Unhappy Honda Civic Owners Are Suing Over Broken AC — Again

The Honda Civic has been known as one of the most reliable sedans on the market. It’s also one of the cheapest in its class, making it an excellent starter car. Whether you’re a top-tier Grand Touring fan or a feisty Sport and Si enthusiast, there’s a Honda Civic for everyone.

Alas, even the Honda Civic is prone to mechanical and electrical issues. According to CarComplaints, several owners are complaining about the AC systems inside specific older models. We’ve got the details of the latest class-action lawsuit and what concerned Civic owners can do next.

What’s wrong with the Honda Civic’s climate system?

Some Honda Civic owners want the automaker to release a recall for AC units that are prone to cracking. The 2016 Honda Civic was the first to use R-1234yf refrigerant, which is the source of the problem. It reportedly puts too much pressure on the system, causing the substance to leak on all the air conditioning components.

Due to the leaking refrigerant, other essential parts can’t be cooled efficiently, causing significant damage. Repairing the A/C unit alone usually costs at least $2,000, not to mention the damage to other components. Many dealers also can’t locate the issue, so owners naturally feel cheated by useless diagnostic fees.

Even worse, some dealers have also told owners that the damage is due to road debris impact, which voids the warranty. Owners allege that this was part of Honda’s scheme all along because it wanted to cover up the defects.

Additionally, even the replacement parts allegedly fail, if you can even find any. Owners say these parts are perpetually on back-order, which could be either due to worldwide manufacturing shortages or customer demand. In any case, drivers usually wait months before they can have a functioning air unit again.

This isn’t the Honda Civic’s first lawsuit

Earlier this year, a lawsuit about this same issue was dismissed by the courts. Like the current lawsuit, plaintiffs claimed that Honda intentionally released cars with faulty A/C units to the public. They also cited an extended A/C unit warranty from Honda, reportedly good for unlimited miles if fixing a factory-defective unit.

This extended warranty provides reimbursement for any customers that paid out-of-pocket for defective AC unit repairs as well. However, some customers weren’t satisfied due to the wording of the warranty. It says that the issue is only caused by corroded components that develop pinhole leaks. These drivers say that their cars had AC problems even without those leaks.

CarComplaints says the case was dismissed because the plaintiffs had insufficient evidence to back up their claims. The lawsuit says that issues can reportedly arise 10 years after the warranty expires. The cars in question could be no older than six years old.

Owners also wanted to be compensated for the amount they overpaid for vehicles with the issue. However, they didn’t attempt to determine the worth of the warranty program. Some plaintiffs also admitted that they were not aware of the extended warranty before joining the lawsuit. 

As with the current lawsuit, plaintiffs also said the replacement components also eventually malfunctioned. However, the judge found that all but two owners experienced more than one A/C failure. Additionally, only one Honda Civic owner applied for reimbursement over repairs.

How can Civic owners join the class-action lawsuit?


According to CarComplaints, Never Buy a Honda Civic From This Year

The faulty AC unit reportedly affects Honda Civics from the model years 2015 to 2019. The current lawsuit is being conducted by the Berger Montague law firm, which you can email for further information.

We’re taking this with a grain of salt, given the Honda Civic’s history of dependability and the dishonesty of previous plaintiffs. It’s not killing our hype for the redesigned Honda Civic, including the yet-to-be-released remodeled Type-R.