Honda Civic Hybrid Software Frustrates Some Owners

2007 Honda Civic Hybrid
Honda has run into some problems with its 2006-2008 Honda Civic Hybrids, according to the Los Angeles Times. After being on the road for nearly five years, some of the hybrids’ battery packs are beginning to fail prematurely. Rather than replacing all of those expensive battery packs, which are mostly still under factory warranty, Honda has issued a software update that should fix the problem, but that fix has also come under scrutiny from some owners.  

The software update applies the same battery-management logic systems found on the 2009 and 2010 Civic Hybrids. The new models and the old ones should get the same gas mileage: 40/45 mpg city/highway, according to Honda. However, some Civic Hybrid owners say the new software has made their cars feel sluggish and has slashed their gas mileage by nearly 10 mpg on average. 

Honda says the variations are due to drivers’ different driving styles. Honda updated the software to help prolong the hybrids’ battery life, Honda spokesman Chris Martin said. He also noted that there was no change in the EPA ratings for the Civic Hybrid from the 2008 model — the last year before the software management update — to the 2009 and 2010 models. The EPA did change how it evaluated mileage for the 2008 model year, and that is reflected in the 2008 model’s 40/45 mpg range. 

Judging from’s reader reviews — where many complained that the mileage and performance fell below their standards until they learned how to drive the Civic Hybrid correctly — it would appear that there is a learning curve toward effectively driving the Civic Hybrid. And for the folks who have learned how to drive it one way, it may just take some time to adapt to the new software. 

Fix for Civic Hybrids' Dying Batteries May Hurt Gas Mileage, Acceleration (Los Angeles Times)

By Colin Bird | August 25, 2010 | Comments (7)



I'm the biggest Honda fan out there but their hybrid systems stink. I get real world mileage figures of about 30/43 city/highway with a 2008 LX with a trusty manual transmission.

I'm a fan of Honda as well. But I've a Motor bike which made 1994 (CD 50 benly-Gold wing). don't it has a software for battery.


I pine for the days when cars were not plagued by computers. And they didn't get bad mileage because of malfunctions, but because they had big a$$ engines.

I like Honda as well, but really its hybrid models are not at all good enough...


The software update changes the performance of the car and is dangerous to have installed if your battery is already failing. The issue is NOT one of learning to drive the hybrid. The only reason that Honda is doing this update is to maintain a profit margin. Understandable but problematic.


I got the software upgrade, now I hate the car. Performance is like that of a dog, milage is down 10 mpg.
I am going to ask to get the old software back. If not, we are going to have us a problem......
I have yet to hear from ANYONE that likes the upgrade.


I just got my software update a week and a half ago and my performance is terrible. The worst of it is when you start up from a stopped position and want to merge into an opening in traffic. It is so slow and sluggish that it's a hazzard!

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