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 1 of 2)

problem #33

Jul 252016


  • 86,000 miles


My Honda was parked in the garage when I tried to start it the key would no longer go into the ignition. Had to have it towed to dealer where it was diagnosed as a defective ignition switch. Had it replaced and now the remote key won't work on the doors.

- Humboldt, AZ, USA

problem #32

Jan 102016


  • 42,761 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Honda Civic. The contact stated that the alarm system would activate independently without any warning. The contact mentioned that the battery had to be disconnected in order to deactivate the alarm. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 42,761.

- Forest Hill, MD, USA

problem #31

Sep 112015


  • 65,000 miles
When I turned my headlights on, my dashlights go completely off, leaving me with no lights on the interior dashboard; fuel, speed, etc., all lights gone. When I turn my headlights off, the dashlights come back on. There was no accident and this car is way under mileage for its year; I worked at home.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #30

Jul 142015


  • 91,300 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Honda Civic. Upon starting the vehicle, the contact attempted to initiate the air conditioning system but it failed to work. The contact stated that the failure would occur intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, where it was diagnosed that the air compressor had failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 91,300.

- Jericho, NY, USA

problem #29

Mar 172011


  • 35,000 miles
My 2008 Honda Civic LX started experiencing door lock problems in March of 2011 (I can provide the exact date, but will need to go through paperwork to find it.). since that point in time, I have had over a dozen locks replaced. I have the driver's door lock replaced 3 times, the driver's side rear door replaced 4 times, the passenger side front door replaced 3 times, and the passenger side rear door replaced 4 times. This problem has continued even after the extended warranty ran out. There is some kind of electrical short causing the problem. I have had called american Honda to get there help and they offered to fix the problem as long as I paid $100 towards the cost of repair. That is ridiculous considering the history of issues. The Civic was taken to other service places and they agreed that there was a major problem with the door locks and electrical. In addition, I have had to replace the cv axles twice on this Civic. The first was done under warrant at approximately 38,000 miles. I have since had to contact american Honda a second time, and because again the car was out of warranty I was required to pay $400 to complete the repair. This was not a fair compromise since this vehicle has had multiple issues. The third problem concerns the wheels bearings. The driver's side front left wheel was replaced shortly after the axles were replaced. I now am having the same problem, with the driver's side front left wheel bearing going bad. I spoke with a master mechanic, and he informed me that the problem was caused by the tech at southpoint Honda in durham having over torqued the bolt to secure the wheel bearing. I believe the same problem occurred the first time. At this pont in time, I can no longer use the key fob to enter the car, since the door locks do not function properly, and the car is considered to be a lemon by several master mechanics.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #28

Jun 012013

Civic 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Air conditioner compressor not engaging while car is idle and in drive.

- Salem, NH, USA

problem #27

Dec 182013

Civic 4-cyl

  • 121,301 miles


The air bag light (SRS light) has been coming on and off for about a month. The Honda dealer said it was a code 32-10, an open in the front passenger' side airbag inflator. Need to replace the floor wiring harness per sb 10-001, the SRS portion of the floor harness has a poor crimp in it. That is on the dealer work order. The Honda dealer said the car is out of warranty, and the repair is about $1300. This is not a wear item, wiring harness should not fail and cause a safety issue, inoperative air bag. Thank you for reviewing. I believe Honda has a ongoing problem that needs addressing. Also, I've requested the faulty wiring harness. If you would like to see it, please contact me.

- Smryna, GA, USA

problem #26

Oct 272013


  • 32,000 miles
The battery dies without warning after the vehicle sits for only a few days. Dealership replaced the battery with a new oem battery. Problem still exists. There are many complaints across many forums about this phenomenon on Civics.

- Ware, MA, USA

problem #25

Dec 282011


  • 62,000 miles
The front of hood and fender area. Paint is chipping away. It is called crow's feet. Lines and chips along with cracks are very visible to the naked eye. Honda has a tsb about it, since a lot of people have the same issue but they only claim to take responsibility of the vehicle that have protection plan. When I bought the vehicle they never offered me, nor speak of protection plan. So what can I do?

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #24

Jul 062012

Civic 4-cyl

  • 78,655 miles
My wife was headed home from work (approximately 5 pm) when she had to stop in traffic on a fairly steep hill, with an outside temperature at, or near, 100 degrees. When she attempted to resume forward she pressed the gas on her 2008 Honda Civic hybrid and the car started to roll backwards into another car. The transmission was in drive, she switched to the lowest range, still the car would not move forward. As a result, she had to wave cars behind her around while all she could do was hold the brakes until she could manage to roll backwards down this hill to safety. She then changed routes that had substantially more congestion, but smaller hills. Hills are a way of life in the atlanta metro area, so are high temperatures in July. She has mentioned that this vehicle has terrible acceleration on some lesser hills in hot weather over the past 2 years, but never experienced anything as dangerous as this incident.this malady has been reported a minimum of 2-3 times to the Honda dealership she purchased it from, heritage Honda, rome, ga. I wouldn't allow her to use it until Honda sorted out the malfunction. Well, I spent the day there, they did computer analysis, technician interfaced with Honda tech line, even sent a "snapshot" of the vehicle's computer data when it actually recreated the same condition for the mechanic on a steep hill. None-the-less, I left there hopeful that Honda would resolve our dilemma. After a day and a half of waiting for some feedback, I was finally informed the car was operating properly. Apparently, the hybrid batteries reached a high temperature, which for "safety reasons" disabled the circuitry that "assists" the car via the "hybrid electric motor" which in turn leaves the car completely dependent on the undersized gasoline engine. In this case, not near enough power to move her car. Honda says it's ok to drive! we need help, please help us!

- Dallas, GA, USA

problem #23

Sep 292010

Civic 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles


At approximately 30K miles the hybrid battery charging capacity started to decrease. The battery would not hold a charge as long. Honda sent letters out to have a software patch put in to prolong the life of the battery. Therefore they know they have a problem. The software made things even worse by degrading mpg and power on acceleration. The electrical motor torque is not enough to make a diff with the underpowered 1.3 engine this car has. Too many times when starting from a stop the car has no power and there is a actual delay and very slow acceleration. Running the car with the air on is even worse. My wife is afraid to drive this car and Honda will not do anything about this. Its pushed from dealer to Honda Corp back and forth. The car is dangerous to drive.

- Horsham, PA, USA

problem #22

Feb 122009


  • 8,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Honda Civic hybrid. The contact was driving approximately 20 mph when the engine stalled without prior warning. The engine restarted and resumed normally yet the failure recurred intermittently. Also, when driving up an incline the vehicle would not accelerate over a certain speed. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer five different times for the identical failure. The computerized system software was upgraded and the technician stated that the vehicle would operate properly yet the failure persisted. The failure mileage was approximately 8,000.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #21

Sep 012010


  • 28,000 miles
Significant drop in mileage since the "software upgrade" on my 2008 Civic hybrid. Electric motor does not always kick in when extra power is needed. I called the Honda a local Honda dealer...the service rep said he would need the car for several days and needed to drive it 140 miles to diagnose the problem. I next called the corporate office to complain...the rep I spoke with said I should take it to a dealer, but also acknowledged the problem. He said there was no current fix of the "upgrade" and he did not know if it was being worked on. I pointed out to him if they already know there is a problem, going to the dealer makes no sense.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #20

Mar 032011

Civic 4-cyl

  • 56,927 miles
'08 Honda Civic hybrid experiencing a dramatic decrease in fuel economy. Ima battery suspected. Dealership upgraded software (as per Honda recall) and told me that to get better mpg's I should shut off my heater (we live in Wisconsin!) and recommended an air filter change. I stated that an air filter and shutting off the heat would not increase my mpg's from 28-31 back up to it's prior performance range of 40-50. Vehicle is still dramatically underperforming. Note: Service advisor @ bergstrom Honda admitted that in his 4 years there that he has seen many Civic hybrids with severe tire cupping (I previously filed complaints on this issue also, vehicle is going on it's 3rd set of tires within 57,927 miles!) and also mentioned the poor performance after the Honda software upgrades to fix the ima issues. It is my belief that Honda is well aware of the ima issues and is trying to hide them under the software update (to save replacing "X" number of expensive hybrid battery's). I believe that as owners we have lost valuable lifespan on these batterys and that we have lost out on a good portion of our hybrid battery warranty coverage due to Honda's design.

- Appleton, WI, USA

problem #19

Aug 102010

Civic 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
2008 Honda Civic hybrid appears to have problem with battery system; overheats and looses charge. Honda has issued software update to "repair" the problem, however, this update robs the car of acceleration power thus making it dangerous to react to an emergency situation.

- Herndon, VA, USA

problem #18

Dec 012010

Civic 4-cyl

  • miles
I have 2008 Honda Civic hybrid had no problems until August 2010 when they sent a letter to have a software upgrade for the ima integrated motor assist battery after having the upgrade I had loss of power when acceleration the ima seems towork 50-75 percent less then what it use too also my battery indicator had never been down to 4 bars before the upgrade but after it was done seems like it wants to stay right at 4 most of the time so inturn the ima doesn't use the battery I have lose 10+ mpg I use to get 45-48 now I get 32-35 so now its like driving a under powered Civic the worst is when you try to take off or if you need to accelerate to merge on the freeway you might have some ima or not you just don't know.

- Germantown, WI, USA

problem #17

Oct 232010

Civic 4-cyl

  • 13,000 miles
2008 Honda Civic repeatedly has failed to stop (three separate incidents, three different drivers). Honda refuses to replace vehicle. The consumer also stated, the vehicle would not start. Updated 09/20/12

- Farnington Hills , MI, USA

problem #16

Oct 112010


  • 89,000 miles
Have a 08 Civic hybrid with 89K miles. Got the recent battery software upgrade several weeks ago. Have had a sudden drop in battery charge down to one or two bars, both before and after the upgrade. Recovery usually fairly quick, driving on the interstate, 72 mph, all of a sudden dash went dark and engine stopped. No warnings or lights beforehand. Coasted to the side of the road. Able to restart immediately. Happened twice more over the next 30 minutes. These times put the car in neutral and restarted as I coasted. Tank about 1/3 full with shell gas. Filled the tank with off brand gas and drove the rest of the way ok. Took it to Honda dealer. They checked engine (no codes) and electrical system. Nothing found. Have to drive this car every weekend for 400 mile round trip. Concerned about upcoming weekend.

- Perrysburg, OH, USA

problem #15

Jul 152010


  • 50,000 miles
I have a 2008 Honda Civic hybrid since it was brand new, never a problem. In July I received a letter explaining a software upgrade that was to help the live of my ima battery. Since this "upgrade" my ima motor does not assist all the time. Specifically when going up hills and when trying to merge onto a freeway/highway it will not kick in. I would guess 20% of the time it does not engage at all. I have taken it to darryl waltrip Honda in franklin, tn. They saw the problem and agreed it was a problem but then after talking with "corporate" have decided it is not a problem. I'm nervous that I do not have the proper acceleration in these circumstances. I have now read numerous similar complaints online. Something should be done about this.

- Joelton, TN, USA

problem #14

Aug 102010


  • 13,500 miles
In August 2010 I took my 2008 Honda Civic hybrid to the dealer for routine maintenance. The dealer performed a purported software update on the battery system without notifying me until afterwards. Immediately upon leaving the dealer, I noticed a profound reduction in power and acceleration. On the freeway portion of the drive home, I was almost rear-ended twice as I drove in the slow lane up a minor grade where the vehicle could not accelerate over 40 miles per hour (with the pedal fully depressed in the passing gear)-- prior to this date I had driven my vehicle for its prior 20 months of ownership up that same grade at 70mph. Additionally, prior to this date I had never even utilized the "S" gear on my transmission. Ever since Honda's software update my car has become a severely underpowered accident waiting to happen. I am reduced to driving in the slow lane on the freeway with vehicles flashing me as they approach a 40-45 mph vehicle at 60-70 mph from behind. I have called the Honda service departments at several local dealers regarding this problem, and get a universal response- "wait for your system to adjust to the software update" or "you need to adjust your driving". what the heck does this mean? I drove the vehicle fine for 20 months prior to the software update and now it drives like a 20 year old 4 cylinder engine with 2 bad pistons. The decreased power and acceleration are a dangerous accident in the making. I am fearful of being rear ended. This is an every day problem that was caused by this "software update" and I suspect that it is happening to every 2006-2008 Honda Civic hybrid that goes to the dealer for this software update. An additional consequence of this alleged "software update" is a profound drop in gas mileage from approximately 37 combined mpg prior to "update" to 29-30 post "update". I have never lodged a complaint with any organization before, but like I've previously stated, this "update" is a danger to the public.

- Glendale, CA, USA

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