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really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
72,400 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. replace engine (1 reports)
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2012 Honda Insight engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Honda Insight Owner Comments

problem #4

Jul 072017

Insight EX 1.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,253 miles


I bought the Honda Insight EX when I got a contract and working in Memphis, Tennessee in 2012. 1 year later I moved back to Canada and imported the car.

It was a nice car and we drove with care, no accident, no problems in the passed 5 years.

It happened in Jul.7, 2017 when I was driving on the street with my wife on passenger seat, the car suddenly started to shake without warning, all check lights started to flash on the dashboard, and soon it lost its power, couldn't move above 10 km/h even the acceleration pedal is pushed to limit. We were very shocked and had no idea what was going on. Fortunately, we were not on highway and found a nearby parking lot shortly. We moved into the parking lot, turned off the engine and called the tow service.

The car was towed to the local Honda dealer. They spent time to diagnose the problem. At first they suspected the ignition coils, but then told me it was the engine oil which is empty when they discovered. I told them it was not possible, firstly I just did the B1 Service in their store in April, secondly the oil light was never on. But by viewing "carcomplaints", I found similar cases and got to know it is a common problem in this model:

Richmond Honda replaced 8 spark plugs and invoiced me CAD $622.35 (attached Dealer_Invoice_07Jul17.PDF). They also asked me to do an oil consumption test. Because the car was purchased in USA, they need a warranty transfer from USA to Canada for further service.

According to Honda policy, If a vehicle that was originally sold new in the United States is brought into Canada, its warranty applies to the owner that purchased the vehicle while living in the U.S. and who imports the vehicle into Canada for their own personal or family use.(

But when I called Honda US customer service and sent them copy of my purchase invoice, title, Geico insurance letter, import form -- a bunch of documents that prove my original purchase and current ownership of the car, the Honda US customer support, a young lady with accent called me a couple of times, days apart each, asking for different documents. The last round was the vehicle registration form, I sent scanned copy of my "Tennessee Department of Revenue Taxpayer and Vehicle Services Division Multi-Purpose Application", which is the official registration form in Tennessee, the customer support insists it is not the registration form that she recognizes and refuses to do anything, She declared my car is out of warranty because it was exported.

So, it turned out that Honda Insight 2012 has serious design/manufacturing defects, and it is even a nightmare to talk to Honda Customer Support when asking for help -- based on my experience.

- Reed Y., Richmond, BC, Canada

problem #3

Jan 032017

Insight LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles

My Honda Insight has some 46,000 miles on it. It uses 2 qts of oil between changes (change at 3,000 miles) and when I took it in to the Honda people they said I needed to drive it 1500 miles to document the oil use. I informed them the car would flash the engine light and the speed would cut to 12-14 MPH until I stopped, cut the engine and restart after a few minutes. It would then repeat the problem within a few miles. Honda people acted as though they didn't believe me and said to keep driving it until it had the required 1500 miles on their oil change. Finally, on the trip to them because engine light again came on and the speed cut, they read the computer and pulled 4 plugs and they were all burnt, one of them with the tip completely burned away. They had not yet pulled the other 4 plugs. (Who knew it had 8 plugs for 4 cyl?) They called the factory rep and said the problem was covered (3 more days left on the warranty) and they now have the car and I am awaiting to see what they have to do.(as of 1/23/17). They told me the cost would be $6,000 to $7,000 to fix if I had to pay for it. The car is only worth about 6500 according to the Blue Book, but they said Honda wants to keep me in the car. (Makes no sense to me, but I just want my car repaired and back in my driveway. The people at the Honda Repair Center have been nice enough. I will have to see what happens. This seems to be a common problem. Why hasn't Honda had a recall?

- carlycat2015, Pfafftown, Nc, NC, USA

problem #2

Nov 132016


  • CVT transmission
  • 145,000 miles

Would not drive over 5 miles per hour, burnt plugs with only 20000 on set, oil loss.

- roneal, Crockett, TX, USA

problem #1

Jun 052015

Insight EX

  • CVT transmission
  • 56,200 miles

I was driving down the highway and the car revved way high and then it got really rough, went really low and then it just died in the middle of the road. Ihad to call AAA to tow. I called Honda America to ask if what I have been reading was true that there was a quality issue with the 2012 Honda insights engine? The represenitive completely denied it yet told me that if the car had less then 60,000 miles on it that It "should be covered". My car has been to the dealer for two weeks and no new information was given oon the status of the repair. I purchased the vehicle proudly after saving up for a long time in order to not have a loan and now i have a 3 year old honda with less then 60,000 Mile that looks good but doesn't run. What happened to the Honda Bullet Proof Reliability that I heard of when I was shopping around for this car. Could the Quality issues be the real reason for Honda pulling the plug on the Affordable Hybrid??? I have lost faith in there product.

Update from Aug 18, 2015: I recieved word yesterday that I too am one of the insight owners that are going to need the mysterious kit to fix the automobile. I was told yesterday that It will include new pistons and rings. however they were not sure when the parts would arrive and that it could "take a few days" A really nice Service employee at the dealership has been keeping me informed of everything that has or needs to be done. I was lucky in that this happened before the 60,000 mile powertrain warranty was up. Iwas told that the engine work would be covered at no cost to me. Its just like the military (Hurry up and wait). I will keep updating when all repairs happen as to the process dealing with honda and whether this is another band aid repair or a true fix to this year make and models growing list of serious problems.

- Mike F., Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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