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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
74,229 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.

2005 Honda Civic Hybrid drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2005 Honda Civic Hybrid Owner Comments

problem #17

Mar 012016

Civic Hybrid

  • 80,000 miles


My 2005 Honda Civic hybrid is experiencing a shudder with momentary loss of power upon acceleration from a stationary position. Vehicle has been taken to Honda dealership for a clutch burnishing procedure. This temporarily fixed the problem for approximately 3000-4000 miles. Problem has returned and has become a safety concern as there is momentary loss of acceleration power during the shudder event. Dealership insists on charging for another burnishing procedure though it is outlined in a technical notice. This shuddering happens upon every acceleration from a stationary position. It is not intermittent and can be felt every time I accelerate.

- Addison, IL, USA

problem #16

Nov 102014

Civic Hybrid

  • 98,900 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Honda Civic hybrid. While driving approximately 10 mph, the transmission made a loud noise and the vehicle started jerking violently. The dealer stated there was a vibration in the transmission (cvt). The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 98,900. Updated 1/23/15

- Hartford, WI, USA

problem #15

Nov 012014

Civic Hybrid

  • 189,000 miles
It lurches for it will accel when you don't want it to. Has trouble to shift into another gear loud noises. Was driving down the highway and I turned on the cruise control an accelerated faster than when I program data entry of the RPM's up. Had to step on the brakes a couple times to get it to stop doing that almost hit two vehicles I do all the transmission fluid changes recommended and oil. These are great cars but these problems that need to be addressed.

- West Warren, MA, USA

problem #14

Jun 282014

Civic Hybrid 4-cyl

  • miles


Certified Honda service locations would suggest replacing the entire transmission at a substantial cost this issue has notable safety hazards as it limits drivers' abilities to accelerate at low speeds, particularly to avoid a collision. This issue should be investigated as it still impacts many vehicles on the road in the us. I tried to trade this car in for a newer Honda civic and they degraded my cars value due to the transmission issues. I did not make the defective part they did and want me to pay for it. This is wrong for Honda do consumers this way.

- Weaver, AL, USA

problem #13

Jun 232014

Civic Hybrid

  • 42,500 miles
Since about 42,500 miles, this car has done something being called juddering when accelerating from stop. Sometimes it is more severe than others, which means I cannot predict how my car will accelerate. This is a very dangerous condition that I thought was unique to my car. Upon further reading, it is clear that Honda has an issue they need to fix. There have been times where the judder is so sever that it takes me up to 6 seconds to actually start to accelerate. That is extremely dangerous!! I will try (yet again) to see if the dealership will help get this taken care of once and for all, but I doubt they care.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #12

Jun 182014

Civic Hybrid

  • 103,000 miles
I have tried on several occasions to have Honda honor its service bulletin to 'fix' the judder/slippage issue described in service bulletin tsb 07-049. Just like other complaints made here and on other forums online, the procedure that Honda America prescribes does not fix this problem. Most certified Honda service locations would suggest replacing the entire transmission at a substantial cost or continue driving with this issue until power train failure. This issue has notable safety hazards as it limits drivers' abilities to accelerate at low speeds, particularly to avoid a collision. This issue should be investigated as it still impacts many vehicles on the road in the us.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #11

Nov 082013

Civic Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles


My vehicle has what Honda has titled "a slip and judder" that occurs in the transmission and causes failure to accelerate from a stop or slow speeds. Honda issued a recall of 1st generation models of 2003-2005 Civic hybrids in Japan to resolve this issue. However, they only issued a limited warranty extension for these cars in United States. The resolution Honda recommends does not remediate this failure. Honda recommends burnishing the starter clutch and changing the transmission fluid. Independent mechanics recommend replacing the starter clutch and bearings which is substantially more costly. It would seem that Honda equipped these vehicles with a substandard transmission unable to accommodate the weight of the vehicle. The transmission fails with additional passengers not only during needed acceleration points, but also when driving on inclines. This failure causes danger when acceleration is needed to avoid collisions and/or when entering a freeway. Countless complaints of this same issue is easily found on many automotive websites with owners reporting between 100,000 and 20,000 odometer miles. It is my opinion that this dangerous condition should be investigated to insure the safety of the drivers and passengers of these vehicles as well as those driving alongside them. I have little doubt that this condition has been a factor in collisions and will increase over time. In simple terms, one could liken this response to a drivers foot slipping off the gas pedal while accelerating.

- Mission Viejo, CA, USA

problem #10

Mar 162013

Civic Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 40,500 miles
A friend was driving us back home on the highway at speeds of 55-65 miles per hour, getting on an off ramps. She is an experienced driver and it was the first time she had driven my car. She told me that the steering wheel was very wobbly, the car was shaking and she felt she had no control over the vehicle; she had trouble steering. I had several incidents after that when I had start-up/judder vibration and extreme grinding when accelerating from a stop. It felt like the car was slipping out of gear. Honda determined the cvt transmission was bad; it was classified as slip/judder in Honda's service bulletins 07-049 and 07-050 but I never received a recall notice. Honda paid 50% of the cost of replacing the clutch in September 2013 but the severe acceleration/slipping problems continued and within a week of having the clutch replaced I sold the car. I had bought it used with 28K miles on it; I sold it when it had 41K miles (I had driven it only 12K miles in six years and took a big loss on the sale). I was afraid I would have a terrible accident in it as it was absolutely unsafe. When I told Honda I was still having these problems after the clutch replacement they told me to take it back to the dealer again; this had been four months of dealing with cvt transmission problems and I had spent enormous amounts of time on trying to fix a known Civic hybrid defect so I traded in the car.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #9

Sep 022013

Civic Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
Several months ago, I notice my car would shudder/ judder when it starts to drive/go. Then I read online that it is happening to quite a few cars from 2003 to 2005 experiencing this problem. I bought a extend warranty (7 years) but the Honda dealership will not honor anything anymore. I recommend there just be a recall on this issue. It's dangerous situation.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #8

Aug 052013

Civic Hybrid 4-cyl

  • miles
In 2007 a Honda dealership conducted upgrades to my 2005 Honda Civic hybrid computer system without my consent. It was in the dealership for recall notices. Immediately my gas mileage went from 52mpg to 26mpg. The dealership refused to correct the problem. The dealership said the upgrade to the computer system should not have diminished the mpg. 2012 the transmission went out in the car, I got the run around by the dealership on why the transmission went out. I was misdirected by a transmission company that said they could rebuild my transmission. The Honda dealership had to step in to track down issues with the new transmission. Honda refused to accept responsibility for bad transmission parts. 2013 the ima and check engine lights are on. I am unable to register my vehicle due to the ima and check engine light disqualify my car from passing a smog test. The 2007 computer system upgrade caused my ima system to malfunction for years by not holding a charge causing low mpg. Now the ima/battery pack is malfunctioning to the point it has to be replaced. Honda refuses to accept the responsibility of their mistakes and fix my ima system.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #7

Sep 012008

Civic Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 34,000 miles


The transmission started "juddering" (slipping from start) early on at around 30K miles. The fluid was then changed and it would be fine until around 60K when it started doing it again. When the car is cold, the occurrence seem to less than when it's driven after a few miles. The car now has 95K on it, and the slippage and juddering" is now more pronounced and louder specially on inclines, up or down.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #6

Jun 102013

Civic Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
My car has what Honda calls a slip and judder that occurs from transmission failure upon acceleration from stop. Honda issued a recall for the first generation models of the Civic hybrid ('03-'05) in Japan to address the issue, but only an extended warranty on the one's in the United States. The fix that Honda recommends will not actually remediate the transmission failure. They recommend burnishing the starter clutch and changing the transmission fluid. Independent mechanics have recommended a new starter clutch and new bearings, an obviously more expensive fix. The real problem is that Honda chose to use a cvt that cannot handle the load of more than one passenger in a car accelerating on a flat or decline road. The cvt fails when the load on the transmission is exacerbated by more than one passenger and uphill driving. The transmission failure can be dangerous accelerating on an onramp to a highway, as in my case. Complaints of the cvt issue were not hard to come across on automotive related websites. Some of the complainants had issues at 100,000 miles, others at only 20,000. The NHTSA should examine this issue further for the safety of first generation Honda Civic hybrid owners.

- Jersey City , NJ, USA

problem #5

May 012012

Civic Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
Tried to accelerate on to the highway, the vehicle judder and slipped. I could not gain enough speed to get ahead of traffic and other car's almost collided with my vehicle. This is a common dangerous occurrence when driving the car. Honda is aware of issue and refuses to repair.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #4

Jul 292010

Civic Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
From what I has been told to me by the dealer, the starter clutch in the transmission of the cvt Civic hybrid becomes deficient and upon initial acceleration, from a stop, you feel a harsh jutter which gets worse with time until it fails. They put out a service bulletin but this only covers cars within warranty. But since out of warranty, they want people to pay $1500 to $200 for a problem which should never occurred.

- Holden, LA, USA

problem #3

Oct 292011

Civic Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Multiple failures of the continous variable transmission dealership just changes transmission fluid until now, since vehicle is out of warranty they now recommend a transmission replacement. American Honda motor will not cover the repairs.

- Tomah, WI, USA

problem #2

Jul 012008

Civic Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
2005 Honda Civic hybrid began juddering when taking off from a stop. The transmission also began slipping. Honda has acknowledged problem with the cvt transmission and extended the warranty to 105,000 miles or 7 years. However, they initially insist on attempting to fix the problem with a procedure called "burnishing". this procedure takes care of the problem temporarily, but juddering and slipping eventually comes back. This is not a permanent fix. The starter clutch needs to be replaced, a more extensive and expensive repair, but the only repair that fixes the problem for good. Honda has a known defect, and they have used a band-aid approach to the repair; forcing customers to burnish the transmission before they will replace the starter clutch. Customers have been forced out of the warranty period by burnishing and then having to wait for the problem to re-occur. Safety is an issue here as the transmission slips and hesitates when trying to pull out in traffic.

- Frankfort, IL, USA

problem #1

Sep 272011

Civic Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
Transmission is juddering when accelerating from a stop. I'm only 10,000 miles over the 105,000 extended transmission warranty (they know the transmissions are broken), and I have an extremely extensive service record with the dealer. They refuse to work with me on the issue. A recall should be issued on the cvt transmission and starter clutch, and the warranty should be extended to 200,000 miles.

- Savage, MD, USA

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