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

Powertrain & electrical system issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The original hybrid Honda Insight, introduced in 1999 as a fuel-efficient, 2-passenger, 2-door commuter car, featured a 3-cylinder gasoline engine with an electric motor.

The company continued to manufacture the first-generation Insight until 2006. Then they launched the second generation, 5-passenger, 5-door car in 2010. Because of its increased size, weight, and power, its fuel efficiency decreased.

Despite hundreds of complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Honda continued to manufacture the Insight until 2014. There are 111 complaints about the 2010 model and 10 recalls related to airbag problems. There are 40 complaints about the 2011 model plus the same 10 recalls that remain unresolved. NHTSA records show 55 complaints about the 2012 model along with 8 airbag-related recalls. A total of 43 complaints about the 2013 and 2014 models plus 6 and 3 airbag-related recalls respectively.

After another break in production, the third generation was unveiled in 2018 for the 2019 model year. A 4-door sedan, it features Honda’s 2-motor hybrid powertrain and uses a lithium-ion battery and an electric motor. The 2019 model has attracted 37 NHTSA complaints and 2020, 15. We provide more detail about the 2020 complaints in 2020 Honda Insight Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Now, Honda has announced that it won’t be producing the Insight after 2022. But if you’ve got a 2021 model and you think it’s a lemon, you can still do something about it.

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

Most Common Problems with the 2021 Honda Insight

Problems highlighted in consumer complaints to the NHTSA about the 2021 model are varied and cover issues about airbags, the electrical system, forward collision avoidance, the powertrain, brakes, and vehicle speed control.

On a positive note, the NHTSA safety ratings for this model are consistently 5-star for all frontal crash, side crash, and rollover tests. They do, though, warn that in the event of a driver losing control of the vehicle, there is a rollover risk of 9.30%.

2021 Honda Insight Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Service Brakes
Unknown Or Other
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Air Bags
Electrical System
Exterior Lighting
Lane Departure: Blind Spot Detection
Power Train

Airbag Problems

The airbag complaint is a result of an accident caused when a deer jumped in front of the car. The car hit the deer, but none of the airbags deployed. According to the complaint, the automatic brakes were engaged at the time but no warning lights came on. Nobody was injured in the crash, but they did file a police report.

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Problems with the Brakes

Even though they are filed in various categories, all the other complaints refer to brake problems. One that is categorized as Service Brakes states that a brake system problem error message has popped up twice on the home screen inside the car as well as on the Hondalink app.

The message reads: “The brake system has a problem or the brake fluid may be low. There is no resistance from the brake pedal. Downshift to lower gears to slow the vehicle. Immediately stop in a safe place and contact roadside assistance.”

The second part of the message says: “The brake system has a problem. Avoid high speeds and sudden braking. Have your vehicle checked by a dealer immediately.”

According to the complaint, the message disappears after a few minutes. But the Honda dealer was unable to duplicate the brake error code with the car.

The complaint also says that the brakes squeak, often when taking off at startup.

Forward Collision Avoidance Problems

This complaint states that the collision warning system has slammed on the brakes 6 times when there have been no vehicles on the road in front of the Insight.

“This is very dangerous when vehicles are behind you. I’m afraid that this car is going to cause a wreck and get me and my wife hurt. A device that is supposed to help you has the ability to get you hurt. The dealer said that they were unable to get it to do it and that if I was afraid of it, I could turn it off. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of getting it in the first place. I think Honda is just trying to sweep it under the table. Who knows how many other vehicles they have out there with this problem.”

Powertrain/Electrical System Problems

This lengthy complaint explains how a power control unit (PCU) malfunction led to a loss of power steering and brakes.

“When I started the car, the warning lights came on. I turned the car off and then restarted it without warning lights. I then backed out of the drive and started on my way. As I was descending a hill, the transmission shut off. I was able to coast to a stop with some braking.”

The dealer replaced the PCU, and his wife was driving it home when “the PCU malfunctioned again, and the transmission stopped working. She was unable to accelerate, and the power steering and power braking would not function. She was able to coast over to the right lane from two lanes over and then coast to the exit to safety.

“When the tow truck came to retrieve the vehicle, the car started but would not get out of park. It could shift into neutral but would revert to park when my foot was taken off the brake.”

The car was with the dealer when the complaint was made.

What to do if your 2021 Honda Insight is a lemon? Your Lemon Rights

When problems affect the value of a car or impair its use or safety, it could qualify as a lemon. The same is true of cars that have recurring problems, especially when dealers are unable to fix them.

If you think your 2021 Honda Insight might be a lemon, the best thing to do is approach a reputable lemon law firm like Lemberg Law. We have helped many of our clients get replacement vehicles, trade-ins, and cash settlements. It won’t cost you anything either, because the law makes Honda pay the legal bills for cars that are lemons.

Call our Helpline so that we can assess your problems in terms of lemon law.

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.

See more posts from Brian Jones

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