Notes: Yes, the Honda Civic receives a lot of complaints because so many were sold. And sure, car parts only last so long and things eventually break. But it's never good to see this many transmission complaints, especially when the average mileage at failure is just north of 100,000 miles.

Especially when you consider that it's predecessor also has a nasty history with transmission complaints.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
86,000 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.

2002 Honda Civic body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Honda Civic Owner Comments

problem #13

Dec 202016


  • 108,000 miles


Takata recall- the car was involved in a collision on the expressway. It sustained major front end damage, however the air bags did not deploy. The vehicle was part of the major airbag recall. The recall was completed October 2015.

- Evanston, IL, USA

problem #12

Dec 202015


  • 108,000 miles
Takata inflators- the car was involved in a collision on the expressway. It sustained major front end damage, however the air bags did not deploy. The vehicle was part of the major airbag recall. The recall was completed October 2015.

- Evanston, IL, USA

problem #11

Sep 132016


  • miles
Paint peeling for no reason.

- Manhattan Beach, CA, USA

problem #10

Jan 012016


  • 35,000 miles


Defective car.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #9

Jun 032013


  • 72,000 miles
The paint is fading and peeling very badly on my 2002 Honda Civic...almost to the point where the truck, roof, and other areas of my red vehicle are almost white!!! I know the car is old but I have a silver 2003 Lincoln Navigator with double the miles on it and no paint issues whatsoever. From all the information available on the internet, there is a known issue with inferior quality paint jobs that Honda refuses to correct. I have washed and waxed the vehicle regularly and do not understand why the paint would fade and peel like it has. To top it off, the vehicle was kept in an inside storage facility for three years while I was stationed in Japan. I really feel that Honda needs to stand by its products and restore the quality that their name was built upon.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #8

Jun 012010


  • 160,000 miles
Car's clearcoat has been flaking off the roof and the trunk lid. It first started with discoloration (lightened blotches) in June of 2010 (8 years after purchased new). Currently (Feb., 2015), 30% of the clearcoat on the roof, and 10% on the trunk lid have flaked off. The car has never been exposed to snow, only to ca climate. I've read that the clearcoat issue is common with Honda automobiles since the late 1990's. I also have a 1993 Acura legend (236K miles) that was exposed to the exact same climate conditions, but the clear coat on it is still in excellent condition. Both cars are maintained the same way. All my cars are well maintained above & beyond what the manual recommended. I think I'm fairly knowledgeable about cars in general (mechanical, technology, industry trend, ..etc) because I read about it as a routine everyday, just like most people read the news everyday. Based on the collective information I've read in the last decade, I believe the clearcoat degradation for the car years coincided with Honda's switched over to the use of more environmental friendly paint (I.e. water based paint) in the late 1990's or early 2000's. on my own Civic, the clearcoat flakes become very soft (almost gel-like) when wet from washing. I don't think this is a safety related issue. It was a manufacturing decision Honda made which proved to be less durable. Honda should be called out of it.

- Campbell, CA, USA

problem #7

Nov 182014

Civic 4-cyl

  • 170,000 miles


My daughter (18 yrs. Of age) recently purchased a 2002 Honda Civic and was involved in an automobile accident. In this accident the unfortunate thing was her air bag did not deploy and her chest hit the steering wheel. She was taken by ambulance to a local hospital. X-rays were done and she was just bruised and no broken bones. She may have not sustained any injuries if the air bag would have deployed. I know Honda has had law suits filed against them because of air bags deploying and causing injury, but in her case it caused injury that maybe could have been avoided if it had deployed. Thanks

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #6

May 012014

Civic 4-cyl

  • 151,000 miles
My 2002 paint is starting to come off the hood and top of car. Started a little spot here and there and is quickly taking off if larger spots. I have see the exact same complain on same car on this site. I would like hood and top of car repaired for no expense from Honda and would like information on this.

- Burton, MI, USA

problem #5

Jun 062012

Civic 4-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Paint from car is peeling. At the beginning was small parts and I was told it is because of environment..... now the entire car is peeling. I know there has been same issues with other Honda cars, but my Civic 2002 has no recall. I will need to pay to cover this expense. Money I cannot afford and it is not our fault.

- Plantation, FL, USA

problem #4

Jan 012010

Civic 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The sealant around the window no longer keeps the water out. I have since been able to fix this using tape, but during extremely heavy rain, my floor will be soaked.

- Toms River, NJ, USA

problem #3

Apr 132012


  • 142,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Honda Civic. The contact stated that the door locks failed and locked on their own while the contact's child was in the vehicle. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and they stated that they could not change the lock design. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 142,000.

- Anderson , SC, USA

problem #2

Feb 282006

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Water leaks into the trunk when driving in wet conditions. Car has been to dealership twice for repair yet it still leaks. It seems to leak in from the passenger side rear wheel well. The "particle board" and cloth that covers the spare tire area was damaged, has rust, and a musty smell remains in the car. The car is a Honda "certified used vehicle", yet a leaky trunk is not covered and dealership had to cover cost. Will take back for a third repair.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #1

Sep 102002

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles
Paint on brand new Honda Civic ex is bubbling up from underneath, chipping and falling off. Honda has denied responsibility for damage claiming it was vandalism. A auto body shop and gieco insurance have both deemed the damage factory defect.

- Selden, NY, USA

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