Consumer Reports weighs in
I just received the April 2007 Consumer Reports.
On page 83 they explain their reliabilty ratings:
"Because problem rates in some trouble spots are very low, we do not assign a (black circle) or (half black circle) unless the model's problem rate exceeds 3 percent. If a problem rate is below 2 percent, it will be assigned a (half red circle). If a problem rate is below 1 percent, it will be assigned a (red circle)."
The Civic Hybrid reliability information is listed on page 87. Under transmission, the '03 model has a (half black circle), the '04 - '05 models have (half red circle) and the '06 model has a (red circle). So, at least 3% of '03 HCH owners have had a problem with their transmission. Did Honda make a transmission change between '03 and '04?
Interestingly, the regular '03 Honda Civic sedan rates higher in some areas than the Hybrid. I thought they were virtually identical.
Of course, compared to other manufacturers, you won't find very many "black marks" in the Honda line up. On page 25 they list the predicted liability by make. Toyota and Honda are tied at the top, followed by Scion, Acura and Lexus (all brand mates!).
I hope that when Consumer Reports subscribers complete their upcoming reliability questionnaire that the transmission trouble spot does not slide to a (black circle).
I have an '03 HCH and have had the fluid change/burnishing procedure done as a "courtesy warrantee". My brother also has an '03 HCH and has had the same procedure, too. So far, so good. I'm glad I got an 80K Honda extended warrantee.
I really think Honda owes all of us 1st generation owners a free repair when they find a permanent solution to this problem.
Bad transmissions in 03 Civic Hybrid
I am about to get my third transmission at 24,000 miles. And I already have a new hybrid battery (which is supposed to last for 80,000 miles). the lemon law in my state doesn't cover this situation and the dealership is happy to give me a new transmission, but who would ever buy this car - and I was just about to sell it. I am so disappointed and in researching on the web, it appears that nearly every site from carreviews to car complaints, to edmunds to consumer reports show serious problems with this model of the hybrid. I want a refund not new parts annually. Does anyone have experience in getting a refund.