Our broad international audience is so efficient we rarely get no response when we ask its help. To date, that was the case only with an Austrian crash involving a Honda e. It was the first accident we heard about with Honda’s EV. Since it was a test-drive unit – with stickers on the side of the hatchback – we are almost sure the driver was connected to a dealer. Now, a Honda e reservation holder in Germany reported behavior issues with the car.
Arwin Struwe will soon pick up his EV, but he managed to get a test-drive unit for the weekend. He seized the opportunity to travel with the vehicle. Each of the incidents he experienced at the wheel happened in a different city.
The more serious one was in Siegsdorf, as you can see in the map above. He was entering Anschlussstelle Traunstein (AS 112), coming from B306.
“On the left lane, the back of the car almost passed me, and we have been lucky it did not result in an accident. It was raining, and almost on a straight road, I accelerated near maximum, and there was no ESP active, not even a sign in the dashboard that there was a dangerous situation.”
This is precisely what we imagine to have happened with the Austrian Honda e. Considering it has a short wheelbase and a lot of weight for a small car, being a rear-wheel-drive car may make it quite unpredictable in slippery road conditions. The Smart Fortwo and Forfour (as well as the current Renault Twingo) dodged that with heavy electronic aids.
Unfortunately, Struwe and his wife would feel the rear axle prank them again on August 30, at night. He was in Eggenfelden at the time, which is around 80 km (50 mi) from Siegsdorf.
“Yesterday evening, it was still raining, and, on a roundabout with cobblestone, we experienced the same dangerous oversteering again. For me, it looks like ESP is not active at all, at least on the first batch of test cars. Did you have any more information about that accident in the meantime? This all is very concerning!”
Unfortunately, we had nothing to share with Struwe, so we asked Honda not only for information on the Austrian accident but also about how efficient ESP tests indicated the Honda e is. It concerns that the car may be so tricky in wet roads. And we are heading towards winter. The Honda e will soon face ice on the pavement as well.
Honda still did not reply to our questions, but we will either update this article or write a new one when it does.
For our colleagues in the motoring writing world that have a Honda e for evaluation, we suggest to test it in slippery conditions. We would try to perform one ourselves if we had access to a Honda e. As we don’t, it does not matter who releases the information, as long as it reaches consumers quickly.
Struwe would appreciate it: he is pondering on canceling his order.
“When I accelerated on the motorway, I remember that the asphalt changed, and the car lost traction, resulting in this massive wheel spin. My wife is now very concerned as she will need to drive it, and she wanted a safe car with all the latest features.
All the other sensors in the car are very sensitive, like following the car ahead or the lane assistant, but traction is not active at all.
When I return the car this afternoon, I will report this to my dealer. I will let him know what critical situations we faced and that we need proof or a statement from Honda that the issue is solved before we take over our own car.”
Have you driven a Honda e lately, especially in low-friction situations? Please share your impressions with us through firstname.lastname@example.org or our Facebook page. The more people can tell us how the Honda e behaves, the better. As we said, winter is coming...