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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,280 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2009 Honda Civic Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Oct 022014


  • 380,033 miles


Replaced ignition switch that locked up after 3 yrs

- Riverdale, GA, USA

problem #22

Jul 012016


  • miles
TPMS indicator is always on. Have taken to dealer to get service but they have said it's an electrical glitch cannot be fixed. This presents a safety issue if a real problem occurs not knowing when tires need adjustment.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #21

Nov 062015


  • miles
The center (interior) brake light works intermittently. Many others have had same problem. Only affects ex model led light assembly. It is unsafe and costly fix. It should be recalled.

- Westlake Village, CA, USA

problem #20

Feb 052012


  • 45,000 miles


I was hit on the passenger side of the car by an SUV. The repairs were with genuine Honda parts but ever since then the front controls where the radio is has been extremely hot. Almost to the point I think I burn my hands to change the radio station. I think it may be hot enough to start a fire with melting the controls in the back. I have been told there is nothing that can be done or it will cost me a lot of money to diagnose it. I just see it as a safety issue to have the dash so hot it burns people. The passenger airbag did not deploy in the crash and possibly should have.

- Cottage Grove , MN, USA

problem #19

May 032012

Civic 4-cyl

  • 63,300 miles
1.)taken care car well since purchasing new 2.)Honda not start in morning 1A.) no response from car when turn key 3.)aaa personnel arrived to jump battery 4.)battery jumped- on spot E-diagnostic check performed 3A.) diagnostic revealed battery "drain" 5.)while being checked with technician engine "hissed" & car turned off 4A.) attempted to start car- hard start, hiss and shutdown 6.)took car to independent mechanic 6A.) mechanic performed thorough diagnostic check 6B.) diagnostic check reveal problems could be one/more of following: Fuse, wire, battery, computer or computer software. 6C.) mechanic felt he narrowed to battery, computer and/or computer software 6D.) battery was changed and car tested. Car performed as should (1/2 day) 6E.) mechanic advised to listen to car after turning off engine as car still may be running. If engine still running mechanic advised problem deeper than battery 6F.) mechanic also found problems with engine running too hot/long, freon & coolant being used at high rate. Mechanic refilled freon. 7.)2 days after battery change, took key out of ignition, car engine/fans still running 2-3 minutes after 8.)took car to Honda dealer (where purchased). Dealer mechanic performed diagnostic check. 8A.) Honda mechanic stated diagnostic check revealed defect with "whole car" computer software 8B.) Honda mechanic stated defect caused the engine to have difficulty self-regulating (e.g. too much/little coolant and freon run higher/hotter in addition to running after key taken out of ignition (as stated earlier)) 8C.) to patch, Honda mechanic downloaded "new software" to car computer 8D.) new software was supposed regulate engine 9.)following week engine had hard start 10.)this week (21-25 May 2012) engine not stop after removing key from ignition for several minutes (6E- above).

- Kettering, OH, USA

problem #18

Dec 142009


  • 8,000 miles
The integrated motor assist (ima) system in my 2009 Honda Civic hybrid erratically charges and discharges hybrid battery pack, causing serious drivability issues. The problem first developed at about 8000 miles when the original hybrid battery pack failed. Replacement of the hybrid battery pack and numerous attempts to re-program the ima control software have not corrected the problem. It has continued and worsened through the present mileage of about18000. Acceleration continues to be hesitant, jerky, and extremely weak without the hybrid system operating correctly. The car is dangerous to drive on the interstate because the ima system may be charging a low hybrid battery even when acceleration is needed. In those circumstances there is no power available to accelerate the car. This is opposite of the way the ima should work. In addition, gas mileage has dropped from an average of 43 mpg when the car was new to an average of 34 mpg. The vehicle has been into a Honda dealership 7 times over 20 months for work on this problem. The Honda service technicians have described the car as scary to drive and stated I've never seen one do that before?. american Honda claims the car is operating as designed and will authorize no further work. With its poor service history, Honda dealers are not interested in taking the car in on trade, leading to a substantial loss of value.

- Haslett, MI, USA

problem #17

Jun 252011

Civic 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


I own a 2009 Honda Civic hybrid. I've had issues with low power and halting acceleration due to low battery conditions accompanied with the dash engine light coming on. Honda dealership has applied software updates to my vehicle to address this twice, but those simply trade mileage for battery life, degrading the value of a hybrid. I believe that the ima battery has known problems and that Honda is not addressing the issue. I'm afraid to merge onto highways with a low battery due to the lack of power and acceleration.

- Ijamsville, MD, USA

problem #16

Apr 302011


  • 33,300 miles
My 2009 Honda Civic LX is having a hard time starting.

- Rolla, MO, USA

problem #15

Oct 132010


  • 9,800 miles
Honda is calling in hch owners for a software update to "preserve the battery." The result of this software update essentially shuts the ima battery down frequently, leaving the car to run on just the motor which was intended to run with the ima. Aside from the "switch and bate" issues (mileage dropped below a standard Civic), the safety issue involved is a frequent lack of acceleration capability, especially on an incline or merging into traffic.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #14

Oct 192009

Civic 4-cyl

  • 11,962 miles
TL * the contact owns a 2009 Honda Civic hybrid. The contact stated that the electronic motor assist warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the battery was replaced and the software was updated. The contact noticed after repairs that the vehicle would drive sluggish and there was limited acceleration power. He stated that the electronic motor assist did not assist with the acceleration of the vehicle as intended. The vehicle was not repaired. The current and failure mileage was 11,962. Updated 12/08/10

- Alexandria , VA, USA

problem #13

Jul 262010


  • 11,785 miles


While braking, the car starts to regenerate (charge the hybrid battery) and then a short burst of assist (electrical drive from the hybrid battery) while my foot is on the brake. This happens about twice a week and is extremely dangerous since I sometimes get into stop-and-go traffic. This means that I could be braking and the car will accelerate, possibly hitting the car in front of mine.

- Oakhurst, NJ, USA

problem #12

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 #11

Jun 222010


  • 12,900 miles
1. the car would not turn over when you turn the key after the car had been driving for a while. 2. came out one morning and car would not turn over called aaa and dealer, checked the battery green light was bright got car to start and went to dealer, 3. they said starter was bad and replaced with a new one under warranty. About 3 to 4 weeks later problem came back and was able to start car and took to dealer again and this time they could not find any problem they just noted it and awaiting for the issue to happen again.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #10

Dec 092009

Civic 4-cyl

  • 9,815 miles
2009 Honda Civic hybrid. Consumer requests immediate replacement of a defective battery pack. The consumer stated the (ima) integrated motor assist light illuminated. The diagnosis indicated a battery condition monitor module intermittent malfunction. The light illuminated again two months later. Although, each visit resulted in electrical repairs with specific code reviews, recalibrations, clearance and resetting, the underlying condition still has not been resolved.

- Hyattsville, MD, USA

problem #9

Feb 132010


  • 7,065 miles
I have owned a 2009 Honda Civic hybrid since 12/8/08 and have had numerous problems with the battery and the hybrid system. On October 5, 2009, as I was entering an on-ramp in arlington, va, the ima system completely failed and the regular internal combustible engine (ice) revved to over 4500 RPM to provide power on the on-ramp due to there being no ima assistance. Without the hybrid power assist, I was nearly hit by other traffic. At that time, the ima warning light and check engine light illuminated. I brought the vehicle to ourisman and they spent several days getting a new ima battery system ordered and installed, claiming there was a bad cell in the 10-month old ima battery. In Nov and Dec 09, I discovered the car battery dead twice in the garage. On the night of February 13, 2010, the electrical system (battery and hybrid drive) failed on a busy street off of military rd, nw. The car was backing out of a driveway into the road when it completely died. As there was no power for hazard lights, I personally directed traffic around the dead car until I could get a jump. After a battery jump, I tried to charge the battery for a time, but when I put the car into reverse, the car died again and I had to get a second jump. 15 minutes later, I disconnected the cables and drove to ourisman Honda in bethesda, md. On the way, the vehicle almost died twice but I was able to get the car to ourisman Honda. They replaced the battery, but a week later on February 23, 2010, the car died again and I was barely able to get it to ourisman Honda for service again. After several days, they identified the problem as being with the relay near the hybrid system. The car still acts strangely and they hybrid assist does not work as well as it used to. Acceleration is not normal, the hybrid assist does not come on at normal times, and there are incidents of acceleration and engine revving when I release the gas to brake before a stop sign.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #8

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 #7

Dec 272009


  • 14,077 miles
Daughter was driving to work on 27 Dec 09. On her way she began to smell smoke in vehicle, but attributed it to the outside air. Upon arriving at work, she went into the building put her personnel items away and went outside. A few of her co-workers told her that her car alarm was going off. She went back into the building to retrieve her keys, went to her car and found out that the alarm had stopped, but there was smoke in the car. At that time she open her trunk and found an open flame fire in the vicinity of the passenger side rear speaker. At which time she called geico (employer) security, called 911 and security put out the flame with a hand held fire extinguisher. Vehicle was returned to hughes Honda, warner robins, ga on 28 Dec 09 for disposition. Later that day I was informed by the service manager that he could not do anything and I needed to contact american Honda. American Honda than informed me that this was not their problem and that they were not going to communicate with me and/or do anything about this and that I needed to report the claim to state farm insurance. Multiple attempts by myself and state farm led to Honda not responding to any request and a decision was made on 21 Jan 10 that state farm was going to get the vehicle repaired at central Georgia collision, but I was going to have to tell hughes Honda to release the car to them. I went by hughes Honda at 1115 hours 21 Jan 10 to inform them of such and was told by the service manager (by cell phone) that Honda had removed my car and was going to take care of the problem. Talked to general manager and owner of hughes Honda on 29 Jan 10 and told them that this was not acceptable in that no one had investigated and informed me of where the fire started, what the ignition source was, how this impacts diminshed value and was the car safe. Picked up car on 4 Feb 10, with Honda informing me that this was all they were willing to do and the only reason the car was repaired by them was to get parts.

- Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #6

Dec 042009


  • 13,300 miles
2009 Honda Civic hybrid ima and engine light on, service recoded the ECU and gas mileage has gone down to 24. Battery was replaced and engine was recoded twice again and still the mileage is down to 24. I have found service bulletins on the car for batteries and excessive high temperatures. Car has been to the service center three times for this same concern. 12/04/09, 12/10/09 and 12/14/09, all for ima light on.

- Piqua, OH, USA

problem #5

Dec 152009


  • 4,032 miles
Twice now our 2009 Honda Civic LX has failed to start when we turn the key. The battery light comes on as if the battery is dead. Both times, I tapped the gas and the car started with no problems. Also both occurrences happened when our weather was very cold. This is our first winter with this new car and it would be really horrible if this were to be an on-going issue. We have an appointment to take it to the dealership under warranty to check the battery but like the above complaints, I have a feeling they will find nothing wrong. The car runs fine once it finally starts. My husband stated that tapping the gas on a fuel injection car is not good but it seems like this is the only way to start the car. We have had this car maybe 6 months and we don't drive constantly. I drive to work which is about 3 miles away and only part time.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #4

Jul 302009


  • 121 miles
I purchased a new 2009 Honda Civic LX-S from heritage Honda of westminster, md on 7/30/2009 for my 18 year old daughter's birthday. During the test drive the vehicle operated fine with no apparent issues. Upon leaving the dealership (with my 3 children and wife as occupants) and as my daughter pulled on to Maryland route 140 from the dealership lot, the engine stopped. She tried to restart the engine, however there was no response. You could hear the starter solenoid chattering like it would if the battery was near dead. This left the car stalled with 3/4 of the vehicle sitting in the right lane of a heavily traveled, 4 lane divided highway with other vehicles traveling 45 + mph approaching, leaving the (now terrified) occupants lives in danger. Several attempts were made to restart the car without success. The car had to be pushed to safety by myself (I was following in another car) and another dealership customer. It is truly amazing given the volume of traffic which travels this divided highway that my family walked away from this incident with only emotional trauma. I then took the car to the vehicle service department where they diagnosed the battery as defective (internally shorted). The battery was replaced by the dealer and as of this time the car is functioning normally. I know that having this happen with a new battery is very rare. There is however the risk that Honda has many more vehicles out there on the road or on dealer lots yet to be sold, which have batteries with similar defects.

- Hampstead, MD, USA

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