Steering, forward collision avoidance, and lane departure issues are the main cause of complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
Cruising our roads for half a century, the all-new 2023 Honda Civic is, according to the automaker, “the most powerful and highest-performing Honda production vehicle ever sold in America.” Additionally, this second model year of the 11th generation Civic is dubbed the “most fun-to-drive Civic in our history.” But, like the 2022 model, with faulty steering it’s not much fun to drive. Similarly, 2023 owners are complaining about the same lane departure, and forward collision avoidance issues that 2022 owners have been highlighting. Ultimately, overall power and performance for these people is suspect.
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Most Common Problems
Manufactured in the U.S. and available since November 2022, the first eight 2023 Honda Civic complaints to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) indicate that steering remains the major problem. Half of the steering-related complaints also focus on lane departure issues. Other problematic components and systems are forward collision avoidance, airbags, the electrical system, and the engine.
The 2022 Honda Civic, available from April-June 2021, had already notched up 251 NHTSA complaints by the end of March 2023 – a whopping 77% more since mid-October 2022. Of these, 186 are steering problems, 129 of which were lodged from January 3 to March 27, 2023. There are also 41 complaints that relate to forward collision avoidance, some combined with steering. And there are 29 vehicle speed control issues, most combined with forward collision avoidance problems.
The concern is that problems found in the first 11th generation Civic model have been perpetuated in the second 2023 model, making neither much fun to drive. Looking at the pattern of 2022 NHTSA complaints, we can probably expect the numbers of 2023 complaints to increase during the coming months.
Another concern is that there isn’t a single manufacturer communication, which includes technical service bulletins, about steering in the 2022 or 2023 Honda Civic. These documents must, by law, be submitted to the NHTSA. Nevertheless, the NHTSA is well aware of the steering issue and on March 17, 2023, opened an Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) preliminary evaluation (PE).
2023 Honda Civic Complaint Summary
|Number of Complaints
|Lane Departure: Assist
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
|Lane Departure: Warning
|Unknown Or Other
A properly functioning steering system is essential to vehicle safety. It stands to reason that if the steering malfunctions in any way, your risk of a crash is increased. Complaints from owners about the 2023 Civic’s steering, range from it feeling stuck or sticky, to it not working at all.
An owner from Colorado with a $60K Civic that has only 25 miles on it states that the “steering feels weird.” It over-corrects and is “sometimes sticky and wandering.”
Steering Malfunction Affects Lane Departure
One of the complaints, from an owner in Florida, reports a crash with an injury. Listed as a steering and lane departure problem, the complaint states that the Civic wouldn’t turn because of the steering. Then it went out of the lane into a wall at 60 mph. All the passenger airbags deployed. There is no indication of who was injured.
Another complaint in the same two categories, from an owner in Kansas, states that “the lane-keeping assistant is glitchy.” It goes on to say that when driving with the lane-keeping assistant turned on, the car tends to veer off into the turning lane when passing a turning lane. “The biggest problem is that it takes a really firm tug on the wheel to actually stay in the correct lane. (It) has caused me to over-correct a few times, veering slightly into the opposite lane. This has happened multiple times.”
Owners Say Problem Occurs at About 60 MPH
An owner from Virginia states that the “steering feels stuck at higher highway speeds (of) 60+ making it dangerous to drive the vehicle.”
While driving at about 60 mph, a Connecticut owner’s Civic “suddenly veered to the right and the power steering seemed to not work. The steering required vigorous correcting to maintain vehicle control. This continued for several minutes and it felt like the power steering was not working.” It felt as if a tire might be going flat. So the driver stopped and checked the tires – which “were fine.” After restarting the engine, the Civic ran normally. Two days later the dealership checked it out but couldn’t identify a problem.
An owner from Michigan states in a complaint that the problem happens at various speeds, but most noticeably between 40 and 70 mph. “While driving in a straight line or in turns where the steering wheel stays in the same position for more than a few seconds, the steering wheel sticks at times.” This is usually when the driver doesn’t correct the steering wheel for a few seconds and there is a “slight stick.” Although slight, it is noticeable, the complaint states, and “requires a more than normal/reasonable amount of pressure to make the steering wheel unstuck. This has led to some over-corrections.”
Sticky Steering Problem Investigation
The NHTSA ODI opened a PE, Momentary Increased Steering Effort, after receiving 145 consumer complaints and several Early Warning Reporting (EWR) Field Reports about 2022 and 2023 Honda Civic vehicles. There is no indication of how many were hatchbacks and how many sedans.
According to the investigation summary, complaints report a “momentary increase in steering effort,” which they also describe as “sticky steering.” This usually happens at highway speeds after the Civic has been driving for some time. Most complaints, they say, come from owners with low vehicle mileage.
The ODI’s concern is that “a momentary increase in steering effort may result in overcorrection or inability to avoid a road hazard. This could lead to an increased potential for a collision.” Their motivation for opening the PE is “to determine the scope and severity of the potential problem and to fully assess the potential safety-related issues.”
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Airbags and Forward Collision Avoidance Problem
An owner from California describes how the Civic “alerted me to hit the brake” as if someone in front had braked. The driver duly braked and the airbags were deployed. There was no crash, and “no damage to the car in front of me” … “it felt unnecessary for an airbag to go off.” To make matters worse, “my windshield cracked and airbags under my feet and front went off.”
Is your 2023 Honda Civic a Lemon? Your Lemon Rights
The NHTSA is concerned about the steering issues that 2023 Honda Civic owners are reporting. Maybe you are too. But this doesn’t mean serious problems are limited to steering and forward collision avoidance. If there’s anything at all that makes you think you may have bought a lemon, you are entitled to do something about it. A good rule of thumb is that if problems impact the use of your vehicle or its value, you might want to get a lemon lawyer to evaluate your problems.
Every year automakers pay out substantial sums of money to lemon owners as well as trading in or replacing problematic vehicles. The law says that Honda must pay the legal fees for lemon law cases, so you don’t need to worry about that.
Lemberg Law has been helping vehicle owners who have found themselves with lemons for many years, and we have negotiated many settlements on their behalf. If you’d like us to assess your case, free of charge, contact us by calling our Helpline or filling out a contact form.