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:
8 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
14,993 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Honda Civic Owner Comments

problem #16

Dec 182014

Civic 4-cyl

  • 22,000 miles


While trying to pull into an isle of a parking lot for the purpose of finding a parking space, the engine suddenly accelerated on its own and out of control spinning around, jumping a curb and crashing into a tree, and four other automobiles parked on the parking lot causing property damage to five automobiles including my automobile.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #15

Mar 172014

Civic 4-cyl

  • 70,559 miles
The contact owned a 2009 Honda Civic. The contact parked the vehicle and it accelerated on its own. The vehicle traveled approximately fourteen feet and crashed into a wall of a building. The air bags failed to deploy. The contact sustained a fractured sternum and moderate bruising on the chest, shoulder, and foot. Medical attention was required and a police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed and the manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 70,559.

- Danville , CA, USA

problem #14

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 #13

Nov 292011

Civic 4-cyl

  • 26,526 miles


The vehicle purchased new from a Honda dealership in waukesha wis. On 11-28-2008. One yr. After purchase we noticed the engine would suddenly accelerate, when backing up, braking. The engine would suddenly accelerated for no apparent reason. The driver would need to depress the brake pedal with greater force, and then shift auto. Trans into neutral. We took it back to the dealer 3 separate times, and they indicated they were unable to find the problem. On one occasion per their suggestion we purchased the rubber all weather Honda floor mats at a cost of $110. I doubted this would fix the problem. In November 2011 the same problem was experienced a fourth time in a parking lot. While waiting in a parking lot the engine accelerated suddenly, and more pressure was applied to the brake pedal and shift into neutral. I notified the dealership of the continuing problem. On 11-29-2011 we left the Civic at the dealer, and wayne nicklas the (ahm) would also examine the car with a mechanic. The mileage was 26,526. Mr. Nicklas met with us. He explained how they checked the tire depth, pressure, and the overall condition of the car. I then asked for specifics about the sudden acceleration, and he indicated they were unable to find the problem. According to Mr. Nicklas, there was no abnormal engine code, and it was possible that the problem did not occur long enough for the computer to record it. He denied other similar problems reported with Civics. We found similar consumer complaints filed on web sites with Civics involved in accidents. It was suggested we trade in the vehicle. We felt unsafe in continuing to operate the vehicle. The Honda dealer left us hanging, and offered us no further help with trading in the vehicle. We incurred a substantial loss when we traded in the Civic at another dealership. Research found this is not an isolated issue by any means.

- Big Bend, WI, USA

problem #12

May 052011

Civic 4-cyl

  • 4,800 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Honda Civic. While driving approximately 5 mph, the vehicle abnormally accelerated. The contact applied both the foot and emergency brakes, and removed the key from the ignition but the vehicle would not stop accelerating. The contact crashed into a preceding vehicle and substantial damage was done to the front end. A police report was filed. The failure recurred five times intermittently. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and a technician inspected the vehicle but was unable to diagnose the failure. The technician advised the contact to place the vehicle in neutral should the failure recur. The approximate failure mileage was 4,800. Updated 07/21/11 the consumer stated there were N injuries. 08/01/11

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #11

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 #10

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 #9

Jun 212010


  • 5,700 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Honda Civic. The contact was driving approximately 2 mph in a parking space and attempted to engage the brake pedal. Suddenly, her foot was trapped underneath the accelerator pedal causing the vehicle to crash into a pole. The contact stated that the manufacturer installed the accelerator pedal in an extremely high elevated position from the floor which was a safety defect. There were no injuries. A police report was not filed. The front end of the vehicle was completely damaged. The vehicle was towed to an auto collision center with the repair cost of $5,196.34. The failure mileage was approximately 5,700.

- Levittown, NY, USA

problem #8

Jun 012010


  • 13,000 miles
2009 Honda Civic hybrid was coming to a stop in traffic. The ima went from charge to assist while braking (foot on the brake pedal), lurching the car forward (tires locked up). Same event happened 5 minutes later. Dropped of at dealer the next day, but they have not been able to reproduce the surge. American Honda called and said they will not address an issue if the dealer can not reproduce the failure. They ask for the car to be driven home.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #7

Mar 152010


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Honda Civic. The contact stated that while driving 1 mph with her foot on the brake pedal, the vehicle suddenly accelerated. The vehicle crashed into the front door of the contacts house. She shifted into reverse but the vehicle continued to accelerate, spun around and crashed into another vehicle. The contact was able to engage the emergency brake and shift into park; the rpms increased excessively; however, a bystander helped her turn the vehicle off. There were no injuries but a police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer to be repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 10,000.

- Pembroke Pines , FL, USA

problem #6

Feb 082009


  • 400 miles


TL contact owns a 2009 Honda Civic. The contact was driving out of a parking lot. There was pressure applied to the brake pedal with partial pressure to the accelerator pedal. A sudden and unexpected acceleration occurred. The driver was able to slow down. The identical failures occurred on five separate occasions. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer. The technician stated the vehicle was operating properly. The failure mileage was 400. The VIN was unavailable.

- Reno, NV, USA

problem #5

Sep 132009


  • miles
My 2009 Honda Civic is a dangerous car to drive. I took it to the dealer pointing out the dangerous symptoms described in the next paragraph. A test drive there confirmed the experience. The mechanic subsequently ¿adjusted the computer¿ to eliminate the problem. It did not help. Thus this letter. Here are the symptoms. At idle, or very little gas, the engine sometimes speeds up some 200 RPM to 400 RPM and holds it for a second or a few before dropping back to idle RPM, whatever the idle RPM may have been. This can happen while stationary or moving, going forward or in reverse, cold or hot. I am talking about a situation with the right foot on the brake pedal or on no pedal, hands off the steering wheel, air-conditioning off. I know that the RPM change could be caused by the air-conditioning engaging for cooling or for defogging/defrosting and/or for the power steering pump engaging. But this happens without a cause which makes the change in RPM not only annoying but also dangerous as there is no way one could get ¿used¿ to the idiosyncrasy. I should like to point out that these ¿engagements¿ should not cause an appreciable RPM change in any car, and most of my cars I owned were indeed free of this. The 2009 Civic not only reacts to those engagements but also changes RPM entirely on its own. And it is also inconsistent, as the ¿extra pull¿ of the engine may or may occur on every drive. The random RPM increase is dangerous in the sense that with the foot on the brake lightly, the car moves before I can catch up and press harder. The RPM and the car speed change happens also when the car is in an idle motion such as driving across a parking lot. You can feel it accelerating for no reason only to slag back a few yards later. It occurs even during or at the end of the travel the length of the garage. A bad news for the rear wall.

- West Hartford, CT, USA

problem #4

Dec 162009


  • 22,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Honda Civic. While idling at a stop sign the engines RPM's began to rapidly increase, and then the vehicle began to accelerate. Consequently he rear-ended another vehicle. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealership. The current and failure mileages were 22000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #3

Oct 272009

Civic 4-cyl

  • 12,329 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Honda Civic hybrid. When he applied pressure to the accelerator pedal while entering a parking space, the vehicle accelerated without intention. The vehicle jumped the roadway curb. The engine had to be turned off to discontinue vehicle acceleration. The manufacturer was notified of the malfunction. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for inspection. The technician was unable to duplicate the failure. The failure mileage was 12,329. The current mileage was 13,000. Updated 11/23/09. Updated 11/24/29

- Manassas, VA, USA

problem #2

May 202009


  • 12,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Honda Civic hybrid. While driving approximately 55 to 60 mph on normal road conditions there was pressure applied to the brake pedal, followed by a squealing noise and the vehicle lunged forward violently. The aggressive force caused the seat belt to secure the driver extremely tight. There were no personal injuries. The contact was able to operate the vehicle without any restrictions; however, the identical failures occurred two months later while driving on an incline. The technician stated that the vehicle was functioning properly and there were no resolutions. The contact is aware of the safety the safety risk involved. The failure mileage was 12,000 and the current mileage was 15,000.

- Mechanicsburg, PA, USA

problem #1

Oct 232008


  • miles
While driving after the cruise control has been set, it does not stay at the speed you have selected. I was going down a road that wasn't down hill and the car accelerated on it's own. I had set cruise at 55 and before I knew it, it had accelerated to 80 and would not maintain the desired speed. Luckily, I was on the road by myself and no one was involved in an accident. The car has been owned about three weeks and has less than 800 miles on it.

- Matthews, NC, USA

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