First Signs of the Carpocalypse – 2016 Honda Civic

Car Talk Car Complaints

Car Talk Car Complaints | Nov 19, 2016


Owners of the all-new 2016 Honda Civic are having fits with the infotainment system of this popular new compact car. Honda, known for its reliability and user-friendliness, may have some growing pains with the all-new interior of this legendary car. The Honda Civic is typically a great used car buy, and overall, the 2016 model has much lower than average complaints. However, if you are a person that views modern infotainment systems with suspicion, you will want to read on.


We examined the owner reports of trouble on the 2016 Civic at, and a definite pattern seems to be emerging. The first issue with the Civic’s infotainment system has to do with the Bluetooth connectivity. Twenty owners took the time to detail their troubles with the 2016 Civic's Bluetooth system. By comparison, the larger population of 2015 Civics have no complaints logged.

Kim W., of Overland Park, KS, put the problem succinctly when she wrote to, “Bluetooth connection stops working randomly for no apparent reason.” Stephane L., of New Maryland, New Brunswick, Canada, was surprised by the issue in a Honda, and she wrote, “Hard to believe a two-month-old car would have an immediate failure of the Bluetooth and radio system requiring full replacement.” One reader, with username “Mycivicisalemon,” wrote about the issue, “By looking at previous complaints, and the repetitive malfunction of Bluetooth system, it looks like this problem will never really go away. This is the seventh time mine has failed to work properly in the last eight months.”


In May, Honda issued a technical service bulletin (TSB), TSB #A16-036, also identified as NHTSA ID #10083973, with the summary,  “THE AUDIO UNIT DISPLAY HAS AN INTERNAL HARDWARE PROBLEM.” John O. may be helped by this TSB. He reported to, “I was driving my normal commute to work, a whopping six miles. On the way, my display screen for the nav/audio/climate just went black and started flashing from a black to a gray screen. After about two minutes the screen fixed itself.” John updated the post in September saying the problem has not reappeared, but that his subwoofer now rattles.


One of the most frustrating things about infotainment system issues is that nobody wants to take ownership of the problem. Gerald U. found this out the hard way, and told, “XM radio is stuck on one channel and will not change. The XM representative asked me to change the channel to one so they could send a signal to the radio but no matter what we tried I couldn't change channels, so XM tells me something is wrong with the radio. I called the dealership where I purchased the vehicle, but they keep telling me the problem is XM radio and XM radio keeps telling me the problem is in the Civic’s radio,!”

In total, there are 11 different categories of infotainment system problems for the Civic, although, in fairness, most have just a few complaints so far in this partial year of sales for the new Civic. For a full overview of the Civic’s history of reliability and our suggestions for the best used years, please see our prior story.

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