Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: The 2009 Honda Accord has several serious defects: poor brakes, excessive oil consumption, & uncomfortable seats.

BRAKES: There was a class action lawsuit against Honda in 2010 for premature & excessive brake wear. See our page on Honda's brake problems for more info.

OIL CONSUMPTION: Honda issued a TSB about this in late 2011, claiming it could be fixed through a software update to the VCM (variable cylinder management). There are class action lawsuits pending. See our page about the Accord oil consumption.

UNCOMFORTABLE SEATS: Owners have consistently reported uncomfortable seats with the entire 8th generation (2008-2012) of Honda Accords. Complaints range from back pain to leg circulation problems due to bad lumbar support, cushioning, & seat angle. Complaints aren't limited to only a certain body type -- the seat comfort problems are from a wide spectrum of owner height & weight. The common theme we hear is "we never noticed this during the test drive." Unfortunately for unwary buyers, the seat pain is noticeable after 15-20 minutes.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,875 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2009 Honda Accord engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #10

Jul 012011


  • 45,000 miles


The car is equipped with the V6 engine that has vcm (variable cylinder management). I have read several different reasons for the problem at hand but, the car is consuming far more oil than it should. From the consuming of the oil it is also causing spark plugs to foul. There are tons of forums online with people that have the same complaint as well as a class action law suit that was filed sometime in 2012. From everything I have read from researching the problem, Honda either denies there is a problem with the vehicle, supposedly installs some computer upgrade that doesn't fix the problem, tells people their engine needs to be rebuilt, is told they need to run a different type of oil, or like myself was told that it is completely normal for these engines to consume 1 quart of oil per 1000 miles driven. Its seems as though there is a problem with the valves or valve seals sealing off completely. It is a well known problem yet Honda is not doing anything to remedy the problem.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #9

Jan 012012

Accord 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
My 2009 Honda Accord has a grinding noise that occurs when the ignition is activated from a cold start. The noise lasts for approximately two seconds and sounds like the timing belt system is ratcheting into place. This only occurs on a cold start, meaning the engine has not been running for 4 or more hours. I have had this problem for over a year. An internet search located Honda service bulletin 09-010 dated 08/17/10 and then updated on 10/21/11. The safety bulletin describes the variable valve timing control (vtc) actuator as being, "defective". additional internet search identified that the grinding noise was common with the 2009 Accord. I spoke with my dealer, huge white Honda, columbus, Ohio. The dealership agreed with my diagnosis and noted that Honda was aware of the problem, but had not issued a recall on the vtc actuator. Further, the dealer noted that Honda issued a 2011 software update on the 2009 Accord to address complaints of excessive oil consumption. A September 2011 notice from Honda is titled "product update: Software update to improve fuel-injector and vtc timing" the notice states that the fuel injector timing and vtc timing at cold start may create deposits on the oil control rings that could contribute to increased oil consumption." The dealership confirmed that my car had the software update. The dealer argues that the update is separate from the current grinding noise and that the vtc actuator has failed. The dealership could not explain why my grinding noise appears to have started after the 2011 software update was completed. Based on the foregoing, I am forwarding this complaint. I believe there is some evidence to indicate the vtc actuator is defective as being not suited for its intended purpose.

- Grove City, OH, USA

problem #8

Mar 052013

Accord 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
Excessive motor oil consumption approximately 2 quarts for 850 miles.

- Valley Stream, NY, USA

problem #7

Oct 072011

Accord 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles


Driving on highway at 55 mpg noticed vibration coming from engine. Felt like engine mounts had failed. When I pulled into our home driveway it felt like I was driving a diesel powered car. I noticed oil light glowing. Checked oil level, nothing showed on dip stick. Under 3000 miles since last oil check. Took to dealer and complained. Checked for oil leaks-none. Flashed engine management with upgrade said service bulletin from Honda should fix issue. Kept checking oil levels at each gas fill up. Noticed a quart of oil used around every thousand miles of mixed driving. By 50,000 that had dropped to using a quart of oil every 600 miles and by 56,000 miles a quart of oil every 500 miles. Engine ran rough all the time and blew smoke. No visible engine leaks from dye test. Engine oil would turn black within 1000 miles after an oil change at dealer. Dealer instigated oil consumption test every 1000 miles. Used 2.5 quarts of oil. At 58,000 miles dealer received permission to replace motor with new short block from Honda and remanufacture heads with all new parts. This was after dealer tore down the motor and confirmed it was shot. Scored bore and destroyed rings, and black oil sludge in motor. Engine oil had been replaced at dealer within Honda recommended intervals. Never heard of a Honda motor failing at 58,000 miles in my life. New motor runs great and car is like new again. I'm glad the engine failed within the 60,000 drivetrain warranty. It would have been thousands of dollars to replace if Honda did not come through with a new engine. Reading on the internet that this is an all to common problem with 2008, 2009 4cyl engines. There should be a recall of these engines, as in the 2011 model year Honda upgraded engine parts and the new motors do not display the same problems as I experienced with my engine.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #6

Sep 012012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
Check engine light came on. Brought to dealer, oil low. Tech B. had already been issued, and suggested work completed at that visit. Problem persists, using 2 /12 to 3 qts oil between changes.

- Rehoboth, MA, USA

problem #5

Jan 262012


  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the engine consumed oil excessively. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician was unable to diagnose the failure and stated that the vehicle was functioning properly. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 20,000 and the current mileage was 34,000.

- Chicopee, MA, USA

problem #4

Dec 122012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 57,000 miles


Purchased a used 2009 Honda Accord from carmax in madison Tennessee. In Dec. 2012 check engine light came on. No oil in engine. 2009, 6 cylinder V-tech. Have monitored the oil consumption after dealer overfilled, with pictures of overfill, with milage and various pictures of the dip stick. This engine has an eco system. No permanent damage but dealer encourages an oil change every 4000 miles and not what is in the manual.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #3

Oct 122011

Accord 6-cyl

  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Honda Accord. The contact was driving 55 mph when the vehicle began jerking. The check engine light illuminated on the instrument panel and as she decelerated to a stop, the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis who stated that they needed to replace the spark plug wire. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 54,000 and the current mileage was 60,000. Updated 09/11/12 the consumer stated the same thing happen in July of 2012. The spark plug was replaced. The vehicle was also low on oil. An oil consumption test was performed. Updated 09/14/2012

- Red Bud, IL, USA

problem #2

Jun 132012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
Sitting at red light waiting for turn signal, car begins to rough idle. Upon turn and acceleration, car spits, sputters, jerks, jolts and would not accel properly. Engine light begins blinking. Motor runs/idles very rough. Next morning on drive in to local dealership, vsa light illuminates and stays illuminated. Car still idles and runs very rough, spitting and sputtering etc. Dealership inspects car. Dealership determines the mount of oil in the car is too low. No evidence of oil leaks. Dealership consults with Honda. Oil consumption test is now recommended. I am to return the car to the Honda dealership to check the oil level at 1,000 miles intervals for an unspecified period of time. This consumption will be forwarded to Honda to determine what "fix" will be recommended. Internet search provides endless identical complaints with no resolution from Honda or dealerships.

- Chesnee, SC, USA

problem #1

Jun 122012


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph, the check engine light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis and it was determined that the vehicle was burning an excessive amount of oil. The dealer was not sure why the failure was occurring but recommended having an oil consumption test performed. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 78,000. The VIN was not available.

- Macon, GA, USA

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