Honda Motor Co. is reportedly offering a “free software fix” to owners of Civic Hybrids to compensate for early battery degradation.
A story in yesterday’s Chicago Tribune said that Honda sent letters to more than 100,000 owners of 2006, 2007 and 2008 Civics in the U.S. and Canada warning that the batteries “may deteriorate and eventually fail” earlier than expected.
Honda reportedly says that a free software patch would solve the problem, but some owners are complaining that their “fixed” cars are running sluggishly.
The story adds that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “is aware of the issue and is continuing to monitor complaints” from drivers whose batteries are wearing out before the end of their eight- or ten-year warranties. The agency says that nearly a third of all complaints to safety regulators about the 2007 Civic Hybrid are about the car’s battery.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.