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.