2021 Honda Civic Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system, powertrain, and suspension issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

The 2021 Honda Civic is supposed to follow many generations of customer loyalty to impress drivers. After all, the automaker claims it will make “driving fun.” If “fun” consists of spending a lot of time waiting for repairs, then the Honda is a winner. This car seems to struggle with its electrical system, powertrain and suspension.

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Problems with the Electrical System

No one wants to deal with glitches to the electrical system of a vehicle, but that’s exactly what 2021 Honda Civic owners are facing.

One NHTSA complaint states, “In first month of ownership, all four windows automatically opened after I parked the car and walked away. After some online investigation, I made an appointment with Honda Service Dept. and asked them to disable the remote window open feature. They said it could not be done. Then I found a video on You Tube showing a Toyota technician enabling this option; if it can be enabled then it can also be DISABLED I would assume. Why is this disable remote window opening not available for my Honda Civic?”

So far, Honda has only been willing to discuss one issue with the 2021 Honda Civic, and it has to do with the electrical system. Service Bulletin #AATS210301 talks about how the newer iPhones don’t work with the wireless charging device that customers are paying for. At this time, Honda doesn’t have a fix but tells customers, “we are aware of these concerns and are currently looking into it.” One can only imagine how long this fix might take to figure out.

Problems with the Powertrain

Back in the day, the Civic was known as a car that was fun to drive, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with the newest transmission technology.

Here’s one Edmunds review discussing the trouble. “Having a CVT in a hot hatch / sport hatch really takes away from the driver experience. This little turbocharged engine has a lot of potential for fun to be had (probably fully realized with the 6MT), but most of that potential boost and turbo noise is lost on the CVT which conceals it behind a veil of continuously varying gear ratios and deflates any hopes of cool engine noises during a spirited drive. For example, you take off and the tachometer will just hover at, say, 3000 RPMs while the gears adjust so that you continue accelerating. And yes there are simulated gears with the paddle shifters, but I haven’t found this to be an improvement on the automatic shifting function.”

So far, nothing has been said from the Honda camp about the failure to include a functioning transmission with the sporty model. Customers are left in the dark with no understanding about what happened to the adventure they were used to behind the wheel of a Civic. While this was once a favorite model among car drivers, the tides seem to be changing rapidly.

Problems with the Suspension

It appears that Honda failed on the suspension as well. Without a smooth ride, there’s no reason to drive this vehicle.

One final Edmunds review states, “I test drove several trim levels (LX Sedan, Sport Hatch, and EX Hatch) on average roads, each with different wheel sizes but all with the same suspension parts to my understanding. The smaller wheel sizes absorbed a little more of the road vibration, but overall I was surprised by how rough the ride was with all three, even the LX with 16-inch wheels. This is exactly what I was trying to get away from with my previous car as I drive 60 miles per day. The new Civic is almost as bad as my previous car in terms of ride comfort while not nearly as fun!”

For a car that supposedly makes “driving fun,” there’s a lot to hate about this model. In fact, many drivers are dreading getting behind the wheel, causing them to question their loyalty to the Honda brand at this point. Maybe it’s time to jump ship and go for a make/model that actually puts some thrill into the driving experience. At this point, a bicycle might even be better suited.

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.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 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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