Workaround for Honda Accord Hybrid Battery
July 15, 2021 2:51 PM   Subscribe

My 2005 6cyl Honda Hybrid has failed DEQ inspection because the hybrid battery didn't pass. A new battery is approx $5000. And I'm told Honda dealerships must now program the car to the battery as opposed to in before times when repair shops could do it. The car still runs great but its now illegal to drive until it passes inspection.

Is there any work around? Can I get a used battery and is there any way to program it so that it can pass DEQ? They are sold online by places, mostly in Tennessee. How do I know they're good? Otherwise, I have to sell it to someplace like CarMax which will give me $700 since anybody who buys it will face the same problem. And that makes me think no one will want to. It seems like such a waste of a really good car, all things considered. Any help or advice would be appreciated.
posted by CollectiveMind to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There are car registration services... they help you create a shell corporation, you register and title the car in some loose regulatory environment place like Wyoming or Montana, the car is owned by the corporation. You then "lease or rent " the car from the corporation. Presto, no emissions testing. This is often used by wealthy people who own $100K RVs and are trying to evade taxes, but can be used for other purposes as well. There's usually a setup fee and then some yearly fees as well, but they aren't outrageous. It's a somewhat grey area legally and can cause some problems if you need residential parking permits, you would also absolutely need to inform your insurance company that the car was titled to a corporation. In this case, you're not doing it to get away with driving a car with a dud catalytic converter or such, so I don't think morally it's a big issue-it's going to pollute about the same as a non hybrid 2005 Accord V6.
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 3:54 PM on July 15

Here's one of the services I was talking about. I have no firsthand experience with this service.

I think you can probably do all this by yourself rather than using a service and $ave. At any rate, even if it costs $1k to set up, that's a pretty low price to pay to get another year out of a good car.
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 4:03 PM on July 15

I'm in WI, but our 07 accord has had a failing battery for several years and ~50k miles and still works great.

I didn't end up pulling the trigger, but I was really considering DIYing the repair - it looked fairly straightforward. The battery is mounted behind the back seat. I have no experience with this website, but I found a refurbished one for $1000 here

What's changed since the before times? To me, it still looks doable. I'm not sure how they would retroactively nuke that capability, but I've been surprised before.
posted by mhp at 4:15 PM on July 15 [2 favorites]

How exactly is the faulty hybrid battery causing the car to fail inspection? I googled this but didn't find anything.
posted by monotreme at 5:18 PM on July 15

Best answer: Who told you that Honda dealerships must program the car to the battery? I doubt if there would be much aftermarket if everyone who bought a rebuilt or refurbished battery then had to drive it over to the Honda place to get it programmed. Even if they did, Honda doesn't charge $5000 to program your aftermarket battery. A quick search didn't find anything about Honda having to do anything if you purchased an aftermarket battery. The first place I went to said,"Ready-to-install – no programming required". It was $995 with exchange for remanufactured battery pack with a 12 month warranty.
posted by Grumpy old geek at 6:09 PM on July 15 [1 favorite]

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