we would have balked at paying that much for gas a a year ago), these car manufacturers have done the same to where we are GLAD to purchase a hybrid, when they don't even match up to the fuel economy of earlier models from a decade ago. The Honda Accord used to be great on gas, now its no different than having a full size American car. The Toyota Prius(claimed by BOTH Toyota and the EPA to get 51 city/60 hwy) I've heard only gets in the upper 30's in mpg, and even in hwy miles fails to get 57 or 58 miles per gallon.
So If I were a Civic Hybrid or Prius owner, I would demand a refund, then buy an used earlier Civic from 1992-1995.. Also the Toyota Corollas from the early 1990's would get you at least 40 mpg, worst case.
I used to own a 3 cylinder 1987 Chevy Sprint Turbo which only had a 6.5 gallon capacity, but got me 50 miles per gallon rain or shine- AND could run faster than many larger cars. You'll save more money and gas in the long run going used then getting suckered by these greedy car manufacturers trying to force you into these substandard new cars that are outrageously overpriced.

 
At 2:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had a Honda Civic Hybrid for a year and a half and have gotten 48 mpg and have driven over 19,000 miles. I am very happy with it. No problems whatsoever and I've saved a bundle on gas considering my other vehicle was a Dodge truck.
I have the CVT transmission and mostly drive Pennsylvania highways. Maybe you got a lemon.

 
At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mileage posted on the paper in the window is an estimate. Its not meant to be taken as that is what the car is going to get every gallon of gas that is used. Im tired of hearing people that are "saving the planet" and that is why they bought the veh, yet bitch about the mileage. Thats not the idea behind the veh. Also, co have been lowering the mileage because people demand more performance, more performance = less fuel economy. bigger motors take more fuel. makes sense!

 
At 8:15 AM, Blogger don stanley said...

Well after reading these commenbts, I am forced to have to tell you that NO One will achieve the ratings of ANY car as suggested on the MRSP stciker. These tests are done according to specific EPA rules - i.e., no uphill,no wind, perfect ambeint temperature, no passengers, etc..an individual cannot reproduce the same results.
However, a more realistic approach is to accept the fact that a 10-20 % actual reduction in mileage is not unrealistic. My current '05 Civic - albeit a non-hybrid - is listed at 39mpg highway and we are getting a real world number of 34-35 mpg - again about an 11% reduction from the posted rationg on the factory sticker. To expect any car to achieve sticker MPG is being non-realistic - Every manufacturer has to do the EPA ratings the same way.

dis

 
At 12:50 PM, Blogger David said...

I think I may understand why Honda's not taking you seriously enough:

"C/S is only getting 31 MPG -- has had Superior Honda look at many times -- they keep saying no problem found - has been on CBS News..."

See? No credibility. "It's been on CBS News? Pull the other one. Is this guy a buddy of Bill Burkett or something?"

But seriously, do keep after them. One—just one!—documented admission by any Honda management person that they KNEW the mileage estimates were hooey will be enough to solidly hang a charge of false advertising on them.

 
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Computer News
China's Google rockets on debut
It was a remarkable debut. Chinese search engine Baidu.com's shares sold in the United States for US$27 ($39) - then surged on day one to close at US$122.54 ($177.46).

Friday's result was the biggest first-day gain for a new listing in the US for five years.

Investors had more than quadrupled their money.

An analyst in New York with IPOdesktop.com, a website devoted to initial public offerings, John Fitzgibbon, said: "This one is the return to the internet bubble. Last time we saw a deal skyrocket was during the frothy IPO markets of 1999 and 2000."

Then came the post-mortem.

Some analysts said the internet search engine could have had an even better payday for itself if underwriters had sold the deal at a higher price to begin with.

"It looks to me like the underwriters should have had a better indication of the appetite for this stock than they did," said Donald Straszheim, president of Straszheim Global Advisors.

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But other analysts are not so sure the underwriters made a mistake, given that the company's shares were priced at a relatively high multiple of revenues.

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"We don't know the potential impact of censorship in China, or how quickly the internet will grow there," said David Menlow, president of IPOfinancial.com. Had the IPO been priced higher and then fallen in the first day of trading, investors could have sued.

Baidu.com chairman and chief executive Robin Li, speaking on CNBC, said he was not upset by the potential lost proceeds of the IPO because the company had only sold a small portion of itself, and had significantly more growth ahead.

But University of Florida Professor Jay Ritter, an IPO expert, said Baidu.com left money on the table by introducing the shares at a level well below where they ended hours later.


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