According to visitors to hybridcars.com, the fix being applied to the software in the hybrid Civic is a little bit disappointing:
Apparently, the software change does not directly address the battery problem—but instead reduces the vehicle’s reliance on the batteries and electric motor. Essentially, the “fix” extends the life of the battery, but turns a Civic Hybrid into a standard hybrid in the process. As a result, fuel economy is reduced from low- to mid-40 mpg, to the level of a standard hybrid in the mid-30s. The change also deprives the Honda hybrid system, known as Integrated Motor Assist, of its ability to “assist” by receiving a power boost from the electric motor during acceleration.That's bad news for anyone interested in getting the best mileage out of their hybrid. By using the battery less, Honda can guarantee the battery will last longer. But there should have been a better method. Also, given how this affects mileage, I wonder if Honda shouldn't have to re do their mpg rating with the EPA?
I'm not the only one wondering, either. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is asking some pointed questions about whether the 'fix' is increasing emissions.