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.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,430 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.

2012 Honda Insight engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2012 Honda Insight:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2012 Honda Insight Owner Comments

problem #14

Oct 042016


  • 70,000 miles


In October 2016, I took my vehicle to scott robinson Honda in torrance due to a check oil light that came on the day before. After a day of diagnosis, Honda determined the engine on my Insight was burning oil too rapidly, and that the problem had been occurring for quite some time. Although this oil consumption problem is a well-known fault to the first generation of my vehicle and had been persistent since my initial purchase, scott robinson Honda in torrance and american Honda motor co has refused to cover the cost of repair because my vehicle had just exceeded the 60,000 mile warranty limit, just a few months before. With a little research, I came across soto, et al V. american Honda motor co, Inc, case no. 3:12-cv-1377-si (us district court, northern district California). The class-action lawsuit states: ¿a systematic design defect that enables oil to enter into the engine's combustion chamber. This leads to premature spark plug degradation and engine malfunction.¿ in the case, it was revealed Honda acknowledged the problem in the July 2011 technical service bulletin #11-033 stating that ¿the vcm (variable cylinder management) may be repeatedly switching on and off during light throttle operation, at cruising speeds, on flat roads.¿ in english? the engine is working much harder than it has to in normal driving conditions. Honda's conduct clearly demonstrates a company incapable of honest business practice in the state of California. Consumers should not have to search through a decade of legal documentation in order to make a knowledgeable car purchase. It's apparent that Honda knew of this problem well before my vehicle was produced, as was acknowledged in Honda's internal emails, and is using well written legal maneuvers to exploit consumers in the state of California.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #13

Sep 042015


  • miles
Since November 2015, I've had to add one quart 0W-20 full synthetic oil to maintain its oil level. I'd driven about 875 miles per week at that point. The problem progressed and the vehicle had problems accelerating and would stall out on occasion. I had a very scary experience where the car stalled out in to oncoming traffic while trying to pull out on to the road, making a left hand turn on to a mountain highway. The fuel economy sharply declined since then. The spark plugs failed prematurely, and now the long block needs to be replaced after giving out for the final time in June 2016. The repair is $9,700 for a vehicle I still owe $9,000 on. Honda needs to stand by its product and make it safe for its consumers to drive. They have been completely negligent in this matter, issuing settlements and extended warranties to only the V6 engines with the same problem and select V4 engines on a case by case basis, preference going to people who are the original owners, did all servicing exclusively at Honda-certified dealerships, and who are barely outside the warranty. A vehicle of this caliber should last more than 85K miles or so. The problems started around 68K miles, but the powertrain warranty only covers up to 60K miles.

- Modesto, CA, USA

problem #12

Mar 012016


  • 55,000 miles
Excessive oil consumption. Car uses approx. 1.2 quarts of oil every 1,000 miles. Problems with acceleration and rough idle.

- Auburn, AL, USA

problem #11

Dec 152015


  • 80,000 miles


While driving, the vehicle would lose a considerable amount of oil over decreasing amount of miles to the point where the car now loses 1.5 quarts of oil every 1,000 miles (verified by local Honda dealer). This issue causes the spark plugs to foul out leading to cars that stall while driving. This happened to me once while driving in a city and the car had to be towed to the local Honda dealer where they replaced the bad spark plugs and the car was back on it's way, but the car is still burning the oil and it is only a matter of time before this situation happens again. This incident started in December, 2015 and persists to this day.

- Geneva, NY, USA

problem #10

Jun 042016


  • 49,900 miles
Excessive oil consumption - Honda Insight 2012. Engine light came on while driving, took car to the dealer and dealer found no oil (although car stated it was at 50%). dealer added oil, suggested I return after 1,000 miles. Brought back car after 1,500 miles and dealer said that per Honda, car must have been brought back after 1,000 miles. No noticeable oil loss. At next oil change, dealer found oil to be very low. Brought back car after an additional 1,000 miles and Honda performed oil consumption test. Test came back negative. Latest oil change, now indicator states at 60% oil and engine light appeared while driving on June 4th. Dealer found no oil. Dealer is now performing a overhaul on my engine. Dealer will have my car for at least one week or maybe two as I was told that there are two other cars with the same problem ahead of me. Dealer offered car rental.

- Whittier, CA, USA

problem #9

Apr 202016


  • 69,000 miles
Just hit 69,000 miles and car is suddenly burning over a quart of oil every 2 weeks.

- North East, PA, USA

problem #8

Mar 242016


  • 56,000 miles


I bought my Insight new in 2012. I now have 74K miles. At approximately 55K miles my Insight began to have an "emissions" error code. After some inspection it was found that the oil was low (2-3 quarts). This has occurred since that time every 5-6 weeks, according to how much I drive the car. The "emissions" error illuminates, I check the oil and it is low. It just happened again last month. I have had the car serviced religiously at the dealership from the time of purchase and have not missed an oil change, tire rotation, etc.

- Edwards, CA, USA

problem #7

Dec 182015


  • 66,000 miles
I purchased my car in July 2015 from a used car dealership. It had approximately 64K miles on it. A month later my check emissions light came on while driving in a residential area. The car had received a complete oil change the day I purchased it but I took it to a local service shop where they informed me my car was low on oil. A month later the check emissions light came on again. It was a quart low. I added a quart (not cheap for hybrids as Honda recommends api premium grade 0W-20 detergent oil only). Another month passes and the check emissions light comes on again after I just turned the ignition on. Also I had started experiencing the engine stalling. Example, going from breaking to accelerating it simply stalls. Takes about 30 seconds before acceleration begins to engage. In December, as I drove up a hill the car started stuttering. At the top of the hill my speed dropped to 16 mph and wouldn't go any faster. I pulled over, turned off the engine, waited a few minutes then started it again. I stepped on the accelerator and it crawled to 11 mph. The car was towed to the nearest Honda dealership where the service department informed me I needed spark plugs. That was 12/18/2015. Mileage was at around 66K. A week later they said the oil was leaking into the cylinders and they needed to check with Honda to see what repairs they were willing to cover. Estimated parts/labor=$8000. It's not on the recall list but should be, as there are so many complaints. Honda is not willing to give a loaner vehicle during this whole ordeal. My service advisor informed me I could pick up my personal belongings from my car as it didn't appear I would be getting it back anytime soon! I loved my car and the Honda brand but this has turned me completely off. Today is 1/11/2016 and still no word from Honda about my car or the responsibility they are going to take.

- Mineral Wells, TX, USA

problem #6

Jul 132015


  • 100,000 miles
I am consuming to much oil. I did not know that there was a problem til after I bought car and the check emission light came on. I thought it was because I didn't not screw my gas cap on tight enough. Then I went to a local store to have them check my oil and they said I had none, and checked my mileage, they said I should have had oil in there at the mileage number it was at. So I have taken the car 3 times to dealer they have done oil consume test, and want me to come in to perform a higher price oil change for $90 to slow oil consumer. They said I was no longer in warranty to fix it. But if this is a known issue why is it that purchasers must come out of their pocket it should taken care of through dealership. I am one that does not have the funds to take care of all this. Also at times it stalls

- Valley, AL, USA

problem #5

Jun 272014


  • 59,000 miles
At aprox. 59,000 miles my Honda Insight set a check engine light when I made a sharp left turn. The engine acted like it went into the "limp home mode." I pulled off the road and shut off the car. When I checked the oil, there was none on the dipstick. I was able to start the car and drive it to a store where I could get some oil. It took 3 quarts to fill it up. I change to oil and filter myself so I wondered what had happened. When I checked under the car I couldn't find any leaks. I work 6 days a week so I can't go to the dealer. I drive 120 miles a day round trip to work. I keep my eye on the oil and it seems that it started using 1qt. Every 2000 miles. At 89,000 miles it was going through 1qt. Every 1000 miles. Still no leaks, no smoke from the exhaust and good power. I have to keep a gallon of oil in the back because sometimes the oil will be 3 qts. Low after driving to town on the weekend. At 120,000 miles it started going through 1qt. Every 720 miles. Still plenty of power. At 125,000 miles the check engine light came on and "hill start" "brake system" and "vsa" message came up on the display. After driving 1 day, the other faults will go away, but the check engine light stays on. After reading the codes, the info says that the catalyst is below minimum. My gas mileage has gone down from 43mpg. To 30mpg. I have 135,000 miles on the car now and I'm adding 1qt. Of oil every 300 miles. When I started from work yesterday, the car shut down 3 times with plenty of oil on the dipstick. Power is down to the point that the accelerometer is pegged out all the time now. I bought a Honda because I need a dependable car that gets good gas mileage and one that I can to the basic maintenance on. Someone please help!!

- Box Springs, GA, USA

problem #4

Apr 122015


  • 16,121 miles


I was driving in a line of slow moving traffic on a two line lane main street keeping a constant speed of 22 mph when suddenly my car lurched forward accelerating rapidly making a high pitched screaming sound. As the car gained speed I swerved into the other lane to avoid crashing into the car in front of me. Meanwhile I stomped on the foot brakes, pulled on the emergency brake and shifted into park trying to stop the car. Barely missing a head on collusion, the car jumped over the sidewalk, took down a steel sign, scraped over concrete barriers as it continued now at a speed of approximately 55 mph. It stopped only after I crashed it into the front window of a cafe. I'm concerned that this hybrid has a serious defect causing it to suddenly accelerate.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #3

Dec 182014


  • 57,000 miles
Checked oil level and found it below the bottom indicator mark (oil percentage life meter was above 60% at this point.. took it in to Honda of santa maria, ca, while driving to dealership emission systems fault warning came on. They confirmed almost all oil was gone. They had me pay for an oil change to start a oil consumption test, and return at 500 mile point to view loss. They said no loss at that point. 4000 miles later the emission system warning came back, same as before all oil was gone. This time they did an oil change and wanted me to do a 1000 mile and return to check - oil down.25 of oil indicator marks. Did no top off and went another 1000 miles and rechecked, 1 quart low on oil, but Honda America says this is with in tolerance and to date refuses to do anything G about it. My next door neighbor had same issue but it get progressively worse after 64000 total miles to point that Honda America finally offered to replace their engine at 10% of cost (they did not come in during warranty period). They so far refuse to explain why a modern car like this has such a huge tolerance for oil consumption. Along with this when I first bought the car it had some sort of windshield seal problem that caused a loud vibration noise at highway speeds or if high winds hit front of car at normal speeds (25 to 35 mph). They did fix this, but again my neighbor had exact same problem. Seem these cars a pieces of junk and no one is doing anything about it. I hope you will investigate this as more than just a complaint!

- Santa Maria, CA, USA

problem #2

Feb 012015

Insight 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Honda Insight. While driving at approximately 60 mph, all of the warning lights on the instrument panel illuminated. In addition, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle would not accelerate. The failure recurred twice. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that there was no oil in the vehicle. Three weeks prior to the failure, the vehicle had an oil change. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 56,000. The VIN was unavailable. Updated. 5/28/15 the consumer stated the vehicle ran out of oil but that there was no sign of an oil leak. Updated 9/18/2015

- Lunenburg, VT, USA

problem #1

Sep 012014

Insight 4-cyl

  • miles
Approximately 5 months ago I noticed that the engine was making a slight ticking sound. I checked the oil and it was a quart low so I added a quart. I didn't check it again because I didn't hear that ticking noise again. Approximately 1 month later I took it to Honda in stockton, ca. To have a noise checked that I thought was a brake issue. There was also a noise coming from the front of the car that sounded like something scraping or dragging. When I went to pick it up the man said that it was a quart low and that if I didn't always keep my oil checked then it would void my warranties. I told him that I had just added a whole quart a month earlier. He said that he would push it through this time and to make sure I checked it regularly, at least once a month. I have never had to check a car's oil that often and I had this one serviced regularly and I didn't realize that it was low again, so I started to pay close attention to it and check it regularly. I kept the radio off so I could listen to the engine for that ticking noise and since then I have had to check and add 1/2 of a quart every single week. It is a routine now as the noise will get louder, it loses power, I check it and it is faithfully 1/2 quart low, so I add it. I called Honda service in lodi, ca. (where I usually take it for oil changes) and told him the story. He said that in order for them to determine if it is using oil I have to bring it in, have them do an oil change, then have me bring it back in once a week so they can check it and document it- I live 45 minutes away and that is the closest one! he said that at that point I will have to approve a total break-down ($1200 possibly out-of-pocket) to determine the cause and to see if it will be covered under warranty. This is ridiculous! I bought this car brand new and it only has 89K mi on it and I always get it serviced on time and take care of it.

- Valley Springs, CA, USA

Not what you are looking for?