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Honda Insight
Overall Satisfaction Rating
2.83/5
  • 5 stars
    16
  • 4 stars
    2
  • 3 stars
    7
  • 2 stars
    11
  • 1 stars
    16
Based on 52 reviews that contain star ratings
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Honda Insight

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55 Honda Insight Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Page 2 Reviews 31 - 55
Rated with 2 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 15, 2015

I have a 2010 Honda that has been running well until now. The dealer changed the code a couple of months ago from a recall supposedly so the battery wouldn't appear to be low but now I get almost 10 miles per gallon less than previously. Thirty-six miles per gallon is not a strong selling point when they advertise it should get 45-48. And also the windshield washer doesn't work any longer since the recall maintenance. I only have 17,000 plus miles on it and I am thinking of getting rid of it because this is the second recall and things are starting to go wrong.

39 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 28, 2014

We purchased our Honda Insight new in August of 2009, and we have put over 47,000 miles on it and still love it. I tend to accelerate rapidly and drive slightly over the speed limit, and I average 43 mpg. My husband works at keeping the gauges in the green (it's almost like a video game to him ;-)), and he averages over 50 mpg. The only minor annoyance has been that we get a low tire pressure warning whenever the temperature drops. At first, we took it to the dealer to check it out and turn off the warning, but now we just add some air with a bicycle pump, and the warning turns off.

46 people found this review helpful
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Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 13, 2014

I own a 2010 insight. Bought it with 3 miles on it. Now has 56000 and going strong. Have done regular maintenance on it and doesn't let me down. Get great gas mileage. Full tank last me about 2 weeks. The only repair I have is the battery, other than that it's great. The truck is spacious and the back seat is big. Downside - no cruise control. Have had 2 other Hondas and all are great.

35 people found this review helpful
Rated with 2 stars
Original review: Sept. 15, 2014

I purchased a used 2012 Honda Insight and had problems with the motor right away. I took it to the dealer several times when the Check Emission System warning light came on. They could not figure out the cause but they did notice one plug was fouled. After a few trips in and out of the shop, they decided replaced the whole motor (large block) with a 2014 motor. Fortunately it was under mftr warranty and a $5k-$6k repair, didn't cost me anything. It looks like there may be something defective with the 2012 motor so be cautious when purchasing. If you are considering a purchase, I recommend that you have a mechanic visually inspect the spark plugs and do a compression check. My hats off to the Honda Dealer Service Dept. They were awesome!!! On a side note, I own a 2002 Honda Civic with 150k miles and still going strong.

37 people found this review helpful
Rated with 2 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 15, 2014

Also have the horrible whistling noise above fifty, very loud with a crosswind. A way around the air cond. turning off at stops is to make sure the temp shows low, not a specific temperature number. Lots of rattles and squeaks. Passenger side mirror came off in car wash, back plastic window cover, drivers side just fell off one day. Mileage stays around 39 combined no matter how I drive, metal (plastic) molding around drivers air vent coming loose, very sharp edge to it. Cut my thumb pretty bad on it, but pushed back in place easily. Just keep your fingers out of it. Air filter clasp made of metal with a plastic piece, left side towards back, plastic broke off first time I changed the filter. Put a larger tire on, that cut down considerably on the road noise. That's about it... good luck everyone. Hope the engineering is better thought out than the body.

13 people found this review helpful
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Rated with 2 stars
Original review: Aug. 3, 2014

Loud whistling wind noise at 50 MPH and above. The car gets decent gas mileage, I cannot complain about it. The wind noise is terrible. The third time the dealer checked it out they said it was coming from the air intake to the engine and they could not do anything about it. Quite frankly, I found the answer hard to believe but there does not seem to be anything I can do about it.

20 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 20, 2014

36 mpg city or hwy considering I drive the freeways at 85 mph as often as I can. I also use the A/C full blast almost always.... So pretty darn good gas mileage, I must say. Drives great, very low maintenance, good looking exterior, especially in my snow white exterior and double dutch black tinted windows throughout (including medium gray illegal tint on the windshield).

The only thing I thought was very very lame was that the only difference between LX and EX is only one thing - alloy wheels on EX versus ridiculous plastic wheel covers. Both have unfortunate cloth seats and lackluster carpet. Why no sunroof, Nav and Bluetooth, kids? Because they wanted to keep price down and I appreciate that as I bought mine with 30k miles for 16k and change from a Honda dealer (whoever had Shonda before me took great care but they dumped her and got the Chevy Volt because hybrids can't cruise in the diamond lane anymore....) No fog lights, no leather, no sunroof..... but other than these annoying things, I love my Shonda the Honda..... Best part is the hatchback - I can fit so much junk in there, honey. I'll probably trade her in next year just because the front seat is getting annoying for my big azze self.... a little too small for all the continuous driving..... I guess I'll get the Range Rover Evoque instead, why not?

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11 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 15, 2014

I bought a used 2010 Insight about a year ago. It had 37K miles. I consistently get 46.9 - 47.3 when checked each 1K miles at which time I reset the trip meter. I was skeptical at first, but checked it by checking mpg the old school way, and it agreed with the car's on-board computer.

29 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 10, 2014

I was braking seeing red traffic light, having my nine year old on the passenger seat onto her ballet class. Watching my car kept rolling toward a SUV in front, although my foot on the brake constantly pressing on it, drove me into panic mode. It was 5mph at the collision - air bag thrown with smoke all over, gosh! My little one has a congenial heart condition! The rest was horrible experience, ER and overnight watch for three nights, extra night just for air bag blow on the heart. Air bag didn't even reach my chest, but for the passenger seat and for the smaller person, had different result.

The passenger side of front window cracked due to the blow while driver side was clean - says about the danger involved with passenger side air bag. I have heard about air bag causing more medical problem than it should have been especially for kids. Yes, back pains, headaches, bruise, abrasions... My main concern comes at brake problem. It is not new issue with my used Honda Insight. I had felt the brake response time slowness often. And I believe it is the culprit of the collision. I am a person who would rather go slower, yielding at others than rush. Anyone out there, please help me how should I go with this problem.

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18 people found this review helpful
Rated with 2 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 12, 2014

I bought a Honda Insight 2012 on February 7, 2012 knowing that I'm gonna save gas because the car is a Hybrid. After a year of driving the car, I noticed that the 38 MPG initially shown in the dash LCD display keep dropping even I followed the driving procedure to save gas while I'm driving in a highway. On today's date Feb 12, 2014 the MPG showing in the dash LCD display is 35.4, the battery display is discharging rapidly when I drive my car in a uphill. The battery indicator is inconsistent, sometimes its full sometimes its drain. I'm looking forward that the Honda Company in Japan will take immediate action with this matter before some accident may happen in the consumer that may cause loss of life.

28 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 27, 2014

I bought a used Honda Insight 2010 with 20,000 miles on it. I was assured by the sales people and owners of the Honda store that it would get 40 mpg in town and 45 mpg on the highway. The first time I filled it with gas, I found that I got about 36 mpg, mostly in town driving. When I complained about it, they found many ways to blame me for the bad gas mileage. I invited them to come for a ride with me to see how I drive, but that didn't happen. They supposedly put the car through their shop and found nothing wrong. I have never gotten close to 40mpg. The mileage that shows on the dash is not accurate either. They told me it only needed servicing at about 7000-10,000 miles, but when I drove it about 3000 miles I had to have it serviced and they warned me about certain filters that were very costly that will come up and have to be replaced. I bought the car because of being a hybrid and with the thought of the good mileage they told me about. Now I feel the whole thing was a very sorry mistake!

39 people found this review helpful
Rated with 2 stars
Original review: Nov. 6, 2013

I have found this to be true consistently: I drive the 2010 Honda Insight to Jerusalem or to Haifa and of course it does okay on the level roads. When it begins to climb the hills, I noticed that the IMA battery gets discharged and while the car is driving uphill, it begins to charge the Hybrid battery. Sometimes the graph indicates the battery is half full and the IMA is not working. If the battery has power why shouldn't the IMA help the car go uphill? If it charges the battery while the car is going uphill, isn't this the most expensive time to charge the battery and stealing power from the motor? The car consumes gas in stop and go traffic.

28 people found this review helpful
Rated with 3 stars
profile pic of the author
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 24, 2013

Surge of power when you use brake on Honda Insight.

14 people found this review helpful
Rated with 2 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 27, 2013

I'm so thankful for Keith of Kenner, LA on Oct. 3, 2012, letting me know I'm not the only one that has the most nerve-racking noises from your Honda Insight. I've called Honda Dealership in Florence, AL several times about it. Had them take my wheels off and see if something horrible was happening to them that was making that noise. They "say" they had one of their people drive it and they didn't hear anything. They also took it to someone to reseal the windshield and it didn't make much difference. Why won't they fix it? I've asked them a couple of times if anyone else has this problem and they said not that they know of. I'm going back and taking a copy of the Complaint that Mr. Keith provided. Thanks Keith for your help!

10 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 19, 2013

I love my 2012 Honda Insight. Have had no problems at all. It gets around 51 mpg, sometimes a little less sometimes a little more. Never less than 48. Love it... Love the ride. Not a Lexus but not bad at all for a small car...

35 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Original review: Feb. 3, 2013

When the auto stop feature is engaged when the car is at traffic lights, the air conditioning turns off. The fan stays on but the C SR warms up all too quickly especially on a very hot day. This is most annoying. Honda advised to turn off the econ button and have the fan on 4 bars ... This is not practical. The way I get round the problem is to use the hand brake when stopped. This is potentially unsafe. My preference is to have the auto stop feature disabled which Honda is still investigating.

24 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Original review: Oct. 22, 2012

I'm 2.5 years into ownership of a 2010 Honda Insight. No problems other than a couple of flat tires. Service required is minimal. Now about gas mileage: Best - an incredible 58 mpg (Long Beach, CA to Palm Springs). Worst - 39.5 and never getting on a freeway. The way you drive greatly affects mileage. My partner has driven the Long Beach Palm Springs journey in my car many times and gets consistently 20% less mileage than I do. Without being critical, he is heavy on the gas pedal and on the brakes. Yeah, I recommend the car. It's no Lexus, but even at $5 a gallon gas, it only costs $40 bucks a fill up and you can easily go 360-400 miles. If you're not interested in saving money on gas and tracking your mpg, buy a different car.

37 people found this review helpful
Rated with 3 stars
Original review: Oct. 3, 2012

To the other poster who had a problem with whistling noises at highway speeds, do not let them feed you that **. It is not the tires; there is a problem with the seal of the windshield. I recorded the noise and brought it to Honda after the first technician said it was the electric motor noise. Well, I'm not stupid and know an air leak when I hear one. Furthermore, I was able to stop the noise by pushing up on the headliner by the interior lights or cracking a window. I've brought it to Honda 3 times for the problem now and finally, they took out the windshield and resealed it. The problem is almost gone. No, almost is not satisfactory, but the noise appears randomly and I cannot make it happen, despite going 90mph with the service manager in the car.

However, whenever I take a trip of at least a hundred miles, it's bound to pop up although very quietly. I actually need to turn my radio off to hear it. Although it isn't completely fixed, it's a drastic improvement over what I know you're hearing. Make them reseal the windshield. Other than that, I honestly like the car. It drives smooth. I get over 50mpg on the interstate and over 40 in the city. If they were able to take care of the whistling problem, I would be extremely happy with my Insight.

I considered other non-hybrid cars that claim 40mpg like a Hyundai, but I've heard that they fall extremely short of the promises. If you're not getting 40mpg with the Insight, it's your driving techniques. Slower isn't always better. Utilize the motor assist better and stop constantly accelerating. My other car I'm used to driving is a Mustang Cobra and it takes some time to learn how to drive to maximize the hybrid, but over 40mpg is realistic in the Insight.

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43 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Original review: Aug. 15, 2012

I leased a 2012 Honda Insight in June. Everything was fine until I had to do long distance. I found when I hit 60 mph or so there was a whistling or howling sound that grew louder the higher the speed. When I brought it in to the dealer, its service department reported that the problem was and I quote, "Due to the tread pattern of the tires, that will pick up wind at higher speeds and cause road noise." The noise is worse than irritating - bad as that is - but a safety hazard by distracting me the driver, interfering with warning signals about what other drivers were doing, and hiding about possible problems with the car. When I complained to America Honda and asked for replacement of the tires, I was given the brush off. In the good old days, anyone responsible for making the stupid decision to install such tires would have felt honor-bound to join his ancestors. Nowadays, damn the buyer has become international.

13 people found this review helpful
Rated with 2 stars
Original review: June 14, 2012

Insight Hybrid computer/brakes/acceleration problem - There was an unpredictable acceleration combined with an unpredictable locking of the brakes. This caused the car to move forward at an accelerated rate with no brake control. It happened twice in a short time span. The first incident was December 28, 2011 and the second in January this year. However, it did not happen in the previous 1 and 1/2 years that I've owned the car. The first time it happened, I had an accident and it impacted my insurance. I was going very slowly up a hill at 10:00 am. It was not snowing and the day was clear and the roads were fairly clear and salted. The light was red far in front of me. I braked to slow down further, and when I was just crawling, I slightly released the brake to roll forward a bit further. But to my surprise, the car accelerated instead of maintaining the slower speed.

I was 6 feet from a small truck in front of me stopped at the red light. I felt like I was being pushed from behind. I quickly hit the brake again tapping and pumping it, but nothing happened. It was locked. I had no control. I found I was on a small patch of ice and the car just went forward at the accelerated speed. Fortunately, that was still very slow because I was going uphill. I barely tapped the truck. My only damage was a small chip in my plastic license plate cover. However, his fender fell down. His truck was old and rusted, so I imagine the fender was loose.

We reported the accident and it will go against me and will impact my insurance. Since my damage was a small chip on the plastic cover of my license plate, even the police agreed that I must have been going extremely slowly. It could have been a lot worse and due to that close call and impact to my insurance. I then decided to get the snow tires. The second close call was in front of a College, in rush hour traffic, in the middle of a lot of cars. Everyone was slowing down for a red light, and even going slower due to the traffic and people. There were kids, red lights, cars, etc., so I was slowing down naturally because everyone else was. So you can picture it. Everyone was slowing down and coming to a stop due to the red light. There was snow and ice on the road. I had new snow tires, so slowing down should not have been a problem. I braked a few times, the car slowed down, I released the brake a little, but much to my alarm, instead of maintaining the slower speed, the car accelerated.

So then I braked again quickly, but I was on ice and the brakes locked again. So even when I tried to tap and pump, it was locked. The car continued to go forward. I was on the road, a flat surface, with snow and ice, with kids on the sidewalk beside me and cars in front, beside and behind me. I had no choice and turned into a small snow bank just in front of the sidewalk. Finally, the car stopped. I didn't have a clue what happened. I had no damage. It was a scare. I was going the correct speed, like everyone around me, but I realized the car seem to speed up after I braked, like I was being pushed, and then it locked and I slid. The driver of the car behind me was afraid of what was happening to me, and also went on to the side of the road. This could have been a pile up. We were lucky to come to a stop without hurting anyone or damaging our cars.

The third time this happened, it was the day I went to the dealership to complain. On the way home, I braked for a light, and then I slightly released to roll forward. This time, I realized that the car accelerated, instead of maintaining the slower speed, but fortunately, I was not on ice, and there was no snow, so the brakes didn't lock and I was able to quickly stop. I didn't have this problem last winter. But I've had it three times too much this winter. I couldn't take the chance again. It could have been a major disaster and I could have killed someone.

Before the next snow storm, I took it to the dealer who gave me a loaner and they checked the car for three weeks. They could not find anything wrong. I found that unacceptable since I found several other 2010 Insight owners with similar problems all who said the dealership could find nothing wrong. I asked the dealership to buy the Insight back from me. They did so, but I took a $10,000 loss. I care about the loss, of course, but I am so relieved I am not driving the Insight any longer. It's worth it.

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34 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 25, 2012

The first problem I had with this car is difficulty in actually getting into the driver’s seat. My head knocks against the roof every time. In my case, the driver’s wheel blocks out my view of the speedometer and even some of the other instruments. The brake pedal is too far to the right and not directly under my foot. When I eventually press down on it, the brakes feel spongy. There have been occasions when I have felt almost out of control. The engine feels underpowered and strains noisily. The fuel consumption when I use the car, and I am a slow driver, is quite disappointing. A small petrol car would, I feel, do just as well. It no longer exempts me from the congestion charge. Shortly after I bought it, I found that it has no spare wheel and squirting some gunge that Honda provides into the tire supposedly cures a puncture. It is a cheapskate alternative because most punctures involves the tire ripping. I had to buy a spare tire. Basically, I have come to hate this car.

16 people found this review helpful
Rated with 2 stars
Original review: Feb. 7, 2012

We went on a 2-week vacation in January and came back to find the battery in our 2010 Honda Insight was dead. I completely charged the battery and inspected the car expecting to find that some light had been left on. I found that there was nothing left on that would drain the battery so completely. We took the car to the local Honda dealer asking them to check the charging system and battery to see if there was a problem. They checked the battery and told us everything was fine and the battery just needed to be charged. In passing conversation with a dealership salesperson, we were advised that we should have taken the battery out of the car and brought it into the house because the batteries in the new cars lose charge. We challenged the service department with this information and they admitted that this was a known problem with Civic, FIT and Insights and there was no solution because there was no more powerful battery that would fit these cars and there was nothing they could do.

We called Honda Customer Service. They said there was no problem with the car and that it was operating as expected and that sitting for 2 weeks was too long for the battery to maintain a charge. We were told that to maintain battery charge, we should be driving the car at highway speeds everyday for 30 minutes. When I asked the Honda Customer Service Representative where in the owner's manual it gave me that direction because the manual gives me a host of information to maintain my car, I was told it was on pages 63, 380 and 402 of the owner's manual. When I looked on those pages for the information, the manual advised me about warning lights and wheels and tires. There was nothing about maintaining the condition of my battery. I brought this to the attention of the Honda Customer Service Representative and asked them again to tell me how I would know that Honda expects the car owner to perform the needed battery maintenance of driving the car daily at highway speeds for 30 minutes.

Apparently, they do not need to communicate it because it is common sense. Then I asked how I could possibly know that my battery would die after 2 weeks of non-use and the response was that any battery will lose charge after an extended lack of use. I then pointed out the closest information that I could find on this topic was on page 383 of owner's manual that says if I put the car in storage and I quote the manual - "drive your vehicle every month for about 30 minutes. This will keep the IMA battery charged and in good condition". The manual does give the warning on the same page that if the vehicle is unused for over one month, the life of the battery is affected. I shared this information with the Honda Customer Service representative and they repeated that the car had sat too long and that was why the battery died.

The Honda Customer Service representative admitted that the information about driving the car 30 minutes everyday at highway speed is not documented. I asked to escalate this issue about the battery and charging system, but the Honda Customer Service representative said that they had answered my questions and replied to my concern and the situation would not be escalated as there was no reason to. I confirmed their comment and they agreed that I understood properly. I gave them my telephone number and volunteered that they can call me if they changed their mind. I was advised no one would call me.

In summary, Honda has been selling cars that they know fully well have an inadequate charging system and have not communicated with the purchasers how to ensure the batteries in Civics, FITs and Insights maintain adequate charge. Honda says it is reasonable that a battery in their cars lose their charge after only a few days from lack of use. They believe their position is reasonable. They have no interest in fixing the car and there is nothing further to discuss. In the meantime, the dealers are charging owners to test batteries, knowing fully well what likely the problem is. Sadly, Honda seems to becoming the replacement for old Ford and Chrysler's way of doing business.

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47 people found this review helpful
Original review: Sept. 23, 2010

I brought a used 2004 Honda Insight 7/31/10, along w/ a new Accord. On 9/16/10, driving the Insight to work, I turned left on to the rd close to work and as I accelerated to clear the intersection there was a pop sound and the car started to sound like a Semi-truck. No pothole hit, intersection newly repaired last year. 9/17/10 went to dealership and was told that the catalytic converter broke its bracket and I need to place the catalytic converter with a new one. The estimated cost $1200-1300 dollars.

10 people found this review helpful
Original review: May 17, 2004

While there may be some consumers that have been disappointed with their mileage there are also many of us very happy with the mileage were getting. Potential hybrid consumers should educate themselves better to know if they will get the EPA mileages listed for their vehicles.

First, to those getting poor mileage I would ask have they driven over 5,000 miles and through a full year? Typically, hybrids have a 3,000 mile or so break-in period where the mileage tends to be well below the expected long-term average. Also, mileage tends to be best when the weather is cool enough not to need A/C and warm enough for the engine to shut down. Currently hybrids rely on the exhaust to heat the catalytic converter, in the winter this means added idling or a richer fuel mix. Hopefully some auto manufacturer will fix this issue in the future.

Also, I would ask if the tires are under-inflated, do they tend to speed (especially over 70mph), have they modified the vehicle in any way (different brand of tires, roof rack, etc) or is there a lot of weight in the vehicle. All of these lower your mileage.

Also, consumers should be forewarned, at highway speeds wind resistance works very much against you and hybrid technology cant overcome poor aerodynamics expect the new hybrid Trucks/SUVs to be particularly thirsty on the highway.

As for myself, I commute 60 miles a day and traded in a 25mpg Ford for a 59mpg Insight (with automatic transmission EPA is 56 Hwy/59 City). The computer tracks the vehicle's lifetime mileage, and after 60,000 trouble-free miles Im averaging about 61mpg. Yes, in fact it isnt too difficult to BEAT the EPA estimates once you learn to drive for mileage.

If I run the numbers, Ive saved $2125 assuming an average price of $1.50 per gallon since switching vehicles. Thats more than enough to cover the premium on the hybrid. Plus with gas prices as high as they are now its a nice feeling not to have to stop so often for fuel.

As far as reliability, the verdict is still out, though by now many early adopters have passed 100,000 and 200,000 miles, so reliability looks promising. Additionally, electric motors tend to wear better than internal combustion engines (ICE) because of fewer moving parts and less heat being generated. Hybrids, while having two systems instead of one, do allow the ICE to work less hard and may turn out to be at least as reliable as a standard drive train.

As for Diesels, they do get good mileage, but produce much more carcinogenic soot than any other type of engine. Also, expect diesel to become much more expensive as new fuel blends to reduce some of this pollution become required. And the availability, odor, etc of diesel fuel do impact the ownership experience. Ive personally owned a diesel myself and wouldnt go back to owning one. Especially with gas-electric hybrids being an option.

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23 people found this review helpful
Original review: March 24, 2001


I am writing to you because of a serious problem I have with my new hybrid car, the Honda Insight. I have measured with a Trifield meter, and we have found that the electromagnetic field (EMF) impacting the driver and passenger are dangerously high. Everything we found has been backed up by professional measurement with much more sophisticated instrumentation.
The driver is receiving up to 135 milligauss (mG) at the hip, and up to 100 mG in the upper torso and head area. For comparison, my VW van measures between 1 and 2 mG. The technicians who measured the EMF advised me not to drive my Honda until this problem is fixed.
To put this into perspective, the Liburdy and Colleagues Study in 1993 found that just 12 mG stimulates the growth of estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells. Epidemiological studies have found an increased risk of breast cancer among both men and women exposed to high electromagnetic fields at work. A study by the Natinoal Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) called "assessment of health effects from exposure to power line frequency electric and magnetic fields" confirms the dangers of high EMF.
In addition, epidemiological studies worldwide have found that exposure above 2-3 mG in children greatly increases their chances of contracting leukemia. This is a statistically valid number. There have been numerous other studies on this problem, many of them appearing in either the American Journal of Epidemiology or the International Journal of Epidemiology within the last ten years.
The Institute for Bau-biology and Ecology has set standards for EMF, and the Insight's readings are up to 100 times higher than the minimum reading considered "strong" in their tables.
I have always liked Hondas, and Honda's commitment to being first in environmental thinking among the automakers here and abroad. Our family has had four of their cars: a Honda 600 back in the '70s, an Accord, a Civic, and now the Insight. I feel that Honda had always tried to be environmentally concious, but they dropped the ball in a big way on this vehicle. I know that they are aware of EMF, since they must consider EMF compatibility just to insure that automobile systems do not electrically interfere with one another. But it is clear that they are not considering the effects of EMF on the driver and passengers.
The kicker for me is a line in the Honda Insight Service Advisor and Parts Counterperson Guide, and I quote: "Anyone with a heart pacemaker, ICD, or other medical implant that can be affected by strong magnetic fields should stay away from the rotor." The driver is not far from that rotor, and that is truly frightening.
One person I talked to offered me a possible aftermarket solution with involves layering mu-metal, an iron/nickel shielding material on the floor and rear deck to minimize the EMF in my Insight. But they don't know how much the EMF will be minimized, if it will be safe to drive, or if I should gamble thousands of dollars to find out. We feel that the EMF problem could have been handled during production of the car by using source identification, field cancellation, and shielding. As it is now, the car sits in my garage awaiting a solution. I faxed Honda my concerns in December, and they have not responded.
A follow-up from Brian (5/17/04):

I sold the Honda Insight back to the dealer six months after purchase, at a loss of about $7,000. Honda finally did respond, and told me the EMF was "within the curve" of some other automobiles (so vague, and without any example, that it was basically a non-reply), and that the car was fine. I asked if they would test my car at their labs in southern California, and they said no. I now make it a habit of talking to owners of Honda Insights whenever I can, and at least one owner sold the car within a few weeks.

In the last year, I've had inquiries from officials in positions to order government vehicles. I forwarded all my info to them, and the results are still pending.
After I sold the Insight, I almost bought a used Honda minivan. Just before purchase, I checked the EMF, and although the driver seat was fine, the front passenger seat (where the kids sit in this soccer-mom vehicle) had very high EMF. I still think that Honda is a pace-setter in MPG and safety, but they have not addressed the EMF problem. My feeling on this is that EMF will eventually rival tobacco and asbestos as health issues.

Incidentally, the Prius I measured was fine in the front seats, but the left rear seat had similar readings to the Insight.

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52 people found this review helpful
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Honda Insight Company Information

Company Name:
Honda Insight
Website:
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