really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,823 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.

2008 Honda Civic electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 Honda Civic Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #13

Aug 042010


  • 21,010 miles


We received a letter from Honda stating that there was a recall on the software stating that a software update was needed to be done on the car to help the battery life of the car. So we brought it in to be serviced and ever since, we've lost power to the car, and lost mpg that used to be approx. 38 mpg to now 29 mpg, the same as our '99 Civic coup dx, that is not a hybrid. My wife, while going onto the freeway was almost hit, while trying to accelerate. My wife is now hates driving the car she used to love. We live in a hilly area. When trying to accelerate up a hill we drive everyday, if the battery charge is 4 blocks or lower, it doesn't even assist. It's all the gas engine. The battery rarely kicks in so that defeats the hybrid theory and just adds more pollution that Honda purports that it doesn't. to put it straight, this is not the car I bought and have been frustrated with the experience. I've brought my car back to Honda to try to get the software issue resolved. They stated that there is nothing wrong with the car, engine or battery that everything is fine. When asked for an explanation for the loss of power and mpg, they said that I should try a higher octane of gas or a different brand. I have always used the highest octane gas from different gas stations without any issues before the software upgrade. So that isn't the problem. They have refused to say that there is an issue with their "software upgrade". I have pretty much wasted $26,000+ on purchasing this car. All I can say is this is shame on another big company, trying to save $$ by taking advantage of their own loyal customers. Thank you Honda!

- Diamond Bar, CA, USA

problem #12

Aug 042010


  • 9,240 miles
2008 Honda Civic hybrid. Had battery computer replaced per Honda request and experiencing loss of power going up inclines and going backwards downhill in low gear. Had family in car and never had this problem before going up this hill. This car will go up this hill with less people but we never had this problem before.

- Alhambra, CA, USA

problem #11

Aug 212010


  • miles
We own a 2008 Honda Civic hybrid. The ima battery frequently in hot weather goes down to nothing, and car has difficulty. Received the recall notice from Honda regarding update to computer software. When I took the car in, I asked specifically if this would decrease the gas mileage, as the ima battery assist would not come on as frequent. I was told, "no, gas mileage should be the same" well, the gas mileage has decreased approximately 3-4 miles per gallon. The ima battery assist does not come on, and makes acceleration for passing and merging onto freeway difficult. If possible, would prefer to have the old software re-installed. I believe Honda did this update on the software, as they were probably not wanting to replace anymore batteries at $3,000 a pop. The performance is lacking, and needless to say, we are considering trading the vehicle in. Honda needs to do what is right. We do not want this to turn into a Toyota debacle.

- Corona, CA, USA

problem #10

Aug 102010


  • 23,000 miles


2008 Honda Civic hybrid with 24,000 miles with hybrid battery and performance degradation that is, at times, a real issue. Battery doesn't hold charge very long and very adversely affects acceleration. Problem is very repetitive and very adversely affects acceleration. Honda's recall software update was applied within the last 30 days but battery is still not holding a charge and acceleration degradation and safety remains an increasing concern. Honda should replace these degraded batteries but won't take any action until an ima light comes on - at which time, the battery would be almost fully degraded. Battery degradations happens very often - even after the recent Honda software update and many Honda Civic hybrid owners are very concerned about this performance issue.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #9

Jul 012010


  • miles
My 2008 Honda Civic hybrid's ima battery is discharging fully and not recharging itself. This occurs often in my hot city. It makes it a major safety problem when trying to merge lanes. When the battery fails to assist the motor, acceleration is near impossible, making it a major safety complaint. This is well-documented in the press. The failure occurs anytime in heat. Software update was performed, and it didn't help the battery to charge. Max battery capacity may have declined as a result of this defect.

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #8

Apr 212010


  • 24,000 miles
My 2008 Honda Civic hybrid has had two basic problems. One, it simply doesn't deliver the mileage promised on the car sticker and that mileage keeps dropping. The second item which I had not thought was related and which is a safety issue, several times after long trips on the highway, when I approached a hill or was going up one, the car would stall out or refuse to move, despite pushing on the accelerator while the engine was on and in drive gear. Several times it would start rolling back down the hill or would impede traffic behind me. Once the car sat for a while, it would resume working properly, so I never reported the problem to the dealer as I could not replicate it. In this morning's la times cover story about Honda being under state scrutiny for the gas mileage problem, several people interviewed related a similar problem to mine. That's when the "aha" took place that maybe my car's problems were related. Luckily I did not suffer any injuries or crashes due to this issue, but the potential for great damage is there. Please investigate this issue and let me know if there is anything I can do to forward the investigation. Thanks.

- Venice, CA, USA

problem #7

Jul 312010


  • 19,800 miles


2008 Honda Civic hybrid, (problem), ima battery discharge, while driving the battery will discharge to 0 or 1 bar and motor assist will not work until battery charges up, which can take awhile, with no assist the car is slow and dangerous. Also with low or no battery power the gas mileage drops about 20%. the reason you buy a hybrid. After research on the web this seems to be a large problem many other have it appears that Honda doesn't have a fix for this problem. The dealer will reprogram your ima system which doesn't allow for as much battery backup, which also decreases gas mileage. This gives the mpg of many other cheaper non hybrid cars. If after many battery discharges and if the diagnostic computer shows that the battery is bad then a new battery can be installed, the problem still is there, the reprogrammed ima system still doesn't allow for full battery backup and the mpg will not increase to new care status. Again, not what you paid for in the first place. I think Honda needs to address this problem. Many hybrid owners simply want what they bought in the first place. I think with your help, maybe Honda will step up to the plate and address this problem and not try to cover up or prolong the battery with updates to the ima system which appears not to help, this seems to prolong battery life, but doesn't allow for the full benefit of the hybrid concept.

- Lakeland, TN, USA

problem #6

Feb 282010


  • 14,000 miles
Currently I have 32,277 miles and don't drive it, it's not safe to drive. I take a bus :) 1# trans locked at 60mph on hwy and caused almost a fatal crash! at 23,000 miles. Car was able to drive up to 15mpg having appx. 6000rpms. Car left at dealership and only PCM software was upd. No lockups are occurring, but trans is weaving, harsh start/stop often!/unexpected shutdown. Dealership found service bulletin #08-014 (harsh engagement), upd. The on board computer and symptoms are much worse than previously. Lower mpg ( 25-28 ), much worse performance, unexpected battery discharge, weaving, low accel. Dealer duplicated problems, but said "it's ok" and problems is untouched. Since they updated the system, the hybrid option is not kicking in as before. Prev. I was able to drive slowly only on hybrid, now I can't. no actions are taken to resolve the issue. Once they changed the ima batt pack, but this did not help and I see not a difference. Complained again, and absolutely no response. Brakes are malfunctioning. Brake fluid is missing, dealer said "[xxx], it's a mystery". depending on outside temp, battery charge level and car temp breaks work diff! occasionally while slowing down, the battery level reaches full and you must press the pedal as hard as you can to stop. This has caused small crashes and once brakes did not work, or I pressed too lightly ( cold outside with full battery ) and unfortunately I couldn't stop on time and ran over a pedestrian. She is badly injured and suing my insurance company! dealer rec. To "change car, better to buy not a Honda and don't bother them if nothing is broken." Police report ready to present. These are only the major issues I'm having. I would need much more space to write 20 pgs essay. Minor issues: - super fast tire wear ( after 20,000 ) and now again at 32,000 - not working climate ctrl system - check engine, ima light, brake system and airbag lights on. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #5

Nov 222009


  • 35,052 miles
I had an incident with my 2008 Honda Civic. I was pulling into the church parking lot and turned to park in the grass next to another vehicle when I lost the steering and then suddenly the car jumped forward out of control and crashed into a tree about 10 ft in front of me. I thought the gas pedal had stuck but the adjustor was not able to confirm that this was the case. I never put my foot on the gas pedal-I was braking and going less than 10 mi/hr at the time. I have been unable to find out what caused the car to leap forward and accelerate. I have had no other incidents with this vehicle. I have put around 35,000 miles on the car mostly highway driving.

- Englewood, FL, USA

problem #4

Apr 232009


  • 3,500 miles
When coming to a low speed stop the engine shuts off at about 6 mph and the braking system goes manual reducing braking effect by over 60%. this has resulted in a minor accident requiring the replacement of the front bumper.

- Port St Lucie, FL, USA

problem #3

Jul 222009


  • 9,000 miles


Odometer - just had 10,000 mile service done 2 weeks ago, but had less than 9,000 miles. I take public transportation to work so my yearly mileage is low. While driving my care to the bus stop this morning, I noticed that my odometer reads over 14,400 miles - -that means I have driven over 5,500 miles in two weeks - -almost as much as I have driven for an entire year. The odometer has obviously jumped 5,000+ miles. I am convinced this is not a dealer service scam because the oil change reminder sticker they placed in the upper left corner of my windshield shows my next service in November 09 with an anticipated 13,000 mile usage. This issue is huge for me because I lease this car, and now this could dramatically impact the wear and tear issue along with my mileage allowance. The dealer wants me to bring in the car which I will do as soon as possible. I did ask the service rep to make note of my name and complaint so that when I come in they cannot claim I added that much mileage.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #2

Feb 272009


  • 16,230 miles
On very cold mornings, when I try to start my car it does not start. I will have to turn the switch a few times before it will start. There is no clicking sound or any sound as to indicate the engine is trying to start. After a few times of turning the switch the car starts. This has happen approx. 4 times over the past 4 months.

- Cleveland, TN, USA

problem #1

Dec 102008


  • 4,867 miles
I own a 2008 Honda Civic, six months. I have been having problem with the ignition system. In the morning, when I try to start, no connection or sometimes, just a little crank. I have to try a few times to get it to work. I took to Honda of conyers in Georgia. They have it there overnight and they cant find anything. It first started in December 2008.

- Mcdonough, GA, USA

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