Skip to content

The Honda Clarity is Dead

My Honda Clarity is dead.

No, this is not a post about the fact that Honda has pulled back the Clarity PHEV from multiple states to only California. It’s also not because my confidence in the Clarity is low after owning this car for only a few days and then this happened. Or that my wife says, “Just so you know, I am NEVER driving that car!

Instead the reason I’m saying the Clarity is dead is because, after a long Labor Day weekend with it parked in the garage, I went out two hours ago to run errands in the car and NOTHING on the car worked!

Sigh…I verified it has a fully charged 17kw battery from being plugged in while we were away but I couldn’t get anything on the car to work. Once I unplugged the car and shut the plugin’s door, even THAT would not open. The 4-way flashers were dead. I couldn’t even put the car in neutral to move it out of the garage. There was no charge in the car at all and, like a desktop computer with a bad power supply, the car was not going to “boot up.”

The Clarity’s 17kw battery pack is 100% charged, but the 12V battery is dead so *nothing* on the car functions!

Called Honda’s Roadside Assistance and they arranged to have it towed to the dealership from where I bought the car. That gave me time to read several forum posts about others who have had this same issue, but people said it’s due to dealers not keeping the 12V battery charged up on their lots caused the battery to drain and die. My car had just come in days before I bought it, so that’s highly doubtful.

Adding to my frustrations with this car is that the check engine light comes on frequently and the dealer sees no error codes or anything wrong when I have them look at it. My only conclusion is that this is one poorly engineered automobile.

First car I’ve owned in all my decades on this earth that I haven’t been able to just get in and drive, all while ensuring I maintain it properly. I’m constantly fretting over the Clarity and am wondering when the next issue will appear … but I didn’t expect this on a brand new car with just over 4,000 miles on it.

Unfortunately American Honda’s escalated customer service folks have been no help at all with any of these issues (and are likely instructed to ‘admit nothing’ to ensure Honda isn’t opened-up to any liability). The dealer is great, but they just shrug and say, “Ah…we don’t see anything wrong.”

Guess I should have bought that Tesla Model 3 after all.

Posted in ,  

2 Comments

  1. Stephen Downes on September 4, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    Wow really sorry to hear that… my Clarity is at 25K without a problem yet.



  2. Steve Borsch on September 4, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    Thanks Stephen. It’s frustrating since I’ve read the manual, the Clarity Emergency Guide, and invested $100 in an OBD-II connector along with a couple of dozen hours or so trying to figure out what might be wrong with the car.

    The good news is this though: I sent both Honda Customer Service *and* my dealer the four reports last evening which have been generated by the OBD-II connector for each time the check-engine light was on over the last two months. The dealer’s service manager just called and said, based on my sending those reports (and, I’ll wager, that they were contacted by Honda as I’ve been hammering on them too) that their top tech needs the full day to run ‘extensive diagnostics’ on the car.

    Hopefully they find something!



Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Is the Honda Clarity a Lemon?

Mine is a lemon.

Read all of my 2019 Honda Clarity posts

About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Posts Menu

Posts by Category

Archives (2004 – Present)

SiteGround is ‘The One’

READ THIS PAGE to learn how and why I finally found “the one” web hosting company I heartily endorse and use, SiteGround, and why it is highly likely to be the perfect web hosting company for you.

Connecting the Dots Podcast

Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I’d seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never ‘discovered’ by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.

The Best Web Host

It’s the best web hosting company. Your website will run FAST and they have all the tools you need to get up and running quickly, along with the support you need to make your website work for you. Check it out and sign up today!

Scroll To Top