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.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
99,259 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.

2003 Honda Civic brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Honda Civic Owner Comments

problem #10

Jun 012015


  • 126,738 miles


I was driving on 695 West high way baltimore, Maryland on June 1st in the afternoon as usual, all of sudden my car was out of control. I was trying to slow down the speed a bit, however my break was hardly to push down. I felt like something got stuck there. At the meantime, the accelerator seems not stop while I was pushing down the break, on the opposite it was increasing the speed... in general, the speed was slowing down but it was super slow. I could tell my car was in a super bad situation. I was very lucky that there weren't lot of cars near to me, I immediately turned on the emergency light and turned my car to the emergency lane. I finally made car reducing the speed to 20 mph while my car was in the emergency lane, but it was still moving that I had to make a emergency break and turned my car off. It was a horrible driving experience I never ever had. I sent my to the repair store, the result is the main problem of my car is the accelerator got stuck that effected the break couldn't slow down the speed, also my break had some issues too. I spent $1,699 to get my car fixed in the end. I think this problem shouldn't happen to any cars, its very dangerous and it will be a big possible to cause the car accident. I think Honda has to take a big responsibility of this incident, and to make sure all of Honda cars won't have this terrible issue.

- Towson, MD, USA

problem #9

Jan 022015


  • miles
Just had the brakes and a barring replaced in September 2014 and now I'm having the same problem with the brakes again but worse they are sticking and it's hard to get up to speed and the alignment keeps going out as well.

- Millerstown, PA, USA

problem #8

Sep 182014

Civic 4-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
While driving in a residential neighborhood at 30 mph and attempting to slow down the right rear wheel brake cylinder blew out causing a complete loss of brake fluid and concomitant loss of brakes. I had to coast to a stop using the hand brake to come to a final stop. Fortunately there were no cars in front of me. The car had to be towed to the dealer. The dealer indicated that in addition to the blown brake cylinder the right rear feed brake line was rusted and needed to be replaced. Had I been traveling in heavy traffic a collision would have occurred possibly resulting in serious bodily injury.

- Ellicott City, MD, USA

problem #7

May 232013


  • 173,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Honda Civic. While driving downhill at 55 mph, the brake pedal traveled to the floor when the brakes were engaged. The driver crashed into the rear of another vehicle. The driver side frontal air bags failed to deploy. The driver's head struck the windshield, which created a cut on his head and brain swelling. The driver received medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact received a recall notice for NHTSA campaign number: 14V353000 (air bags) after the crash occurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 173,000.

- Juncos , PR, USA

problem #6

Apr 122012

Civic 4-cyl

  • 30 miles
I just pulled out of parking lot onto road knowing that within the next 200 ft I was approaching stop light I was doing about 15-20 mph. I saw the car stopped for light and stepped on my brakes my car never attempted to slow down or stop until it impacted with rear of vehicle stopped at light. 2nd accident: As crossing intresection a car pulled over into my lane I applied brakes and car did not attempt to slow down or brakes work my car did not stop until it impacted with rear of vehicle in front of me.3rd accident: As pulling off from green light approaching traffic at next stop light cars started braking at which time I applied my brakes I was well within stopping distance if my brakes had worked. They went all the way to the floor and the car started sliding and it was as if the car picked up speed after hitting my brakes with both feet. My seat bealt did not work (I hit stearing wheel) nor did the air bag my car did not slow down or attempt to until impact with other vehicle rear bumper. Upon impact I hit the sterring wheel and my knee hit the dash.I have major damage to my vehicle the front bumper is tottally gone, the radiator blew up my car was smoking and the hood is bowed up. The car was not drivable. When the tow truck arrrived and actually saw the impact. He quickly stated " the breaks did not work in your car did they? " I was very surprised but he could actually tell my car did not stop or attempt to stop until impact with rear of other vehicle. And he stated he thought Honda had a recall on these for the brakes and air bags. This car has many recalls and complaints. I'm scared to get in the vehicle again! I need help and advise on what to do next. I do not want another person to go through what I have been through and could greatly lead to fatality. Very concerned about safety of 2003 Honda Civic! I need to know what to do with this vehicle!

- Greenville, SC, USA

problem #5

Jun 032014


  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Civic. While attempting to decelerate at an unknown speed, the contact depressed the brake pedal and it became stuck to the floorboard. The failure caused the contact to crash into the rear of another vehicle. The seat belts failed to restrain the contact and the front air bag failed to deploy. As a result, the contact sustained injuries to the head, neck and back. The second driver also sustained injuries. The contact received medical attention and a police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 82,000.

- Pittsburg, PA, USA

problem #4

Nov 152012

Civic 4-cyl

  • 91,325 miles


I got a recall notice (Nov. 2012) about 2003 Honda Civic's headlights failing. About a week later in the early morning as I was going to work, my car headlights failed as I left my driveway. I left the car at home and took another. On return from work I found both headlights out, no blown fuses, heater fan not working, both ABS and brake panel lights on. I scheduled repair at O'hare Honda, des plaines, il. I arrived at the service dept. With recall notice and also to have additional maintenance services. I left the car for them to work on it. Repair work done on invoice #410741 dated Nov.19, 2012. The service writer called me the next day and told me the brake light repair required the master cylinder to be replaced. I ok'd major work. Service writer called back to say the ABS module needed to be replaced too. I ok'd that repair at large cost also. When I picked up my car the service writer told me they "put in a free alternator as that too was bad". the headlight repair cost $1,877.77 ($1,326.17 for parts + $551.60 labor). I have been thinking about this repair and have come to the conclusion that the voltage regulator on the alternator failed and put a large surge on the electrical system of the car. This surge "fried" the electrics on the two brake parts and burned out the headlights. The "free" alternator should have been the clue to the cause of the problem. I don't understand why some device can not be installed into the electrical wiring system of the car to prevent this expensive and potentially dangerous failure. The final problem with this repair was that I had to immediately return to the dealer to have them install new headlight bulbs as they must not have checked them and they were still burned out. So much for quality control.

- Des Plaines, IL, USA

problem #3

Jun 192013

Civic 4-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
I live on a main road, so I was thankful that there was no heavy traffic at the time, that it luckily was minor, and no one was injured, however, this has the potential to cause fatality. As I was driving out of my driveway and turning right out onto the road, the steering wheel stuck in the turning right position and both steering and brakes failed to work causing me to crash into a parked car. I am not sure why the steering and brakes both failed like this? strangely, my car was driving fine after the incident as the police officer pulled it to the side of the road. It is smashed up and needs body work and possibly mechanical work. I did have it towed to the dealership, as I did not trust driving it after this happened, and I am not sure I will ever feel safe in this car. Currently, my insurance is taking care of it, but this was a malfunction on Honda's part and should be dealt with by Honda on all fronts, cosmetically, mechanically, financially, and most importantly so that this doesn't happen to someone else or me again. Otherwise, there is no justice or protection for the consumer! this could have potentially been and could be life threatening.

- Glenside, PA, USA

problem #2

May 122013

Civic 4-cyl

  • 100,500 miles
When driving down the road, the vehicles stopped. I applied my brakes and nothing happened. I then hit the vehicle in front of me. And my air bags on my vehicle did not deploy.

- El Mirage, AR, USA

problem #1

Mar 142012


  • 200,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Civic. The contact stated that while driving 50 mph, she tried to apply the brakes but the brake pedal erroneously traveled to the floorboard. The vehicle did not respond to braking attempts and as a result, the contact crashed into another vehicle. The air bags did not deploy and the vehicle was destroyed. The contact sustained no injuries. A police report filed of the incident. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic who advised that because the vehicle was destroyed, they could not determine the cause of the failure. The failure mileage was 200,000.

- Hercules, CA, USA

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