Protesting Honda Civic SI Get Transmission TSB

Those Honda Civic SI owners who were holding protests in front of dealerships about the widespread transmission problem (where the 3rd gear kept grinding, popping out and randomly going into neutral), finally have their day. Honda issued a TSB (technical service bulletin) on the issue, so now owners experiencing the problem can go their dealership and get it repaired for free, provided they are still under warranty. It’s not quite the recall owners were hoping for, but it’s something. Guess Honda has now heard of the problem they previously said they “never heard of before.” Must have been all that negative news coverage. Here’s links to the TSB (for Honda dealers, for Acura dealers (PDF)) so you can print it out and bring with you. Inside, one of the original newscasts covering the uproar.

Honda and Acura 6 Speed Manual Problem Addressed – TSB Released [Automotivearticles](Thanks to Mark!)

PREVIOUSLY: Honda Ignores Civic SI Owners’ Complaints About Faulty Transmissions


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  1. Pro-Pain says:

    I lost respect for Honda over this. I have a friend that made the mistake of buying a Civic Si and he had this problem and the dealer didn’t wanna hear about it or see it. He sold it and got a Mustang GT and says it was the BEST swap he ever made! There’s your plug FORD!

  2. SOhp101 says:

    WTF… I reported this to Honda right when my mileage was at around 35k… now that i’m at 36.8k i probably won’t get it… this is so messed up.

  3. SOhp101 says:

    The link doesn’t appear to work, btw.

  4. Coder4Life says:

    I think when a company does this sort of stuff they should be fined $5000/per car or something like that. This sort of stunt is ridiculous.

    Most car companies will do this and continue to lie to thier customers. I also don’t understand how they find engine defects and then customers have to pay for it later on b/ they are out of warranty. It’s like well you did a recall YOU FIX IT.

  5. Geekybiker says:

    From what I’ve heard this TSB won’t fix the problem anyways. I know alot of folks on the acura board that have had the 3rd replaced to no avail. In the end I’m not sure Honda even knows what is causing this issue.

  6. SOhp101 says:

    Nevermind it works now.

    The only problems with TSBs is that it’s only fixed if they can replicate the problem, and the dealership claims they cannot replicate it. They even drove my vehicle for 30 miles (i left my car overnight, yes i know some worker probably had a joyride) but just dismissed my complaints. I’m seriously at a loss on what I should do to get this fixed.

  7. ConsumerAdvocacy1010 says:

    @SOhp101: Bring in the TSB. If they can’t replicate it, tell them they have three choices.

    1st: Get a full refund (what you payed for the car). Buy something else…probably not Honda.

    2nd: Replace the entire engine and see if that works.

    3rd: You rent a car, and the dealership will pay for it. How long? Indefinitely.

  8. balthisar says:

    @Coder4Life: Warranties are against defects; that’s what a warranty is.

  9. PatrickSF says:

    That’s so funny… I borrowed an Acura RSX (also included in the recall) from a friend to drive from San Francisco to San Diego two weeks ago and fought with 3rd gear on the 405, but assumed my left leg was just getting tired.

    I then test drove a Civic Si last weekend and had a similar problem, but the salesman assumed I had just missed the shift. I guess I won’t be considering the Civic until they straighten this out with a real fix. Too bad, it was a pretty slick little car.

  10. TechnoDestructo says:

    See, now this kind of puts all those Toyota recalls into perspective, doesn’t it? Rather than tarnish their near-perfect reputation by creating a situation like this, they just recall any time it looks like there’s a slim chance they’d have to recall.


    The engine isn’t the problem.

  11. JeffMc says:

    @SOhp101: I’m in the same boat. I even bought the extended warranty (mostly because it’s my wife’s commuter car and does 60 miles a day) which brings it to 75k…but now I’m at 80k and out of warranty. Gonna have to see if the background of them not doing anything about it the THIRTEEN times we brought it in complaining about this problem will get them to fix it.

    @SOhp101: Look into your state’s lemon law. You can find lawyers that won’t charge you for the work in Michigan at least. I wish we’d known about the lemon law earlier, by the time we found out that we had a case we had 65k miles on it and the lawyer didn’t think we’d be able to win anything worthwhile.

  12. JeffMc says:

    Oops, both those comments I was responding to were SOhp101. :)

  13. B1663R says:

    so, because a bunch of kids don’t know how to drive stick, Honda gets a bad rep?

    to me it sounds like a clutch problem. the clutch isn’t engaging all the way from 2nd to 3rd causing the gears to kinda grind.

    have any of these kids tried pushing the petal on the far left?

    ed’s note: if the car is an automatic disregard comment thx

  14. Technical Service Bulletins amount to a whole lotta bupkis, in my experience. Even if you are under warranty, if you don’t have access to manufacturer TSBs (like most people), then it comes down to the mechanic interpreting your description to fit a particular TSB solution, of which there are thousands to choose from. Thats why most problems are never fixed on the first visit. They just scroll down the list until they match your problem with the right solution, or until you run out of warranty. Then its no longer their problem.

    On the flipside, its not the mechanic’s fault. Its all a guessing game. Its not like there is some magic computer on your car that they can plug in to which tells them “This is the exact problem, fit it!” Wait, is there?

  15. armydrummer says:

    I had this problem…too bad mine is just out of warranty. I had to pay $2,000 to get a new transmission at 101K Miles…

  16. FrankReality says:

    TSBs are intended for the service technicians advising of proper diagnosis and repair procedures of problems. In some cases they may specify a revised part or even an informal extended warranty.

    Sometimes not all technicians or service writers are up to date on recent TSBs, so giving them the TSB identifier or number can help them help you. You can also ask them to make you a copy.

    For those of you that reported this problem to a service department before your warranty ran out, the service department should honor the warranty, but that can be difficult to prove if you did not retain the service work order or the service work order did not list the problem and/or symptoms.

    If you are slightly above the warranty cutoff, you may be able to get the repair made as a gesture of goodwill by the dealer. This is more likely to happen if you are nice, have the dealer do your maintenance or are a repeat customer. It’s always worth a try to ask.

    The last thing you want to do is go in the dealership ready to read ’em the riot act. Being calm and trying to work together with the service department is usually the best way to go.

  17. sgum says:

    I have a 2007 Honda Civic Si with the same problem. I took it to the Honda dealer and told them about the TSB. They had, just that day, found out about the problem, took my car for a test drive and immediately was able to replicate the problem. I am now scheduled to have the complete third gear replaced. Hopefully, this will take care of the problem. The Si is a great car and I hope Honda is willing to back their reputation with a quality repair. Otherwise, I’ll have to switch to another performance car (Mazda3 anyone?).

  18. iamcraig says:

    Maybe whe you take your SI into the dealer, you can have them remove that ridiculous spoiler off of the back.

  19. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    It’s a shame this turned in to such a storm. The SI is a great car.

  20. Mary says:

    @notallcompaniesareevil: Agreed. It was disappointing for me because I just bought an SI, and I adore it but about a week after I bought it, this story broke on Consumerist. That was annoying for me, but I still don’t have any problems.

  21. jharna says:

    The TSB states that it only in warranty vehicles are covered but the regional office MAY choose to fix for free out of good will.
    Right now it appear that the defective part will cost you if you’re out of warranty, unless the local Honda office is feeling generous.