Until recently, I loved my Honda Civic Hybrid. Then I discovered a crack in the gas tank.
Turns out, Honda knew it had installed faulty gas tanks in certain Civic models in 2011, but rather than recall affected cars, they extended their warranty to 120K miles, 10 years and issued a technical bulletin to dealerships. At first, my mechanic was told by Honda that my VIN# was affected. Now Honda is denying that.
And of course, my Civic Hybrid didn’t show signs of leaking till 132K miles and 12 years. Coincidentally, the tank is cracked exactly where the technical bulletin indicates.
Unfortunately, I was never warned about this issue, and despite getting the car regularly serviced and other recalls fixed at the dealership, no one ever thought to inspect the tank for signs of cracking.
Now the car is aging a bit (aren’t we all?), and the issue has cropped up, low and behold it’s just outside the extended warranty.
Essentially, I have been unwittingly putting my passengers and the environment around me at risk.
If you have a Civic Hybrid mentioned in this article: https://www.greencarreports.com/…/1070986_honda-extends-war…, get the tank inspected ASAP and report any issues to the NHSTA. I have already filed a complaint hoping that someone will look into it before a nasty accident happens.
My mechanic can replace the tank (Honda sells one that they say won’t crack), but I’ve totally lost confidence in the brand now. Huge shame.
Until recently, I loved my Honda Civic Hybrid. Then I discovered a crack in the gas tank.
If that’s the only problem you’ve encountered in 12 years of ownership, then you’re doing well.
Honda Civic Hybrid
Oops! You don’t say…
What model-year is this Honda? (You only state, “12 years” when leaks began)
How many miles on this Honda? (You only state, “132k” when leaks began)
This is important information in this discussion. Car manufacturers can’t warrant vehicles forever.
Alas, it’s not the only one. I bought it from a dealership in 2013 and have issues with engine mounts, rattling valves, and water pumps. However, this has been the first issue that is a huge safety concern and related to a manufacturing fault that arguably should have been a recall.
I understand that they can’t warranty it forever, nor do I expect that. The fact is that Honda knew it had installed faulty gas tanks but didn’t know at what point they would begin to crack. Follow the link from the NHSTA that I included in my original post. My Honda is 2006, and just started leaking at 132K miles. The extended warranty, 10 years and 120K miles probably seemed reasonable at the time. And i have no issue paying for the repair since my vehicle is now just outside that warranty. My concern is that there is an undisclosed number of aging Civic Hybrids running around that might have faulty tanks liable to crack, potentially life-threatening in the event of a crash. Also, had I known that this was an issue (ie a recall), I would have had the tank regularly inspected - or not bought the car in the first place
I can see your point OP. It is a known problem. But I can see Honda’s point too. They can’t warranty a car forever. But it seems like in this case they should indeed make some accommodation to you, especially since you owned it during the 10 years the known-problem was under their extended warranty. Suggest to try to negotiate a compromise. Like they pay for half of the replacement tank, you pay for the other half, and the labor to replace it. Or just split everything parts and labor 50/50. Something like that. If the dealer balks, go directly to Honda. Life’s a flea market, start the bargaining!
So I assume these cracks will ultimately result in leaking gas, correct? If so, I hope Honda doesn’t wait until someone gets killed from a fire before changing their policy.
It seems like Ford had an issue with gas tanks on Pintos that resulted in some deaths during accidents in the early 1980s. That resulted in some really bad press for Ford and rightfully so.
I think the dangers of gasoline are greatly underestimated primarily because it’s so widely used and perhaps this defect is not being treated as seriously as it should be.
I must have overlooked the answers in your most recent response. Please state this information clearly. It IS important to this discussion.
I think it would be pretty rare for any vehicle to develop a crack in the gas tank. Rust out? Sure. But crack? And in a known defective way? That should have no sunset on liability IMO. The manufacturer can take the path that they do not proactively replace ALL gas tanks and instead wait for them to exhibit the fault. However, it shouldn’t crack in its useful lifespan. If it does, and they already admit it is fundamentally due to a latent defect, then they should pay to fix it regardless of how long it took to fail.
Honda is not doing things any differently than any other car manufacturer.
Honda issues a Campaign which is different than a Recall as Recalls are open ended. Campaigns have mileage and time limits as you have found out.
About all you can do is contact Honda’s regional office and ask if they can perform a Good Will warranty. If they refuse then you’re out of luck.
Be very polite to whoever you talk to at Regional and don’t use the “I’ll never buy another Honda” gambit as that will only alienate them.
Yes. You hit the nail on the head. My grand-daughter’s car seat was right on top of that tank. I only recently smelled gas strongly, but have no way of knowing how long gasoline might have been leaking from a crack and how many times I put her in danger.
It makes me sick to my stomach that Honda refuses to acknowledge this is a problem beyond 120K miles and have washed their hands of it. (My mechanic is giving me a discount on labor because he feels bad about it.)
I have tried going up the food chain at Honda and asking nicely, but their response is always: nothing to see here, you’re on your own. At the end of the day, however, it’s not the cost of the repair but knowing that other lives may in danger as these cars age.
Hopefully the NHSTA will review my complaint. Not sure what else I can do at this point.
How much would a new gas tank cost? I’ve found it better to grit my teeth and fix things myself. A friend loves a fight, spends hours of time and months of waiting to get his due. He loves to tell the stories (I’m one of the few sympathetic listeners.) All the time I keep my mouth shut and remind myself that it wouldn’t be worth it to me. Emotions have costs too. Living well is the best revenge.
Ha! I completely agree. Life’s too short. And if you’re sitting on top of a faulty gas tank at 65 mph, it could be even shorter … total repair cost is around $900. Getting it done, and moving on. Safely. Just hope others fix it in time, too.
I’ll tell you that I believe my 91 Dodge Spirit was the first car I owned with a plastic, rather than steel tank. I live in the rust belt where there are only 2 seasons, an extremely short summer (people hope it falls on a week-end), and salt season. Every car I had before that 91 developed rusted gas tanks or fuel lines because I keep them “forever” like you do.
NOTE: On my cars with plastic tanks, I’ve had rusted throug fuel lines, brake lines, and even a rusted through power steering return line. I keep my cars a long time and it just goes with that whole approach to car ownership. What the … besides gas tanks there are suspension bushings that can deteriorate, ball joints can wear out, and possibly before one thinks they should.
When something leaks on a 10 year old car, especially if one smells gas or thee brake pedal goes to the floor then you fix it. Should car manufacturers ever start giving a more generous warranty on items like gas tanks then chances are you couldn’t afford a car or your next post would be complaining that car prices have risen so much they’re pricing people out of the market.
Honda extended the warranty… very nice of them!
If you keep finding shortcomings with cars from a certain manufacturer then vote with your wallet and buy something else.
Sometimes it becomes necessary to stop blaming others around you for life’s little problems and start becoming personally responsible. There I feel better now (and I don’t even like Hondas).
Even if you don’t keep them “forever”, that problem was not uncommon in “the good old days”.
My father’s '66 Ford Galaxie 500 developed a gas tank leak as a result of rust in 1970!
I owned a '73 VW Karmann Ghia that developed the same problem around 1978.
Of course, both were built before the era of plastic gas tanks.
At least the tank replacement was relatively easy with the Karmann Ghia.
Conversely, the placement of the tank on that Ford–above the rear axle–necessitated dropping the axle.
Perhaps this guy will weld it for you…
Plastic welder I assume, BOOM
Thanks, but I think I’ll take my chances with a cracked tank
BTW - I used to own a beautiful '67 Chevy half ton pickup, same color, that I lost in a custody battle several years ago now. Should’ve traded in the teenagers .
Can’t get it back, re truck, but would you really want it now?
True. But OP can say “I’m thinking about buying another car in the next year, and I’ve been pleased w/my Honda except for this darn gas tank problem. I’d like to be able to feel like I can include Honda’s as candidates for my next car.”