Skip to main content

The CR-V is one of Honda’s most popular and best-selling vehicles. Although the Honda CR-V is typically associated with being a reliable family hauler, there appears to be one big problem with the 2012 model year.

A common problem with its battery isn’t just causing owners a lot of grief, but also calling into question the overall reliability of the popular CR-V and even turning away loyal Honda buyers forever.

The biggest problem owners are having with their 2012 Honda CR-V? A bad battery

A 2012 Honda CR-V on display at an auto show
A 2012 Honda CR-V | Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

There are an unimpressive 258 total complaints from owners for the 2012 Honda CR-V on According to the data, there are 21 complaints about the AC or heater, 30 complaints about interior accessories, and 56 about the CR-V’s engine. But the overwhelming majority of complaints fall into one major category: electrical problems.

More than 100 owners report experiencing electrical problems with their 2012 Honda CR-V. And out of the 104 electrical problems reported, most owners report one specific problem: the battery in their CR-V going dead.

According to, 78 owners of the 2012 Honda CR-V report its battery dying. This makes “battery goes dead” the most-reported complaint for the entire model year. It’s also considered the 2012 Honda CR-V’s number-one-worst problem by

The seriousness of the 2012 Honda CR-V’s battery problem

The 2012 Honda CR-V’s battery going dead isn’t just the most-common problem owners seem to be having, as it’s also causing those current owners a world of grief. gives the 2012 CR-V’s battery problem a high Severity Rating of 8.1 (out of 10) for a variety of reasons, including the number of complaints from owners, average mileage in which problems occur, and the lack of solutions to the problem. Most owners experience problems with the battery while still relatively-new, at an average mileage of 33,850 miles.

What’s worse is the experiences owners are having with repairing the battery problem. While the average repair cost reported from owners is only around $200, there’s more to this problem. The majority of owners are unsure what the proper solution is, have received no help from Honda, and/or have had to replace their battery multiple times.

Even with CR-Vs still under warranty, many owners complain that the cause of the battery problem is a mystery, resulting in the battery dying more than once. Some owners even state that they are on their third (or more) replacement battery for their 2012 Honda CR-V. Many others state that this battery problem (and lack of assistance from Honda) has forced them to give their loyalty elsewhere.

What the CR-V’s dead battery says about its reliability

There are many concerns with the CR-V’s battery problem, but the average mileage in which owners are experiencing the problem is quite arguably the most troubling of all.

Considering Honda’s standard warranty coverage extends to new vehicles up until 36,000 miles, the fact that so many owners are experiencing such a severe problem before the warranty even expires speaks volumes to this CR-V’s overall lack of reliability. With owners experiencing serious battery problems at an average of under 34,000, this means most CR-V owners aren’t even making it three years without a serious issue.

In fact, the CR-V’s battery problem isn’t just limited to the 2012 model year. Battery problems seem to extend to most other model years, but Honda appears to always deny responsibility.

The brand has issued multiple service bulletins throughout the years outlining potential fixes for this common problem, but according to one such bulletin issued by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), Honda lays blame to “the battery condition and customer’s driving habits” for the CR-V’s lack of battery power.


The 2020 Honda CR-V Is the Greenest SUV on the Road