6-month Update

time_flies
[Image credit: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/collegeadmissionsstudentblog/files/2011/12/kemieiko7_1203111-300×240.gif]

Last week, as the odometer passed the 6,300 mile mark, the big yellow Maintenance light came on. I was hoping that the dealer would do some fancy state-of-health analysis of the battery pack or at least update the latest software. I knew they weren’t going to change the oil 🙂

I leased the car from Planet Honda, which is 16 miles from home and did not want to return, if I could help it. Madison is the closest dealer to my house and I visited their website. It had a whole page about the Fit EV and I was hopeful enough to call to see if they were in the EV program and could do the service. Alas, they are not in the program.

Joyce Honda is about 6 miles away. I went to their website and made an appointment. When I arrived and asked what was going to be done, they service writer went to the computer and pulled up the following list: check the tires and brakes, lights, wipers. No fancy state-of-health analysis, no software updates.

After 30 minutes, they were done – added windshield washer, rotated the tires, everything looks OK. I got the standard check-the-box form indicating that the ignition and spark plugs are fine, exhaust system is fine, etc. The 12-volt battery that runs the instrument panel and lights is fine; the other battery that propels the car we assume is fine too. When they were done, they handed me a bill for $16.50 for labor for rotating the tires.

I pointed out that the lease covers all maintenance and I did not want to pay $16.50 to rotate the tires…they called the regional office to discuss this, and after another 20 minutes, the guy came out and zeroed out the bill because the there was no answer and felt it was unreasonable to keep me waiting any longer.

I have to say, the people I interacted with were very nice about the whole thing. The dealership runs a high-volume repair facility and this is a zebra. They told me they had never seen one of these electric cars before and didn’t know much (anything?) about the program. Honda has done a pretty poor job of communicating.

Thankfully, my experience with the car has been better than my experience with Honda.

Plug-in America Update
According to an email I received after the event, there were 98 events this year with about 36,000 attendees, thousands of test rides, and more than 145 media ‘hits’ about the events on TV, radio, print, and online. Here is a link to the website.

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