pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
3,345 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid engine problems

engine problem

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2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Owner Comments

problem #18

Oct 052019

Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  • 3,700 miles


The contact owns a 2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid. While driving 5 mph, the battery was depleted and the engine mode engaged; however, the vehicle lost power and failed to accelerate. The vehicle was recharged and worked as designed. The engine system, adaptive cruise control, road departure, and power steering warning indicators were illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer and dealer were not contacted. The failure mileage was 3,700. The VIN was invalid.

- Montclair, NJ, USA

problem #17

Feb 092019

Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  • 12,650 miles
On approx 6 occasions, when ev power is used up, the car switches to ice mode with issues. When traveling up hill, it feels like the transmission is not engaging. The vehicle losses power, and does not accelerate. The ice revs extremely high without speed gain. Have also experienced a downhill situation with nearly full ev in ev mode. Vehicle feels like it disengages drivetrain. When pressing the accelerator, there was no response. One feels helpless when this occurs. Most of the time, the car had switches from ev to hv automatically, without issue. But, the above phenomena has happened 6 times in the last year this is unsafe. The vehicle was sold as an ev, with a gas engine to take over when ev runs out. At no time was there any explanation regarding potential situations that would cause the vehicle to become unsafe and lose power. One should not have to ensure reserve ev power for potential power loss situations. When these situations have occurred, upon shutting off the car and exiting, there is a strong smell of burning rubber and other material similar to transmission and brakes, or hot metal. Clearly something is overheating, and if the vehicle was not shutdown and allowed to cool, a reasonable person might conclude that significant damage to the engine, electric motors, ev battery, or transmission would take place. I am no longer driving the vehicle as a pure ev for city driving. The fear of power loss without control is extremely upsetting, and consequently, not getting the value of vehicle. My spouse will not drive the vehicle as driver or passenger if the trip is to exceed 20 miles in one direction. My gas savings has dropped considerably as I am unable to risk running out of ev before my trip ends. This vehicle has been taken to the dealer 3 times, and inspected by Honda of America. They deny there is anything wrong with the vehicle.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #16

Apr 092019

Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  • 4,900 miles
While I was driving on central ave (from North to South) in phoenix, engine error sign and brake error sign were flashing. Meanwhile, I could not slow down the car as I could not push the brake peddle down. So, I just had to let the car cruise on its own to slow down without brake and finally managed to turn into palm ln for a stop. Luckily, I was not on the highway and could not image what would happen if I drove the car without the control of the brake.

- Tempe, AZ, USA

problem #15

Nov 142018

Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  • 4,418 miles


The contact owns a 2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid. The contact stated that once the hybrid vehicle finished electric power, it would switch to gas. While in gas mode, the transmission slipped and the vehicle would not accelerate up a hill. In addition, the engine revved extremely hard and would not go into gear. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The dealer and manufacturer were not contacted. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was 4,418. The VIN was unknown.

- Eureka, CA, USA

problem #14

Jan 092019

Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  • 12,000 miles
Car revs up when driving down the highway but drops speed to 10mph. It has done this 2 times once in town and once on us 23 while driving 70mph. Their are several complaints about the car doing the same thing to other clarity owners and this is a highly dangerous situation that Honda should take care of! reineke Honda in findlay Ohio had my car for about 3 weeks and while test driving it the car did the same thing for the service manager mike stevens. They took a control box off a brand new clarity per Honda's suggestion and I am driving the car and had no new problems so far. They were not sure this would fix the issue but so far it hasn't happened again. This is a dangerous failure in the car and I am lucky I wasn't driving in columbus, Ohio the 2nd time the car did it or I would have been rear ended! Honda needs to make sure this problem is fixed!!!

- Upper Sandusky, OH, USA

problem #13

Jan 152019

Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  • 100 miles
3 days after purchase I was driving on an interstate when the car suddenly lost all power. I managed to pull to a slow lane but the lack of power continued for another 5 minutes. It had been running on battery just prior and I had 2 bars of power left. The outside temperature was about 15 degrees. The internal cobustion engine began to race but only began to give adequate power to the wheels after 5 minutes. A terrifying experience. Honda checked out the car and said nothing was wrong. I am hearing of other cases being reported like mine.

- Oakhurst, NJ, USA

problem #12

Jul 022018

Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  • 100 miles


When vehicle is in any mode that require the internal combustion engine, it persistently gets stuck in a high rev, high RPM, state at any speed. This causes power fluctuations and extreme engine noise. This creates challenging and potentially unsafe driving conditions due to the sensitive state of the engine when stuck in this mode.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #11

Jan 242019

Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  • 895 miles
Loss of power and engine comes on with high revs while car is moving. In hv mode engine revs are continues even though I have 20 miles of ev range. I had power loss twice now in slow speed around 30 miles/hr andt 65 miles/hr

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #10

Jul 282018

Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  • 500 miles
I am submitting my onlycomplaint about my new Honda clarity. This is a known issue by Honda that is all over the internet yet it appears Honda is ignoring the issue. The clarity looses power when it converts from battery to engine power upon low battery status. This is drastically noticed if the vehicle is traveling at a high speed such as the 75 mph speed limit of our interstates in Nebraska or if the vehicle is under hard acceleration such as when I was entering the interstate from the on ramp. Instead of merging into 75 mph traffic I became an accident waiting to happen as the car would not accelerate beyond about 40-50 mph for approximately 1 mile. My dealer said Honda is denying that this is a problem even though there are many similar complaints on the internet. Someone is going to get in a bad accident due to this major manufacturer defect.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #9

Dec 182018

Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  • 6,000 miles
I have advised the dealership that I only had about 3 hours of highway miles on my ice but at 6000 miles the car alerted me to bring in my car for service. I want to take care of my car but the mintainance cost and needlesly changing the engine oil and fiter steers me away from trusting the maintanance suggested to us by Honda. Everyone knows dealers make more profit from maintanance that from sales. If clarity customers (and all hybrid cars that use a combination of electric propulsion and internal cumbustion) are needlessly paying dealerships for maintainance I see a form of customer deciept. I wouldnt be surprised if Honda would show me a document proving to dealerships that the sale of this car will make maintainance faster, cheaper, and require less mechanically skilled labor to service - thus allowing the dealership to make the necessary changes to their sevice centers.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #8

Dec 162018

Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  • 4,300 miles


I have only had the car 2 months, but twice so far, while traveling downhill at 45 mph, the engine began to rev to its redline and there was no power to accelerate in hv mode. This was quite dangerous in one instance as I was unable to accelerate onto a highway.

- Old Saybrook, CT, USA

problem #7

Jul 282018

Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  • 10 miles
4 times engine went into extreme high rev like being stuck wide open in first gear with sudden loss of speed twice on the freeway. Extremely dangerous. Reported to Honda, they denied everything and maintained that "high revs" is normal as stated in the owners manual. Tis is extreme high revs and sudden loss of speed, it is not normal. 5 or 6 other clarity owners are complaining about this issue and about Honda ignoring the issue. I requested through arbitration to be reimbursed as I brought my car for repair 4 times (2 different dealers) and for a multitude of electronic issues related to hv. Honda denied everything and found excuses for every single issue. I was denied reimbursement and now I am still stuck with the same problems that continue every day! I have detailed notes, dates, videos, photos, testimonies of other owners that I would be happy to share. The day of the arbitration the car would not start but arbitrator said he could not use it as it was not part of the original issue. Something needs to be done before someone gets killed driving this vehicle. I even opened a claim with my insurance Agency in case I get into an accident because of the car doing whatever it wants. Thanks

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #6

Sep 032018

Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  • 4,000 miles
Mostly all the time, the engine kicks in (charge mode) even the battery is at full charge. Mostly all the time, highway driving or just picking up.. the engine is at eco mode, the gas engine is working at high RPM. Sounds just like a regular engine car at 8rpm sound. Speed at 65mph.

- Cortlandt, NY, USA

problem #5

Sep 272018

Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  • 200 miles
Twice I experienced extreme high revs (like the car was in neutral and you have the pedal to the metal)with absolute loss of power and speed down to 30 mph first time on freeway & 10 mph second time on highway. Happened twice when battery was low (each time battery display actually went down to 1 bar which Iżve been told by dealer that it is impossible to go below 2 bars when hv kicks in) and on slight incline. Super scary dangerous, family screaming of fear inside vehicle)! also have range display error, engine turning on when battery is full almost every day and no charging when hv charge engaged. Original dealer test drove car 300 miles, did update and told me nothing wrong with car. I was afraid to drive the car, it sat at dealer for a month. After fighting with Honda and going nowhere with them or dealership I took it back and all issues where still there. Took car 3 times to dealer #2 who said they cannot help, to deal with Honda. I even emailed videos and photos but they did not seem to care or make effort to research it. Took test drive with tech, he had excuses for everything. Had opened ticket with Honda, originally a special tech guy was supposed to come check the car, 2 months later still nothing, after dozens of calls to Honda they told me that nothing is wrong with the car and they cancelled the specialist as they cannot justify the cost of it. I even had to pay for the loaner and again Honda said they cannot justify covering it. They say to contact dealer, did not do anything and ended up telling me to get a lawyer. I am now stuck with a car that has major issues most of the time, I have to stop on the side of the road to shut car off 2 to 3 times in the morning when the battery is full and go through lots of gas because the battery does not recharge and the engine is revving extremely high. I am also worried about the long term damage to the engine.

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #4

Aug 152018

Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  • 3,500 miles
The clarity phev is incompatible with public charging stations (e.g. chargepoint) that feature dual charging ports and an energy management controller (emc). The vehicle's onboard charger will shut off when it senses the charging station's emc is activated when both ports are engaged for simultaneous charging. Multiple failed attempts to restart charging will result in a "total system failure" warning from the instrument panel causing the vehicle to not start and drive. Owners could be stuck in a parking stall for up to 4 hours to allow the system to self-heal/recover from the total system failure before being able to start and drive the car. Issue has been diagnosed by Honda dealership, but no information from Honda or the dealership on a future software update to resolve the problem. I think Honda should perform its due diligence to issue a recall for the clarity phev and potentially for its all-electric version to resolve this major flaw.

- Gilroy, CA, USA

problem #3

Jul 052018

Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  • 470 miles
Although car less than one week old and under 470 miles, all the warning indicators illuminated on the instrument panel while vehicle was stationary after starting the car: Engine system problem, brake system problem, adaptive cruise control problem, road departure mitigation system problem. Turning car off and restarting engine did not clear the problem, and lights remained on while driving. Vehicle was taken to dealership where it was purchased (Honda of pasadena).

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #2

Apr 182018

Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  • 1,000 miles
With driving with a fully charged battery driving in econ (ev) mode, the internal combustion (ice) came online when stopped at a stop sign. After accelerating, the ice stopped running after a couple of minutes and the car resumed running in ev mode. This repeated several times, and not always when the car was stopped. This behavior has happened several times, but not always.

- West Hills, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 302018

Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  • 1,470 miles
I filled the seven gallon gas tank yesterday, and the dashboard range display calculated the range of the car on gas power as 871 miles. I have been driven mostly on electric battery power, but with only seven gallons of gas in the tank, that range is absurd. New drivers of the vehicles might believe the range and inadvertently strand themselves somewhere.

- San Carlos, CA, USA

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