Complete Guide to Honda & Acura Sticky Steering

Problem Deep Dive

Updated on Author: Sergei Lemberg

Updated on Author: Sergei Lemberg

Lemberg Law is investigating an ongoing barrage of complaints that relate to sticky steering problems with Acura and Honda vehicles manufactured between 2022 and 2024. There have been hundreds of complaints, numerous crashes, and several injuries reported as a result of these issues. Neither Acura nor its parent company Honda, has issued a recall. However, the NHTSA has an ongoing investigation that aims at uncovering the truth.          

Sticky Steering Explained

There is an enormous, ongoing problem with the 2023-2024 Acura Integra and various 2022-2023 Honda Civic and 2023-2024 Honda CR-V vehicles. Owners of the affected vehicle models have lodged hundreds of complaints with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Additionally, the NHTSA Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has identified even more failures and by December 2023 estimated that more than half a million Honda and Acura vehicles were affected.

ODI investigations are titled, Momentary Increased Steering Effort, which they acknowledge is described by complaints as “sticky steering.”

Honda has issued one steering recall due to an incorrectly assembled steering rack. At face value, it doesn’t appear to relate to the sticky steering issue, but it probably is. Additionally, the company has circulated several technical services bulletins that relate to steering problems. Oddly, these only refer to Honda Civic 2022-2024 model years, and the term “sticky steering” isn’t mentioned. But, again, the symptoms are the same as those that complaints about sticky steering describe.

Owner Reports

Owners say when driving, the steering wheel starts to stick and they find it difficult to correct. Many say it is a continuous problem that commonly occurs at highway speeds. Others say it’s an intermittent problem. Some say it feels as if their cars are zig-zagging down the road.

Some dealers tell owners that it’s a lane departure feature and normal. Others acknowledge it’s a problem, but aren’t able to fix it.

An owner from Oregon describes what happens to his 2023 Acura Integra stating that the “steering gets sticky,” and it’s difficult to pull the steering wheel to prevent it from hitting something. The complaint, which is typical, states that the “steering loosens and rapidly directs the vehicle in the direction (in which the) steering wheel was turned to compensate for the sticky steering” issue. Concluding that this is a “big safety issue,” the complaint states, “Have almost wrecked a dozen times in the last month or two (but) Acura says they can’t do anything about it.”

Acura is, of course, Honda’s luxury brand. Acura owners, along with owners of the less luxurious Honda models, are also victims of sticky steering.

Countless NHTSA complaints describe the same issues, with the 2022 Honda Civic topping numbers. By late February 2024, there were more than 500 complaints. This represents about 92% of the total 2022 Civic complaints the NHTSA had received by this time.

VehicleYearTotal ComplaintsSteering ComplaintsSteering RecallsSteering Mfr. Comms.
Acura Integra202315014000
Acura Integra2024383600
Honda Civic202261251615
Honda Civic202315312815
Honda Civic Si2022504700
Honda Civic Si2023454400
Honda CR-V202328320100
Honda CR-V2024904700


The sticky steering saga all started with complaints about the 2022 Honda Civic steering issues. As these escalated, owners of the 2023 Acura Integra, and then the 2023 Honda Civic, and 2022-2023 Honda Civic SI added their voices to the deluge of complaints.

Alerted to the ongoing groundswell of problems, on March 17, 2023, the ODI launched a preliminary evaluation (PE230005) into “sticky steering” in 2022-2023 Honda Civic and Civic SI vehicles.

Honda’s initial response to the ODI was that the problem was the result of issues with the steering gear which contains a worm gear and a worm wheel. On July 6, 2023, Honda issued the first of five manufacturer communications for 2022-2023 Honda Civic (not the SI) steering problems. There was no recall, but the automaker instructed dealers to “remove the electronic power steering (EPS) gearbox and replace (it) with a new gearbox.”

The term “sticky steering” is not mentioned in Honda’s communications.

On October 19, 2023, Honda issued a recall for incorrectly assembled steering racks that “can allow the tire to chafe against the lower suspension or tie rod end, possibly resulting in tire damage.” This, in turn, increases the risk of a crash or injury, the recall warns. Again, there is no mention of “sticky steering,” and only 2022-2024 Honda Civic vehicles are included in the recall — 264,567 of them!

By November 2023, owners of the 2024 Acura Integra, and the 2023-2024 Honda CR-V were sending in complaints to the NHTSA.

On November 29, 2023, the preliminary evaluation was upgraded to an engineering analysis (EA23-003) and expanded to include Acura Integra and Honda CV-R models. This investigation is still ongoing.

Initial Reports

The term “sticky steering” was first mentioned in a complaint about the 2022 Honda Civic dated May 17, 2022. An owner from Illinois states that the “steering wheel starts to stick or bind after a 30 minute drive. When stopped there is a clunk coming from the electronic power steering. Once on the highway, the steering wheel gets really sticky and when trying to do a small correction it jerks. After a while, it becomes really unsafe to drive since all the corrections you make are extreme and it struggles to keep the car centered on the lane without constant struggle.”

Before this, there were two steering-related complaints about the 2022 Honda Civic. While some of the symptoms are similar, these problems weren’t labeled as “sticky steering.”

The very first complaint was issued to the NHTSA on August 4, 2021. It came from an owner in Alabama whose 2022 Civic had only about 100 miles on the clock. The complaint states that while driving at 55-60 mph, “the steering wheel was vibrating.” The dealer diagnosed a faulty steering column, but the part wasn’t available, and the vehicle wasn’t repaired.

On February 16, 2022, an owner from California reported that his wife’s 2022 Honda Civic Sport was pulling from side to side when they drove at high speed. “I have to hold the steering very tight and it has made my arms hurt from the straining. I went to Honda four times before anyone admitted it has a serious problem.” Having experienced four “near-crash events,” he states that “this car is unsafe and no one at Honda is disclosing this safety issue.” Eventually, Honda diagnosed a faulty “lane change assist.”

Recent Reports

While there are many more sticky steering complaints about the 2022 Honda Civic model than others, the number of complaints about the 2023-2024 Acura Integra, 2022-2023 Honda Civic SI, and the 2023-2024 Honda CR-V continue to rise.

In February 2024, an owner from Virginia filed an NHTSA complaint about a 2024 Acura Integra with only about 8,000 miles on the clock. “The issue feels similar to fighting against the lane-keeping system, but there are no warning lights and I’m not close to leaving my lane. I’ve had the issue occur when the lane-keeping system is off and cruise control is off so I don’t think it is occurring due to the safety systems.”

Another February 2024 complaint, this time from a 2023 Honda CR-V owner in Connecticut, states that the “steering wheel is ‘sticky’ on the highway while driving mostly straight. At times, over-correction has occurred because of the stickiness. I feel this is a dangerous condition. I have had the dealer look at it and the technician claimed there was no issue.”

The owner of a 2023 Honda Civic from Massachusetts complained in January 2024 that “the steering wheel feels stuck while it’s straight up and down.” Then it “skips/jumps/slips as slight adjustments are made to remain centered in the lane.” Again, the dealer denied this was a problem. “Honda service says it’s that lane departure feature and it’s normal.”

A January complaint, from the California owner of a 2023 Honda Civic SI, states, ”The power steering sometimes randomly fails and locks the wheel in position,” requiring “a significant amount of force to get the wheel to move. This is incredibly dangerous on the freeway to have to attempt to fight the wheel to ensure you don’t hit the vehicle next to you.”

NHTSA Investigation

The initial investigation was instituted after the ODI received 145 complaints from owners of 2022-2023 Honda Civic vehicles. However, they estimated that 238,271 vehicles were affected. It should be noted that no statistics had been received by the automaker.

A summary of the investigation stated that complaints reported a “momentary increase in steering effort (described as ‘sticky steering).” Most complaints stated that they were driving at highway speeds in vehicles with low mileage.

“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.” ODI

PE23005 quotes Honda as stating this “condition” is caused by two issues in the manufacturing process.

  1. “During manufacturing, the worm wheel goes through annealing and component conditioning processes. These processes caused internal stress and strain within the worm wheel. This strain was slowly released over the first few months of the vehicle life. Over time, the released strain caused the deformation of the teeth on the worm wheel, causing the worm gear to catch on the worm wheel. This results in the consumer’s momentary increase in steering effort.”
  2. “Also, the manufacturing process did not guarantee consistent grease application and therefore, some vehicles within the scope received too little grease which contributes to the momentary increase in steering effort.”

It also quotes Honda’s first service bulletin for the Honda Civic (see below).

During this preliminary analysis, ODI received notification of 13 crashes and a steady increase in complaint traffic. Of these crashes, 11 alleged that (they) couldn’t “overcome the momentary increased steering effort prior to their vehicle leaving the roadway.” The other two claimed they crashed because of “overcorrection of the steering wheel.”

ODI Analysis

By the time the engineering analysis was launched, the ODI received 523 complaints from owners of the Honda and Acura vehicles implicated in the steering wheel failure. New estimates had escalated to 532,535 vehicles. The failure report summary also shows that the ODI had been notified about 13 crashes and 3 injuries. The automaker acknowledged 804 incidents, bringing the total of reported complaints to 1,324 (a few were common to both parties). Additionally, Honda reported knowledge of an additional crash, bringing the total to 14.

This report restates Honda’s assertion of the cause of the problem.

The ODI adds that after analyzing all the relevant data, it appears the “condition occurs early in the vehicle’s life primarily in winter months. Additionally, the subject vehicles need to be driven in a straight line for a period of time, possibly until the vehicle is warmed up, to recreate the condition. The condition does not illuminate a malfunction indicator light (MIL).”

They note that some complaints state dealerships claim they cannot recreate the condition or state that this is “a normal vehicle operation.” They also draw attention to the fact that Honda released a service bulletin in July 2023 that “accurately describes the condition. Furthermore, it addresses the issue, telling dealerships what action to take.

Service Bulletins

The service bulletin mentioned above is the first of five that Honda has issued for 2022-2024 Honda Civic vehicles. Ironically, despite the ODI investigations and burgeoning complaints, there are no bulletins for the other Honda and Acura vehicles that are clearly affected by the same steering issues.

For the record, while there are manufacturer communications about other comments and systems, there are none that relate to steering for the 2023-2024 Acura Integra or the 2023-2024 Honda CR-V vehicles. As at February not one single manufacturer communication had been lodged about the Honda Civic SI 2022 or 2023 models. It should be noted that since 2012 automakers have been required by law to share copies of all the communications they send to dealerships with the NHTSA.

Here is a summary of the five communications issued by the automaker for the Honda Civic vehicles.

Summary of Manufacturer Communications

Date IssuedVehiclesCommunication TypeSummary
July 6, 20232022-2023 Honda CivicService bulletinPotential steering effort complaint while driving at moderate or highway speeds, with possible complaint of noise at slow speeds, and no MIL illuminated, or DTC stored due to a possible steering gearbox malfunction.
Oct 9, 20232022-2024 Honda CivicDealer messageAmerican Honda is requesting parts for a Quality Investigation on certain STRG G/Box Assy for 22-24MY Civic. All dealers that have inventory of the below parts are required to stop installing and complete the part inspection below immediately.
Dec 8, 20232022-2024 Honda CivicService bulletinDue to a manufacturing error, certain service part electric power steering (EPS) gearbox assemblies were not made to proper specification which may affect the rack stroke. An incorrect rack stroke may cause changes in driving dynamics.
Dec 8, 20232022-2024 Honda CivicDealer messageToday December 8, 2023, American Honda is announcing a product update for certain model year 2022-2024 Civic units which may have improperly manufactured Electronic Power Steering (EPS) service parts installed. Refer to your eResponsibility report or perform an iN VIN status inquiry to determine which units in your inventory are affected
Jan 29, 20242022-2024 Honda CivicOwner notification letterDue to a manufacturing error, certain service part electric power steering (EPS) gearbox assemblies were not made to proper specification which may affect the rack stroke. An incorrect rack stroke may cause changes in driving dynamics.

What Should You Do if Your Honda/Acura Has Sticky Steering?

If you own an Acura Integra or Honda Civic, Civic SI, or Honda CR-V with sticky steering problems, Lemberg Law would like to hear from you. We want to assess the likelihood of these cars being lemons. If your vehicle is a lemon, you may be eligible for compensation from the manufacturer.

All you have to do is fill out a contact form or call our Helpline. It’s not going to cost you anything because the law says Honda must pay the legal bills for lemon law cases.

Sergei Lemberg

About the Author:

Sergei Lemberg is an attorney focusing on consumer law, class actions related to automotive issues, and personal injury litigation. With nearly two decades of experience, his areas of practice include Lemon Law (vehicle defects), Debt Collection Harassment, TCPA (illegal robocalls and texts), Fair Credit Reporting Act, Overtime claims, Personal Injury cases, and Class Actions. He has consistently been recognized as the nation's "most active consumer attorney." In 2020, Mr. Lemberg represented Noah Duguid before the United States Supreme Court in the landmark case Duguid v. Facebook. He is also the author of "Defanging Debt Collectors," a guide that empowers consumers to fight back against debt collectors and prevail, as well as "Lemon Law 101: The Laws That Lemon Dealers Don't Want You to Know."

See more posts from Sergei Lemberg

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