A few weeks ago the car would start in the morning but not start in the afternoon. The next time it started I drove it straight to the Honda near my work. They told me the 12volt battery had a bad cell and the hybrid software needed updating. After $200 I picked it up. On the drive home the 'engine malfunction' and IMA (hybrid) lights went on and I went back to the Honda dealer near my home (same owner as other Honda). They said the hybrid software needed updating and that the IMA battery may need replacing if the IMA light came on again. The problem is the IMA battery is $3,000+. I drove the car without problem for a few days and now it won't start. I'm pretty much where everything started. Key on dashboard is blinking which user manual says means it is in 'anti-theft' mode. Seems like it is in anti-theft mode because it won't let me put the car in neutral even with the key turned and the brake pedal depressed. I need to get the car in neutral before I can get it towed.

Has anybody heard of this car or other hybrid having this problem? Do I need a new IMA battery? How can I get the car in neutral so I can get it towed?


dan finucane

  • 1
    My car went into "anti-theft" mode once (it was also a Honda, but not hybrid), I disconnected the battery for a bit (~30 minutes) and once reconnected it worked fine.
    – Tester101
    Jul 18, 2011 at 16:45

1 Answer 1


My wife had an identical issue with her 2007 Dodge Caliber. The issue ended up being the anti-theft (immobilizer) had gone haywire. On off days, it would act up and wouldn't start or go into neutral. For that we had to take it into the dealer to get fixed. Initially, they couldn't reproduce the issue, even when keeping it for a few days... So they gave it back without fixing anything. Luckily, the next time we brought it in they were finally able to reproduce the issue and fix it.

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