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:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
24,831 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 Civic drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2009 Honda Civic Owner Comments

problem #12

Apr 122012

Civic 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles


I brought a Honda Civic 2009 in 2012, April 12. The Honda was supposed to be sold with a power train warranty to bring car up to date for 36000 miles/3 yr. Honda did not offer an extended warranty for these purposes. They called a year later to see if we would then extend the vehicle to 120 miles. We had already purchased an additional warranty called assurance pay to paylink approx $112 mo. We were one payment to the last and Honda finally called, we purchased their warranty too. The car should have been automatic from the sale date. Door locks and ignition/cylinder work and other repairs such as break work have been performed on vehicle since. I am reporting unfair selling practices. Details and repair work will be submitted upon request. Thus vehicle safety issues upon purchase.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #11

Feb 152013


  • 89,500 miles
There is a loud clicking noise that has been consistent since the car was purchased used in 2013. The noise happens when cornering or turning at low speeds.

- Manhattan, KS, USA

problem #10

Mar 172014

Civic 4-cyl

  • 7,000 miles
While pulling into a parking space with foot on the brake pedal, the vehicle violently lunged forward into a block wall. The driver was unable to stop the vehicle by applying the brakes. The driver was hospitalized for 2 days.

- Danville, CA, USA

problem #9

Mar 092014

Civic 4-cyl

  • 42,100 miles


Right drive shaft popped out from the rear differential after switching gear from R to D while the driver was trying to get out of the drive way. The car went into roll in park situation. The car is at relative low mileage and have no previous accident. A faulty drive shaft assembly could be really dangerous if the incident was happened on the road.

- Fairport, NY, USA

problem #8

Jun 172013

Civic 4-cyl

  • 47,000 miles
While driving a chatter started under the hood. Drove it to our mechanic (1 to 2 miles away) and he said the steel bolt broke that holds the belt tensioner to the aluminum engine. Had it fixed and the same thing happened on August 8, 2013 while driving. This time the car shut down completely and I was able to safely stop it and call for a tow. Took it to the mechanic again and he said upon talking to Honda dealers, this happened in 2006 and 2007 and there was a recall for this problem. There is no recall yet for this problem for a 2009 Honda Civic and no permanent fix. I am concerned that the car just quits while in motion, the power steering is gone and the brake assist is gone, which puts life at risk. Can this be looked into?

- Valencia, PA, USA

problem #7

Dec 152010

Civic 4-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
I have a 2009 Honda Civic hybrid. After having the vehicle for less than 1 year I noticed that the battery began to suddenly drop it's state of charge (soc) during the first few miles of driving after the vehicle was parked for several hours. On sustained trips the vehicle will suddenly drop its charge about every 20 minutes. The safety issue is that when the vehicle suddenly loses it's state of charge (soc) there is a significant loss of acceleration. If the sudden loss of soc occurs at a time when you are pulling out into traffic, you find yourself being unable to accelerate to avoid the oncoming traffic. On several occasions I have pulled out into traffic with the soc reading 75% or higher, only to find that "at that exact moment", the vehicle decided to dump its charge. On several of those occasions I was nearly run into by the oncoming traffic. Honda replaced the battery in March 2010 and the problem went away, but after 6 months with the new battery, the problem returned. Honda refuses to replace the second battery, insisting that the vehicle is operating normally.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #6

Sep 082010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,605 miles


My 2009 (automatic) Honda Civic ex slipped into neutral four during the night. For the first three times, the driver would allow the RPM's to drop causing us to sit in traffic for an undefined period of time before returning the car to the drive position. On the fourth time this happened, driver and I were in a large parking lot making a right turn with a building about a football field away. About halfway through the turn, the car was placed back into drive from neutral and it began to drive itself. As the car accelerated faster and faster the driver tried to slam on the brakes many times without the pedal even budging or the car slowing down in the slightest way. When we tried to turn the steering wheel it locked up in a straight away position, causing the car to hit at least two large curbed medians and go airborne each time. Driver and I braced ourselves as the building came closer. We then hit the third and final curb, the car went airborne again slamming into the building at about six feet high on the wall. All airbags deployed, the passenger window shattered and windshield cracked. Immediately after the crash I proceeded to place the car into park when the shifter itself came out. The car was still trying to drive itself through the building when we crashed. The Civic was considered totaled and the insurance company is further investigating why this happened.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #5

Jan 172010


  • 6,750 miles
I currently am the lessee of a 2009 Honda Civic hybrid starting this January, the hybrid battery charge level goes from almost full (8-10 out of 10 bars) to virtually zero (1 bar) every other week (the technical term for this is a "recall" or recalibrating). This summer, it started happening every 3-4 days, and whenever I had the A/C on. Then, it started to happen every 100 miles (which made it very predictable). The problem is that when in the 'recall' state, the car is almost unresponsive and does not accelerate much, if at all. This poses a safety hazard especially when making left turns when the oncoming traffic has a blind spot, or is coming around a corner. It also impacts fuel efficiency substantially. I have seen about a 7 mile-per-gallon drop in fuel economy. I took the car to the dealer who told me that there were no codes in the system but there were 3 software updates, so they installed those and that if I still had the problem, to come back. I still have the problem so I schedule the appointment and I take the mechanic for a test drive and he sees the charge drop rapidly and states that it's completely normal. I argue that is happens too often and he still says "it's fine." About 3 weeks later the ima light and 'check engine' light come on. Turns out, it was a blown fuse (for the A/C electric drive, fuse #22) so they replace it, and tell me that they checked the current draw on the A/C just to be safe and claimed everything was fine. Now, about 2 weeks later, every time I start the car it does a recall. This is beyond annoying and now I'm starting to see drops of about 10 mpg because of this problem, as opposed to the previous 6 or 7. I'm thinking that Honda knows that their nimh battery cells are prone to premature failure and will not do anything to fix the issue.

- Oakhurst, NJ, USA

problem #4

Mar 312009


  • 22,010 miles
Check engine and check ima light illuminated. Ima battery dropped to lowest power level. Battery level stayed low and both lights remained on 2 days. Dealer performed an update to ima firmware and lights went off however battery performs recall check at least twice daily. Mpg have dropped 6 mpg in the week following the check ima error. Dealer now states there is no issue. I still have no assist power from battery and vehicle is in constant charge mode.

- Lilburn, GA, USA

problem #3

Dec 012009


  • miles
Hello, I have a 2009 Honda Civic. Evry time I drive it for more then an hour or so, the gear shift base where the N, rf etc is written, gets hot. Also, the instrument panel where the cd player is gets really hot. The dealer tells me it is ok, there is no problem. I find it hard to believe as I don't want to be on the hwy with my family and the car catches on fir or something. How could this be normal. Please help.

- Piscataway, NJ, USA

problem #2

Oct 282009


  • 9,000 miles
Car has intermittent hesitation after coming to a complete stop, problem appears more often in 90 + degree weather, which is common in my home state of Florida. Dealer checked car and was unable to find a problem. Problem is still there, and can be a major safety issue if the car were to hesitate at the wrong moment. Problem has been present for months now, this is a 2009 Honda Civic 4 door sedan (ex-L navi model).

- Winter Haven, FL, USA

problem #1

May 232009


  • 8,003 miles
Sudden acceleration surge, to the point of having to completely hold the brake with both feet. At one point, after putting car into neutral, the engine revved to 7000 RPM before owner could turn car off. The initial surging resulted in the owner's wife hitting her passenger mirror against another vehicle when the engine surged while in reverse. There was no category for the vehicle ECU, which is quite suspect at this point.

- Golden, CO, USA

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