2022 Honda Insight Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Forward collision-avoidance, brake, and electrical system issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

Every driver is looking for the perfect mix between efficiency and style, which is what draws many to the 2022 Honda Insight. After all, the automaker claims it is “style meets savvy.” But owners are discovering varied electrical system problems and serious issues relating to the automatic emergency brakes.

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Most Common Problems with the 2022 Insight

The most common complaints owners of the 2022 Honda Insight have lodged with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) relate to the automatic emergency brake system and forward collision-avoidance.

There are nearly as many complaints about the electrical system. However, these issues are varied and range from multiple error messages to charging issues and faulty batteries.

Other systems and components that are implicated in complaints include the engine, fuel/propulsion system, latches/locks/linkages, and steering. A complaint filed as a structure and visibility/wiper problem describes how the moonroof of the sedan exploded. Another structural issue involves the front end of the hood flipping up randomly.

In addition to these complaints, there is also a recall and an investigation that affect the 2022 Insight. The recall is because the automatic locking retractor on the second-row center seat belt assembly may not activate properly. If this happens, the child won’t be secure and could easily be injured if there is a crash.

The investigation relates to the electrical system and lack of pedestrian alert sounds for vehicles. It’s essentially the result of a new standard that applies to an increased number of vehicles.

2022 Honda Insight Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
5
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
5
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
3
Unknown Or Other
3
Steering
2
Engine
1
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
1
Fuel/propulsion System
1
Latches/locks/linkages:hood:latch
1
Service Brakes
1

Forward Collision-Avoidance Problems

The automaker boasts that the Honda Insight standard Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) “is one of the most sophisticated safety systems available.” It alerts drivers of potential frontal collision through audible and visual alerts allowing drivers to take immediate corrective action. Additionally, it can “apply the brakes to help reduce the forces of a collision if the system determines one to be unavoidable.”

Honda states that the system is designed to perform in 3 stages:

  1. It issues alerts if there is a risk of collision or if the system detects a vehicle or pedestrian ahead.
  2. If the driver doesn’t take action, the system continues to deliver alerts and starts to apply “light braking.”
  3. If the system determines a collision cannot be avoided, it applies “strong braking to help mitigate the forces of a collision.”

Most of the owners of 2022 Insight vehicles with forward collision-avoidance problems focus specifically on emergency brake system malfunctions. However, an owner from Colorado adds that there are additional issues relating to a vacuum forming when the emergency brake system activates. His complaint maintains that his wife experienced an injury due to this phenomenon.

CMBS Creates Pressure in the Car Cabin

In the complaint, the Colorado owner states that CMBS-related defects have recurred 4 times. The first 3 times his wife was driving on a freeway at 65 mph. The brake light came on randomly and slowed the vehicle down to 15 mph. “While the brakes are engaging a forceful vacuum and pressure enters the cabin.” This resulted in chest pain. The fourth time, she was driving at 45-50 mph. The vehicle did the same thing, but also displayed a brake warning light. The pressure in her chest was intense.

“This defect on our vehicle is a life and death situation defect. My wife has been extremely lucky that no collision occurred as a result of these horrible experiences. If the Honda Motor Company has not required a recall, then they should be doing this ASAP to prevent unnecessary accidents to prevent citizens from dying.”

Initially he was told that the service department was unable to find the problem. Later, he was told that “something needed to be adjusted 2-3 degrees.” At the time of the complaint, on 22 August, 2023, he was waiting for more detailed information.

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Automatic Emergency Brake Problems

An owner from Minnesota states that twice the sedan “has engaged emergency brakes with cars behind me and no cars in front of me.” Additionally, the complaint states that several times, the “brake now indicator has come on with no cars nearby.”

An owner from Illinois also experienced emergency braking system failures when there were “no obstacles in the road.” This included audible and visual warnings. “Other vehicles needed to take evasive action to avoid a collision during the unnecessary braking and while regaining speed after the system deactivated.” Alarmingly, the dealership inspected the sedan and said there were no fault codes found … so nothing was done.

The same kind of thing happened to an owner in California. This complaint states that “there wasn’t much traffic and the nearest vehicle in front of me was about 100 meters ahead of me.” Suddenly, the 2022 Insight “activated the automatic emergency brakes and slowed down for about a second before deactivating them.” Luckily, there wasn’t much traffic on the road, “and no car was immediately behind me as that could have caused a great accident.”

Electrical System Problems

While the 2022 Honda Insight isn’t designed to be a high-priced luxury vehicle, the electrical system should still be reliable and functional. However, NHTSA complaints indicate that there are a multitude of electrical system problems. These range from Honda using soy-based wiring systems that attract rodents to charging issues and battery problems. Error messages are also very common.

Problems with Charging System

One NHTSA complaint states, throughout a short ownership of the 2022 Insight, a charging system problem warning light has been activated when starting up and during operation of the vehicle. The owner states that the warning light possibly indicates an error with the charging system of the vehicle, and this may result in a loss or reduction of power. It might also increase the risk of a collision.

At the time of the complaint, the vehicle was being inspected by the dealership.  “The service department states they cannot properly reproduce/identify/diagnose the issue at this time.”

Battery and Other Electrical Problems

This owner was experiencing problems with a “dead or faulty battery issue.” After charging it to 100% with reference to the owners’ manual, he set off for the dealership to have the car serviced. During the drive there were numerous error messages. These included warnings about electric steering, the brakes, the tire pressure monitoring system, and traction control.

The first problem the dealership identified was that the steering wheel wasn’t centered and the car would need a wheel alignment. The cost would be $179. They maintained the car had “hit a curb or something. No I did not, and (I said I) would seek a second opinion first before I allowed that service.”

Then they ascertained that the battery was faulty and agreed to replace it under warranty. But the traction control light was still flashing and would probably require a $158 fee to fix. The owner questioned this saying he thought it was “an issue related to the battery going bad.”

While waiting for the battery to be replaced, he did some internet research. He discovered that the offset steering wheel was due to a “steering angle sensor” located under the steering wheel that might need to be recalibrated. The cause was said to either be because of a collision or the need to remove/replace the battery. “The recalibration requires a special diagnostic electronic device to interface with the car’s computer(s). The receipt for service said ‘calibrated system’.”

Problems with Rodents Eating Wiring

Many vehicles are manufactured with soy-based wiring that is said to be more environmentally friendly and cheaper than more traditional wiring. But it comes with a well-known problem. Soy attracts hungry rodents.

Rodent Problem in California

An owner from California experienced multiple error messages including loss of power and collision mitigation. The dealer diagnosed an electrical failure caused by rodent damage, but said it wasn’t covered by the warranty. Repairs cost the owner $640, who chose to pay rather than claim on insurance. His reason was the insurance company threatened to raise his rates if he “continuously” put in claims.

“I thought – one time incident, bad luck.” But not even 24 hours after the car had been repaired, the problem recurred. After having the car towed to the dealer a second time, he was told it was rodent damage again – “in the same spot, at the same area.” They charged him another $224 to solder the wires, saying “they never seen this happen before. I find it convenient that no other vehicles on this street had issues with rodent damage. And the same area was bitten twice. Why would Honda create such an easily accessible route for rodents or a non-covered protected wire?”

The complaint states that an online search “revealed Honda uses soy-based insulation which attracts rodents.”

Rodent Problem in New York

There are also rodents in New York that chew soy-based Honda Insight harness wires! The owner became aware of this when he experienced multiple error codes while driving with only 500 miles on the clock. He also experienced loss of power and steering, and brake failure. Three months later, the car “barely started, (the) engine knocking and sputtering.” With damage estimated at $7,000, the dealership told him his “2022 Honda Insight attracts rodents” and that “a rodent finished the job Sunday night.” But, like the vehicle in California, the warranty doesn’t cover rodent damage.

What he can’t fathom is why these rodents didn’t attack his wife’s car that was parked right next to his in the driveway. “This is a warranty issue and a safety issue. I could have been killed while driving with exposed wires.” He asks, “Can I trust this car to be reliable anymore? A $30,000 car that can be my death trap.”

What Should You Do If Your 2021 Honda Insight is a Lemon?

If you think you may have a lemon, feel free to call on Lemberg Law to assess your problems free of charge. The law makes Honda pay the 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.  All you have to do is call our Helpline or fill out a contact form for us to get started.

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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