2019 Honda Civic Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Brakes, steering and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The Honda Civic is a car that has been loved by Americans for decades. That might be why the automaker claims the 2019 Honda Civic is an “iconic sedan.” It’s easy to agree that it is an icon, but not for the reasons that Honda thinks. It’s clear to see that this vehicle is going to go down in history as a faulty car thanks to its malfunctioning service brakes, defective engine and broken steering system.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2020   2021   2022   2023

Problems with the Brakes

The service brakes on any vehicle are one of the most essential safety systems. These brakes must work properly in order to stop the car. When they malfunction, a crash is inevitably imminent. That’s exactly what Honda Civic owners are dealing with.

One NHTSA user documented their experience by saying, “On two occasions, my car’s automatic braking system has engaged when nothing was in front of me. The first time, I was on the highway, and merging from an on ramp. The car suddenly dead stopped, brakes fully engaged. There was a car next to me, but nothing in front of me to cause the braking system. Luckily, no one was behind me. The second occurrence I was traveling about 30 mph on a local road. There was nothing anywhere around me. I approached a green light, and as I was going through the intersection, the car’s braking system fully engaged. It screeched the car to a halt. I was at a dead stop, in the middle of an intersection.”

What we see here isn’t exactly a problem with the service brakes, but more about the new driver-assist technology that’s designed to keep drivers safe. Instead, it put this owner into more danger. Instead of using the Service Bulletins to discuss this malfunction, the automaker simply talks about wheel changes to some of the models. It won’t much matter what wheels the car has if it doesn’t stop properly. The vehicle and its wheels will be sitting at the junkyard.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Honda Civic Brake Problems:

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2019 HONDA CIVIC. THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE EMERGENCY BRAKE BUTTON FAILED TO OPERATE. WHEN THE BUTTON WAS PRESSED, THE BRAKES DID NOT HOLD. ON ONE OCCASION, THE CONTACT PRESSED THE EMERGENCY BRAKE BUTTON AND THE VEHICLE ROLLED BACKWARDS. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT DIAGNOSED OR REPAIRED. THE DEALER AND MANUFACTURER WERE NOT MADE AWARE OF THE FAILURE. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 6,627.

MONDAY 6.10.19 MY DAUGHTER MADE A LEFT HAND TURN FROM WARD ROAD TO 44TH AVE. AN F150 CAME TO A STOP AND SHE APPLIED BRAKES ACCORDINGLY. SHE GOT ERRORS COLLISION MITIGATION AND SHE LOST THE ABILITY TO BRAKE. SHE READ ENDED THE F150. IN HER WORDS IT WAS LIKE SLIDING ON ICE. CRASH WAS UNDER 20 MPH AND HER PHONE PICKED UP SOFTWARE ERRORS. CAR IS WITH USAA AS OF 6/13/19 WHEAT RIDGE PD WAS ON SCENE BUT NO TICKETS ISSUES DUE TO CAR FAILURE.

2019 Honda Civic Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Fuel/propulsion System
42
42
Unknown Or Other
29
29
Steering
27
27
Electrical System
25
25
Service Brakes
23
23
Engine
22
22
Fuel System, Gasoline
21
21
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
20
20
Structure:body
11
11
Power Train
9
9

Problems with the Steering

It would be impossible to drive without a functioning steering wheel. The steering system contains more than just a wheel. All of these parts must work seamlessly together to provide the on-road performance drivers expect.

One NHTSA complaint perfectly documents what many Honda owners are currently experiencing. “The steering wheel reel assembly makes a click sound which is an indication of inadequate lubrication. The assembly itself cannot be relubricated as the entire assembly is sealed. Honda would need to replace the entire part that incorporates the assembly. However, technicians are stating that this is unneeded and normal part of the car. This is in actuality, untrue and can be ultimately dangerous for the driver.”

A quick look at the Service Bulletins from the company leads to the result everyone expected; there’s nothing to see. The company has chosen, once again, to ignore numerous complaints. It’s unclear whether they think that the customers are simply going to go away and quit if they don’t get a response. Unfortunately for them, that’s exactly what’s happening. Loyal Honda owners are choosing a different brand and jumping ship before the defective brakes, engine or steering causing an accident.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Honda Civic Steering Problems:

ON THE DRIVER SIDE, IT HAS SOME WEIRD NOISE OR SOUND. IT SOUNDS LIKE THE METAL RUBBING WITH THE CAR. SEARCHED THE PROBLEM ONLINE BEFORE AND FOUND A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVING THE SAME ISSUE. SOMETIME EVEN GOING STRAIGHT STILL ABLE TO HEAR IT.

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Problems with the Engine

When an engine runs the way it should, the car is considered reliable and fun to drive. Many Honda owners stay with the brand because of past dependability. The 2019 Honda Civic leaves a lot to be desired. It seems to come with a malfunctioning engine.

Just read this terrifying NHTSA review. “Terrible smell inside the car and outside when parked in garage after short drive. Oil dilution. Strong gasoline vapors. Gasoline mixing with oil in engine.”

The only time a driver should smell gasoline is when they stand at the pumps. Other than that, the fuel should never come in contact with the oil in the engine. While the company has remained quiet about this issue as well, they are looking into an oil leak. Through Manufacturer Communication #APaS04022019904, they have asked dealers for more information on 2.0L engines with an oil leak from the valve cover gasket. For them to go this far indicates that this leaking is a prevalent issue. Otherwise, the automaker would have done what they do best – ignore the problem.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Honda Civic Engine Problems:

BRAND NEW 2019 CIVIC WITH A LEAKING CONDENSER. CAR HAS 4862MILES, WITH ALL THE EXTENDED WARRANTIES. HONDA REFUSED COVERAGE EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE NOT DONE ALL THEY CAN TO PROTECT SUCH A FRAGILE COMPONENT. WAS TOLD A “SMALL PEBBLE” HIT THE CONDENSER CAUSING A LEAK. HONDA IS STRAIGHT UP RUNNING A SCAM ON IT’S CUSTOMERS. AT $1,000.00 A POP PER REPAIR, MY LOCAL DEALERSHIP ADMITTED TO SEEING AT LEAST 5 OF THIS TYPE OR REPAIR COMING THROUGH EVERY WEEK!! IMAGINE HOW MUCH REFRIGERANT IS LEAKING INTO THE ATMOSPHERE!? 5 A WEEK AT ONE DEALERSHIP….WOW.

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2019 HONDA CIVIC. WHILE DRIVING AT AN UNKNOWN SPEED, THE VEHICLE SPUTTERED AND THE CHECK ENGINE AND EMISSIONS WARNING INDICATORS ILLUMINATED. THE CONTACT STATED THAT SHE STARTED TO EXPERIENCE MILD HEADACHES. THE VEHICLE WAS TAKEN TO FREEMAN HONDA TO BE DIAGNOSED. THE CONTACT WAS INFORMED BY THE MECHANIC THAT THE VEHICLE WAS SAFE TO DRIVE. A PART PERTAINING TO THE EMISSIONS WAS ORDERED. THE CONTACT WAS CONCERNED FOR HER SAFETY. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT REPAIRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOT CONTACTED. THE APPROXIMATE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 521.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Honda pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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8 COMMENTS
  • Christian R

    I bought a 2018 Honda Civic (Touring Edition Sedan) with a 1.5L turbo Earth Dreams engine (174hp) and subsequently having only 43,000 miles, one owner, no reported accidents, a clean and complete service record history through carfax, and 9,000/yr miles driven by the previous owner. I had seen the issue (albeit rarely and none with as low mileage as mine nor accompanied by many other issues in comparison to the average complaint severity or quantity associated with other vehicles in the class that I was in the market for. The biggest decision factors that influenced my choosing of this car particularly, aside from personal cosmetic factors, were the phenomenal gas mileage, vehicle handling, brand name reputation and online reviews as to uphold the top of the line reliability of Honda Civics 10th generation overall, ease of part availability, maintenance costs, infotainment and comfort as well as the huge amount of cargo space in comparison to other vehicles in a similar class.

    That information being noted, I believe that most people would agree I did my best in due diligence to choose a vehicle, do my research and check all history to purchase (finance) a vehicle that would be a reliable means of transportation and that I could do my responsibilities as far as maintaining the vehicle per the Owners Manual in a timely manner to keep the car reliable through proper care. On top of this, I feel it is a key point to mention that 7 days post purchase of the vehicle (I purchased the vehicle through Carvana & had no issues as far as registration, or mechanical & electrical safety concerns), I had the car dropped off at Autopark Honda Dealer in Cary, NC to have a pre-purchase inspection completed with a complete diagnostic and test drive to take care of any underlying issues if present, I was told there were none worth mentioning, aside from two front tires with half the tread left and two rear tires that were brand new, so I replaced the front two tires. Another issue presented to me as minor was a loose oil drain plug with a small leak (that was explained as being the result most likely of the most recent oil change servicer not tightening it all the way). The oil drain plug was tightened by Honda and topped off with oil and handed off as good to go with my reciept & work performed.

    Roughly five or seven days after having this done and now (14) days post purchase and pickup of the car while driving on the Interstate on a 30 mile straight shot toward Sanford, I was taken off gaurd by an illuminated maintence (check engine oil level) light and proceeded to pull over as soon as the next available exit no more than 10 minutes after the light came on, where I was able to park in an Advanced Auto Parts parking lot to determine the cause, thinking that it was a simple matter of a new infotainment system that has options of resetting these things considering the oil was just done by Honda the same week and there were no other issues noticeable to suggest anything else, however, only two to five minutes into searching for a reset option and researching using my phone (google) the vehicle abruptly stalled out to my surprise. I exited the vehicle, pulled the scissor jack out and lifted the vehicle to inspect the issue where I found the oil drain plug completely off (I have never seen anything like this before happening upon normal driving or anytime before for that matter). I purchased a new one through Advanced Auto and 5 Quarts of Mobil 0w-20 full synthetic motor oil, tightened the new drain plug on, put 3.7q of oil in through a funnel and checked for leaks, which there no longer was. I took the vehicle off the scissor jack gave the car time to allow the oil to make it’s way back through the engine and 15 minutes later started the vehicle with no symptoms, thinking the vehicle was fine now. As I proceeded to try and drive off, I noticed a loud whistle that increased as the gas pedal did accompanied by an engine knocking sound, but acceleration did not increase as if the car could barely move. I had the vehicle towed to a Carvana in network repair facility through their 100 day limited warranty with SilverRock for diagnosis where I was told the vehicle needed to go to Honda for full diagnosis as the issue was beyond their scope of expertise. Honda diagnosed the engine with metal shavings in the oil, a blown turbo and in need of a complete engine/turbo replacement done and an estimate of $7,000 total (for used) and $16,000 for new. The vehicle has been driven a total of roughly 1,000 or so miles and this happened on the 14th day of purchasing the vehicle, the vehicle has been in the shop, no parts ordered, no timeline mentioned, Honda denying their 60,000 mile warranty which is active due to (overfilled oil) as if that makes any sense or is the cause of this at 44,000 miles and currently is being approved through SilverRock but their choice of replacement part is through LKQ for a cheap notoriously faulty engine and I have been without my newly purchased vehicle for 10-15 days, my first car payment is September 08th in two days from the posting of this message and no clue as to what or when I can expect to drive it again or how it will hold up, no idea of my options as to lemon laws or trade ins and returns for another vehicle as the 7 day trade in was just few days too late and Honda refusing to honor their warranty for absolutely no reason and I am left helpless and responsible for a $300 deductible as of who knows when, a car payment on a newly purchased vehicle that is done already needing $16,000 engine and turbo replacements and no idea what to do but be a victim of the disgusting acts of Honda not honoring their own warranty or offering explanation, assistance, options and throwing me to the curb, and years worth a financing on a lemon as of now.

  • Bridget a

    Honda has a bunch of flakes working for them that’s why the cars come back still not running

  • Latoya H

    I purchased this car 4 months ago and the third Tim I’m having to get the air conditioner serviced

  • Kunthea p

    I just bought 2019 Honda Civics SI..i barely hit a bumper at a gas station and it activated the airbag and it was so strong that it broke the windshield from the inside and the air bag release this fire retardant who knows what chemical was in there causes a bad headache and the horrible alarm went out like a bomb and I couldn’t shut that off until I deactivated the battery and I couldn’t even drive home..keeps beeping loud and it costs $7000.00 to fix steering column not including the broken windshield just because of the air bags…the sensor is over too sensitive..and expensive fix air bags system.

  • Michael H

    My 2019 Honda Civic quit running three times on 09/23/2020 it acted like a fuel pump . The car has 6,700 miles on it .

  • Ralph

    I am leasing a 2019 Honda Civic Sport. I was told by the Honda service dept. on 8/14/2020 that there was an oil leak under the timing change cover. It is covered by warranty. The mileage is 10,330 mi. Am I able to get out of this lease if I decide to?

  • Ruth A

    Leased 2019 Honda Civic had unintended acceleration on 2/24. The brakes did not work. I hit a wall of a building. Airbags were deployed and I broke a finger.

  • Ernie

    2 times I have gotten into a car accident this month due to faulty brakes on my new 2019 Honda civic. Was not able to stop on time ….

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