really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
55,998 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 Hybrid electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 Honda Civic Hybrid Owner Comments

problem #18

Jan 272016

Civic Hybrid

  • 77,000 miles


Vehicle moving in traffic on freeway, all power lost not able to move and involved in accident. Chp report pending. Air bags did not deploy.

- Glendale, CA, USA

problem #17

Sep 052015

Civic Hybrid

  • 135,000 miles
The car is a hybrid, in which heavily relies on a battery. However, the battery unit is not so great and dies every few years. If one day the battery dies when I'm driving, it can be extremely hard to steer as it also powers the steering wheel. This can cause a incident in the road or at an intersection. Moreover it is too expensive to be buying a new battery every few years, so people remove the error code and sell the car, which causes this to become an never ending chain.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #16

Sep 152015

Civic Hybrid

  • 126,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Honda Civic hybrid. While driving at 55 mph, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The integrated motor assist battery depleted from full to only two bars in a matter of seconds. In addition, the contact stated that the vehicle completely recharged in approximately two minutes. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who was unable to diagnose or repair the vehicle. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 126,000.

- Dracut, MA, USA

problem #15

Aug 192014

Civic Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 69,000 miles


This problem has existed for several months. The problem is that the car suddenly does not have power when starting from a stopped condition. At the same time the indicated drive battery level drops and the dashboard indicates the gas motor is charging the battery. After maybe 30 seconds the reduction of power is less. There seems to be some reduction in power until the drive battery is mostly charged. During this time it appears that the electric assist is not working. Have also observed during this several month period the gas mileage is reduced. The problem is more likely to occur after the car has sat without running for a few hours. The hazard here is that this has occurred when pulling into traffic. When it occurs even pushing the gas pedal to the floor does not have much effect. Have been lucky not to have been hit by another car. Took the car to the dealer. The dealer installed new software that has helped the problem, but not eliminated it. Will continue to pursue with the dealer. Noticed that others seem to be having the same problem, I suspect it is related to a design problem with the hybrid powertrain. Am not convinced they will address this dangerous situation.

- Shawnee, KS, USA

problem #14

Jul 162014

Civic Hybrid

  • 60,000 miles
Now the thing is that I bought a 2008 Honda Civic hybrid from uk and imported to pakistan. Few days back the ima light in the car came on and a week later I was rear ended by a car which was caused due to battery not responding and loss of acceleration my dad was seriously injured. Now I know that the accident happened outside usa so you may say that it is out of your jurisdiction but as iam devastated by the accident and you seem to be the only source which can have some say in the issue as Honda Civic hybrid is very popular car in the usa. God forbid same thing could also happen in usa. So I want you to take these death machines of the road. P.S the phone number is fake but the email address is mine.

- Jhelum , AL, USA

problem #13

Nov 262013

Civic Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 121,000 miles
After years of poor performance with this hybrid, I discovered that my ima battery was going bad. Honda had some recalls where they installed a new software update, but it did nothing. As a Honda hybrid owner, I bought a hybrid because I felt like it was the patriotic thing to do and hoped that the benefit would be greater gas mileage. As it turns out, it costs more initially than a regular civic, is no better than a regular civic on gas mileage and the ima replacement runs around $3500. If my battery dies on a dark highway I'm stuck because even though the performance is no better than a regular civic, I have to have that ima for it to run. Really feel scammed and at risk.

- Bedford, IN, USA

problem #12

Oct 012009

Civic Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles


Honda applied a software patch to extend the ima battery, driving home from the appointment where they updated the software I noticed that at times when I go to accelerate the car will bog down and have no speed. It happens randomly, no set pattern, its a dangerous situation when you are on a 2 lane highway and you pulled out to pass someone and you have no power. Or you are making a left hand turn and all of a sudden you lose power. Then living in Minnesota having these issues when you on ice is down right scary! when you car does decide to go you all sudden lose control because its on ice. Honda has updated the software patch again and there is some improvement but still I can't trust it to drive in rush hour situations or have younger drivers drive my car. Now when I complain to Honda they tell me it drives the way its designed, well if that's the case all Honda's need to be taken off the road before someone is seriously hurt. Please help us Honda drivers who are stuck with this car....

- Maple Grove, MN, USA

problem #11

Jun 042013

Civic Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
When trying to accelerate to access on ramp of freeway, the battery ima hybrid system suddenly was low causing the car to have less acceleration than usual, making merging with faster traffic unsafe. After taking the car in for evaluation, the local Honda dealer indicated the hybrid battery system was failing but not to the point that Honda of America would replace it. They stated the battery would have to get even lower and a dash light or code would have to appear. The battery/ima/hybrid system is covered up to 92000 miles and cannot be replaced by Honda unless the above conditions are met. The system is poorly engineered and the program update allows the battery to function at too low a level to allow adequate acceleration. Thank you.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #10

Nov 202011

Civic Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
On or around 11/20/2011, the control panel on my 2008 Honda Civic hybrid lost all power while driving on ih-10 w in houston, tx. As a result, I had no information about my speed, fuel level, RPM, etc. I believe this problem was related to my hybrid battery as it had to be replaced shortly thereafter. Currently, I am having trouble with the replacement hybrid battery and Honda is refusing to remedy the problem under the warranty. I am writing to the NHTSA implore it to take a closer look at issues with Honda's hybrid batteries. It is well known that these batteries are failing at a high rate and there are several class action lawsuits concerning the performance of these batteries. This problem is well known to Honda and something needs to be done as it is putting peoples' lives at risk.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #9

Dec 082010

Civic Hybrid

  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Honda Civic hybrid. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken to the dealer for service under a manufacturer's recall for the ima battery. The vehicle was repaired however after the repairs, the contact experienced a hesitation in acceleration power when traveling at various speeds or attempting to drive uphill. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection where they stated that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Carmel, NY, USA

problem #8

Jul 152009

Civic Hybrid

  • 15,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Honda Civic hybrid. The contact stated that while driving the vehicle in the heat, the vehicle would stall. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that if the battery over heated it would cause the vehicle to stall and they did not offer any assistance since that was the way the vehicle was design. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance. The failure mileage was 15,000.

- Cardiff, CA, USA

problem #7

Jul 092012

Civic Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 39,600 miles
I have owned this car since April 2008 - I don't drive a lot - in 4 years and 3 months I have less than 40,000 miles on the car. I am the original owner - I purchased it new. I noticed a few months back that the hybrid batteries did not appear to be acting right and when I mentioned it during my 30,000 service they said that it was testing ok and there were no problems with it. Over the past few months it has steadily gotten worse - to the point where the hybrid batteries would not hold a charge. When I brought it in to the dealership they stated that while they could see that the battery was dead it wasn't giving them the "error message" or "error code" that it was supposed to so that they could replace the battery. They had to keep it and drive it around town the entire day and perform tests on it to make the car finally give them the error code necessary to indicate that the hybrid battery was not working so it could be replaced. While these batteries are under warranty and they are replacing them - I don't feel that 4 year lifespan for this type of equipment is adequate - particularly given that I don't drive the car a lot. Additionally this is a quite costly part - $4,000 if it was not under warranty. I am concerned that the error message was not displaying despite the months of issues with it - and the fact that the equipment only has a shelf life of 4 years in my location due to the climate. This was not disclosed during my purchase and had it been I would never have purchased a hybrid vehicle. This with the fuel tank defect has me seriously questioning this car maker's quality and durability of their vehicles.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #6

Sep 012010

Civic Hybrid

  • miles
Ever since Honda "upgraded" my battery system I have lost both power as well as miles per gallon. I must merge onto interstate 680 on my commute to work. There are many large trucks who travel on this interstate and it is scary when I am merging onto the freeway, especially since cal trans just added a meteoring light so I must begin my approach from a stopped position. I thought it was my imagination that I have lost power until I heard about the lawsuit against Honda motor corporation. I went into the local Honda dealer and asked the service manager if the loss of power is true (as well as the loss of mpgs and he told me yes it is true.) I also asked what Honda is going to do about it and he said "nothing". I find this unacceptable.

- Milpitas, CA, USA

problem #5

Jan 012011

Civic Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 58,127 miles
I'm concerned with the safety of my family when driving this vehicle due to the poor performance as detailed below. The ima battery drains so frequently and so suddenly(gets worse in the summer) that we've been very close to be involved in a few accidents. When stopped and waiting at an intersection for the green light, the car is either idled or in "auto stop" mode. Once the light turns green and I let go off the break, the car fails to accelerate fast enough to the point that I donżżT make it across the intersection in time, even though I'm the first car closest to the intersection, thus causing the cars behind me to run the red light. I have also had very close calls when merging and entering the freeway at the speed of traffic since the car fails to accelerate. Another dangerous situation is when driving on the freeway at a steady speed of 65 mph on flat conditions and coming to an uphill, the car doesn't maintain the same speed. So I need to accelerate more. The RPM reaches 4000, the car is now barely making 45-50 mph and the traffic behind me is force to slow down or suddenly change lanes in order to avoid hitting me from behind.

- Pomona, CA, USA

problem #4

Oct 032011

Civic Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
The battery on my Honda Civic hybrid has been failing to charge which means my car has no power to move quickly up hills or accelerate when I need to especially as I am merging onto the freeway. There have been numerous dangerous occasions where I may have been the first car at a traffic light, the light will turn green but my car has no power to make it up the hill. There has also been incidents when I am merging onto the freeway but can't get my car to accelerate to an appropriate speed as to not be a danger to the cars already on the freeway. I pray to god that there is not an 18 wheeler approaching behind me in the right lane or the driver would not be able to slow down in time to allow me to merge onto the freeway. There has also been times where my car will not start up immediately in the morning. I have already replaced the starter battery from the Honda dealership that cost me over $200 after their mandatory adjustment on the ima battery. Honda will not replace my ima battery until the light comes on the dashboard. My car is not yet 4 years old but the battery is already a danger to my safety. Something needs to be done before somebody gets killed in their Honda hybrid for failing to accelerate at the appropriate times.

- Oceanside, CA, USA

problem #3

Aug 092010

Civic Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 41,232 miles
Upon receiving the 'mandatory' ima recall issued by Honda, I noticed my Honda Civic hybrid (2008) acted very differently when it came to accelerating from a stop, particularly on a hill. From a stop it takes several seconds before the car will move forward at a reasonable speed (which it did not do prior to the update). Prior to the update, the car would accelerate like a normal car with the ima kicking in to assist the car forward. Post update it's like the gas engine wants the ima to engage but the new firmware won't allow it to. The first time I experienced this, I was nearly hit coming out into traffic as my car hesitated. Honda has stated there is no way to reverse the update. This decrease in power continues to affect me today (at 60,000 miles and climbing). This update has affected my fuel economy as well (having dropped between 30-33 mpg on a "good" day). While the fuel economy may not be a personal safety issue, it is an environmental safety issue.

- Burlington, VT, USA

problem #2

Mar 012011

Civic Hybrid 4-cyl

  • miles
First incident occurred around a month after purchased 3 of 2011. Door locks would lock & unlock while driving. Immediately took it back to norm reeves Honda in cerritos, ca. I was told that the problem was a bad motor in the passenger door & norm reeves fixed the problem. I was told the drivers side window was defected & norm reeves replaced the window. In 4 of 2011, the car door locks began locking & unlocking while driving but now making a screeching sound. Took the car back to the same norm reeves & they explained it was the motor in the passenger rear door.that was fixed as well. In 6 of 2011, again the door locks started locking & unlocking while driving. I then realized the rear drivers side door was not locking & took it in to norm reeve where they stated the motor was out & they fixed it. I then asked if maybe it could be something electrical & if they could check the electrical wiring on the car, I was told by octavio, service manager at norm reeves, it was not the electrical that it was the door locks. I told the service manager, octavio at this time I felt like the car also gives a push or skip while driving & also smelled a burning smell. Octavio stated the Honda was checked by a tech & said nothing was wrong with it. I began taking the Honda civic in to norm reeves every month complaining about the car skipping or losing traction. It was frightening driving down hills thinking my car would not stop or lose control. The burning smell would become greater when driving up an incline or the hills of any freeway or city. When the car would be parked at an incline the shifter would lock & become hard to remove from park. During each visit to norma reeves Honda, which occurred more than 10 times, I was never told of any recalls or examinations needed in regards to the fuel tank problems & only found out when my Honda civic was taken to rock Honda of fontana, ca.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #1

Oct 152010

Civic Hybrid 4-cyl

  • miles
Purchased vehicle new in March of 2008. In October of 2010 an ima battery update was required by manufacturer. Since the update I have taken the vehicle back to the dealer on a monthly basis for almost a year with the following problems, they of course can not get the vehicle to do everything that it does to me and the dealer always tells me it is operating within manufacturers standards. I have given up taking it in every month and now just take it in for its routine maintenance, I give them a printout of my concerns and the tech attaches it to the workorder. A) low fuel mileage, averages 25 to 28 mpg. Before ima update, was averaging 35 to 45 mpg. B) slow acceleration from stops, this is very dangerous because we never know if the vehicle is going to move or not. We must leave ourselves alot of space when trying to merge with traffic because of this. C) idles rough, off & on, while stopped or parked, this is using up gas because the ima battery does not come on as much as it used to. D) assist is not coming on as much as it used to, if at all. E) ima battery reading goes from 1-2 bars upto 8 or so in minutes and then back down to 1-2 bars within a minute or less. Usually reads about 1-2 bars most of time. Ima is charging itself on flat ground, up hills, down hills and when braking. I would trade the vehicle in for another, but am afraid that some other sucker would end up with something that is not operating correctly. I did purchase the extended warranty on this vehicle.

- Bremerton, WA, USA

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