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Honda Civic Owners report strange goings on in the night

Here's a clue: With wireless technology comes a bit of a learning curb for 10th Generation Honda Civic owners. Is your car’s electronic system glitchy? Or is it simply a case of user awareness, or a lack of it.


I appreciate the convenience and instant gratification afforded by today’s modern automotive electronic key fob. This mainstay accessory has morphed from a rather simple remote signal door unlocking device to a handheld microcomputer, capable of preheating, starting, or stopping most premium cars from the comfort of one’s home or office. My key fob helps me find my car, lost in a mega-sized parking lot. I’m working on parking space consistency, in case I lose the darn thing -- my key fob that is.

Is your latest Honda Civic equipped with a keyless ignition?

It’s all very cool stuff until it glitches, or you do. Honda is a forerunner in what’s referred to in the auto industry as “up-trimming.” In layman's terms, this is where an automaker integrates features into entry level, or sub-premium class cars and light trucks, that in the not too distant past, were reserved for premium, or luxury cars and SUVs.

Such is the case with the 10th Generation Honda Civic

Back to those reports of strange goings on in the night: Last year, while reviewing Honda’s exceptional Civic Hatchback Touring, I noted a strange occurrence or two. One morning, on approaching Civic Hatchback Touring, I noted a partially opened sunroof and both 2nd-row side windows. I’m anal when it comes to locking a press car, I was sure of it. Weeks earlier I’d left a sunroof partially opened on a Summer evening -- surprisingly, it rained that night. Lesson learned I was darned that I’d do it again. Yet there it was, a partially opened Honda Hatchback. Was I losing it?

That morning I was scheduled for a photo shoot, featuring 2017 Honda Civic Touring Well, no harm was done that balmy Summer evening. So, I depressed the e-brake, toggled Civics CVT into reverse, and headed off to Autzen Stadium. My Honda Hatchback drove on without a hitch that day. Yet I still pondered the mysterious window roll-down. How, why and where crossed my mind. What was I missing?

Shuffling through my minds trivia hard drive, I was reminded of a key-fob related glitch of sorts when experiencing the reinvented Honda Odyssey -- I’d experienced an unintended engine shut-off in a keyless-ignition equipped Odyssey in Kona. Honda engineering had no explanation for the engine shutdown at that time. Could it all be key-fob related?

I turn to Consumer Affairs for a possible answer

Honda, the 5th largest automaker in the United States has very few Honda Civic related consumer complaints listed here. However, there it was, a complaint, or more accurately a warning from a well-meaning Canadian 2017 Honda Hatchback Touring owner.

Else of Dartmouth NS tells us: “We purchased a brand new, 2017 Honda Civic Turbo Sport, electric push start, in July. It was a great car - completed all the surveys from Honda favorably. September 1st we had our first problem. We went out first thing in the morning and the sunroom was 1/2 open and all 4 windows were 1/2 down. We didn't leave the windows down. We thought someone had broken into it. I notified the sales rep.”

Else writes on: “A week later on Sept. 7th, my husband walked the dog around the car; all windows were up, key fob in the HOUSE. The next morning was pouring rain, and yep, all 4 windows were down and the sunroof wide open, car soaked. The real nightmare was trying to get the dealership to help, with drying out the car and to find out what was wrong with the car. Unbeknownst to us, this is a common problem that Honda has known about since 2008, according to the service manager.”

And then? “We were given the line that if you put the key fob in your pocket, "something" could press the Unlock button, and cause the windows to go down and sunroof to open. We bought an extended warranty, and neither the regular warranty nor the extended one would help us. We were blatantly told it was our fault, and this was an insurance claim, and with the $500 cost to dry out the car, $50 for diagnostics charge, and however much for a rental car (oh, we couldn't get an appt. until Monday as it was the first day of school and a lot of people had booked time off!), we're looking at over $1,000.”

The final solution: “We ended up calling another dealership, and we got the car in on Friday - the next day. They were helpful, sympathetic, and hooked the car up to diagnostics - for free. They also put the car in their detail shop and did some work on drying out the car (there was an inch of standing water in the cup holders, so you can imagine how much rain got in there). In the end, they couldn't find a problem with either the key fob or the car, but the change in attitude more than made up for what we went through with our original dealer.”

Elsie’s kind warning: “So, a word of warning - if you have a Honda Civic, DO NOT put the key fob in your pocket or purse. If you believe Honda, something could hit this button and make your windows go down on their own. Goodness only knows where you're supposed to carry your "keys" if the fob is that sensitive.” Thank you, Elsie.

Caution: Your modern Honda Civic is high-tech-sophisticated

With all new equipment comes an operating procedure learning curve. Your modern car or light truck is a computerized driving marvel. While I do agree that Honda Dealers should spend a few moments acquainting customers with the intricacies of their new cars, inevitably, familiarity with the product is the responsibility of the end-user. Heck, I’ve locked my key fob in the car with the engine running. That was an expensive lesson. For more details on your Honda Civic, check this out.


Photo attributions: American Honda 2017


Carolyndenenberg (not verified)    March 1, 2018 - 11:00AM

I saw in the 2015 Honda Odessa my husband has his key fob in pocket with keys and cards clipped to it with other stuff in pocket, doors open, roofs even at night when he takes pants off and once doors were open when he took fob out of pants. There is a setting that can lock your car and keep doors or roof from opening unless you hit two keys on remote or something like that. Forgot exactly what but doesn’t effect him going to car and use it without fob. I have no trouble because my fobs are in cases and in pocketbook in pockets. Any house key is just one and not interfering. Actually when loses, I couldn’t get my door to open because metal key interfered being close to car. I have 2018 accord touring. No problem now. With regular old fashion key and remote you would press it in your hands ar a certain distances. I like fact car licks itself. Except when driving car that doesn’t and you go back to lock it. Anyhow men have bad habit of having fob floppng in pocket. They were to sensitive. But there are settings on all cars especially suv and vans.

Phil Hallett (not verified)    December 12, 2018 - 4:49PM

Don't be fooled into thinking that this was your fault. It is most unlikely that the coins in your purse or pocket hit the right combination of buttons on your FOB to inadvertently drop the windows by themselves. Someone, somehow was using their own remote FOB to unlock their car and sent the signal to your Honda to cool down by lowering all windows. The sad part is that this can happen at any time, any where, in any weather: snow, wind or rain. This has not been proven as of yet. No one really knows why and how, but so far, Honda puts the blame solely on the owner and his careless handling of his own FOB. This is not one isolated occurrence. Others share your bad experiences with the downed windows.

John (not verified)    January 27, 2019 - 11:27PM

This problem seems to be destroying cars of virtually all makes and models and is probably costing consumers millions. If you do a generic search for something like: car windows went down on their own, you'll find all makes suffer from this honda, bmw, lexus, ford... you name it, owner's have been complaining about this issue since 2009. It has been 10 years of property damage cause by a flawed design feature. People have to put their keys/fob somewhere when they exit their cars and pockets and pursues are reasonable and the historic holders for those items. When Honda told me, well, don't put the fob in your pocket, I couldn't believe they actually said that. What am I supposed to do with it, hang it from my nose? Where are the product liability lawyer, people are suffering real financial damage...

Mr Anthony marciano (not verified)    December 14, 2020 - 3:25PM

In reply to by John (not verified)

Having the same problem with my 2020 honda civic. Asked about taking the fuses out but was told that it could not be done. Honda needs to talk to a electric engineer on how to resolve this problem with the car.

Tony B (not verified)    April 14, 2021 - 4:38PM

In reply to by Mr Anthony marciano (not verified)

April 14 2021 When I approached my 2020 Honda Civic this morning I noticed all 4 windows were down, The doors were locked so I used my Fob to unlock the car. The Civic has only 32,000 Kms. I moved up to a 2020 Civic from a 2012 Civic that never had a Window problem. The fob had NOT been in my pocket, it sits on a front entry table between uses. All windows were up when parked since it was below zero. No kids...No pets & No visitors. The windows were up when it was parked and the car is visible since its directly in front of our house. I have 6 years remaining on a 7 yr extended bumper to bumper warrant. I'm reading here that Honda takes no responsibility.
News Media loves these stories. The damage to Honda reputation could be severe.

Danielle (not verified)    April 16, 2019 - 4:52PM

I am going through the exactly some scenario! Last Saturday, the same strange occurrence happened with my 2018 Civic Hatchback. I've had the car less than a year, the interior is ruined and my local dealership (not who I purchased from) could care less. Even better, they only have three loaner vehicles and the waiting list has 30 people on it! How are these people still in business? Crowne Honda of Southpoint in Durham, NC is one of the worst car dealership I've ever been to!

Chris (not verified)    April 24, 2019 - 4:56PM

This exact same thing happened with my 2018 Honda Civic EX-T!! I came back to find sunroof and all windows rolled down and I even had my keys on the inner desk at work so there NO WAY I touched them — definitely not my fault and definitely not pressing a combination of buttons. I really do believe that someone somewhere did a remote start on their Honda Civic and somehow a glitch out my windows down. This has happened to me twice now since I bought it in October of 2018. If it happens again I’m going to want some compensation or an insurance policy for free if my car gets wet because I’m not going to pay for a wet car if it rains and this glitch happens! No sir! If Honda doesn’t back their cars with integrity I will take my future business elsewhere. I’m in sales and know how important a display of integrity is to consumers, so step it up Honda and roll out a plan for Owners of the models this is effected by. Run some tests and figure out which models are doing this and issue this immediately!

John Hebert (not verified)    April 25, 2019 - 10:29AM

In reply to by Chris (not verified)


I get your frustration - I'm furious with Honda but where can I go? As I noted in my January post, it seems to be everywhere - it is not just Honda. I suspect there are flaws both in the FOB design (with allows unintended signalling) and in the software in vehicle itself which isn't positively validate the source (no back and forth communication where the vehicle would signal back to the FOB an require identification before executing the command it received.) I suspect that it is going to take an auto industry whistle blower to out it, a huge class action lawsuit, or federal legislation to put an end to this (I can only hope enough Washington bureaucrats have their cars trashed because I don't have any Washington connections.) If you are fortunate enough to get help from Honda, I'd love to heard how. Good Luck

Bernard Lariviere (not verified)    May 2, 2019 - 12:04PM

Hello everyone,

This problem was brought to my attention. I have found why this is happening on several Honda Civics throughout the years. Handa has embedded a hidden function on your key fobs. Here is how to reproduce the problem. Being aware of it will solve some headaches.

1 - press the unlock button once on your key fob to unlock the doors.
2 - press and hold the unlock button for 5 seconds.
3 - you will see your windows go down. (Since my Honda Civic doesn't have a sunroof, the windows goes down only. But for those of you that has a sunroof, it may open as well)

Now there may be a way to disable this function in the settings on the radio.

I hope this helps

Tynesha (not verified)    September 19, 2019 - 12:00PM

In reply to by Bernard Lariviere (not verified)

I have a 2019 Honda Civic it’s not push to start, it’s a actually key to start with a remote attach to it. However, my sister have a 2018 Honda Civic as well basic she park next to me. At night I find my window down in the morning but the doors locked. It’s WEIRD AND SCARY l. CAN SOMEONE HELP???

Heidi (not verified)    May 1, 2020 - 10:54PM

In reply to by Bernard Lariviere (not verified)

READ NO FARTHER! Mr Lariviere has correctly identified the cause of this problem! (Now we just need to identify the solution.). Thank you!

Ralph Mateo (not verified)    September 15, 2021 - 1:03PM

In reply to by Bernard Lariviere (not verified)

For the 2021 Civic LX, this fob feature is detailed in both the Owner's Manual and the quick reference manual. What surprised me was the distance that this works from. My testing showed that it works from at least 100 feet away and while inside a building. So, yeah, be careful with that fob. In the meanwhile, I'm going to contact my dealer and see if this can be disabled.

My story: Went to my car this morning at 8:15 to find all four windows about three-quarters down. I had parked it the previous day at about 10:30 a.m. and not used it since. My neighbor told me that when walking her dog last night at 9:00 p.m., the windows were up; otherwise, she would have noticed and told me. My guess is that I accidently dropped the windows when I put the fob in my pocket this morning. (Either that, or this is a sign that Skynet has finally gained sentience, and humankind is doomed.)

What really gets me, though, is that one has to push the fob button twice to make this happen, and hold it on the second press.

Bernard Lariviere (not verified)    September 20, 2019 - 7:57AM

Hello Tynesha, This option on the Honda cars is standard. I suggest you visit your dealer about this. Since the key fob is sealed, they will be able to check your fobs. If dirt got inside your fob, it may cause the problem.

Gomer Pyle (not verified)    September 22, 2019 - 9:18PM

I recently purchased a 2019 Honda Civic EX. I drove it earlier in the day and parked in my driveway. Fortunately, I went out again at night and lo and behold all four windows were about a quarter of the way down and the sunroof was tilted open.
Oh yeah, and it had been raining. Not too much water, but enough to piss me off.

I thought I was crazy until I read this post. Taking it to the dealer first thing in the morning. WTF.

john (not verified)    September 24, 2019 - 2:58PM

In reply to by Gomer Pyle (not verified)

Hello Gomer,

I guess the the best response would be Surprise, Surprise, Surprise! If you look hard enough you'll likely find that the entire auto industry (it isn't unique to Honda) has been blaming this behavior on customers for over a decade now. The surprised look dealerships give their customers when they report it is a bold faced lie. It is all too common and has been going on too long for dealerships to feign ignorance. Good luck in getting anywhere with the dealership but if you are good buddies with your US senator or rep, maybe you could convince that person to sponsor a bill to require auto companies to fix this 'feature' and reimburse owners who have had their cars damaged by it. The industry has been blaming customers for too long for it to do right on its own.

Timothy Morson (not verified)    November 19, 2019 - 4:07PM

I have a 2019 Honda Civic sedan. On a very rainy Halloween night I discovered all 4 windows down. My car was completely soaked. I have no idea how long the windows had been down, but it had been atnywhere from one to 24-hours - - when I last used my car. I thought I was losing it. It made no sense, I had never had a lapse like that before. Then today, I came back to my car after a one hour appointment to find all four windows down by 4 inches. Definitely not me. And definitely not the fob, because I don't have a fob!! Something is not right t

Melanie Nicholson (not verified)    January 22, 2020 - 5:06AM

I’m leasing a 2017 Honda Civic sedan. Twice now within a 6 month period I have gone out to work each time finding ALL 4 windows down and it raining. I always lock the car with the door switch while getting out of the car. Needless to say this was freaky and disturbing to find, in the dark, and made me apprehensive to get into the car. I had an appointment in a few days for oil change and asked the service department about the situation. He got up from his station, taking my keys and held the lock button down until the windows all went down, therefore blaming the placement of the key fob in my purse or pocket would cause this. Ok I thought until both my husband and myself purposely tried to make the windows go down using the key fob. I didn’t work! I’m not convinced that pressure on the fob is the cause. I don’t believe I will be buying this car simply because if it happens again and again it may get ruined by the weather or stolen. Cannot be to safe nowadays. Honda.....if you are smart enough to come up with all this technology then PLEASE fix all the bugs BEFORE they go to dealership. Also, informing your customers of such probabilities when you know it, would be nice!

Robert Colon (not verified)    January 31, 2020 - 3:57PM

I’m having the same problem the rest of these drivers have. Leased 2019 Civic Honda FX. Found all four windows open three times already, and my trunk ajar a couple of times. I believe it’s the computer going haw wire. There’s a class action lawsuit going on. We should join in.

James (not verified)    February 5, 2020 - 6:32PM

In reply to by Robert Colon (not verified)

Need more information on class action lawsuit. I too have issues with trunk opening late at night and the alarm going off. Brought to dealer and they couldn't figure out why

Paige Romanko (not verified)    March 31, 2021 - 10:33PM

In reply to by Robert Colon (not verified)

My 2019 Honda Civic has had multiple issues with the car mysteriously being unlocked as well as all windows rolled completely down. I’ve had my title, registration, and cup holder stolen due to this.

Sergio Varela (not verified)    February 16, 2020 - 2:07AM

In reply to by Rushelle (not verified)

That happened to my Civic 2018 Touring, one day, in the Sams parking lot, I went back to it, and all windows and sunroof were down, I thought it was a system failure, so I planned to take to the dealership and make it check, but I was so busy that I didn’t do it, this last week, it happened again, everything was open, so I didn’t think twice and took it to make it check, to my surprise, the technician after listening to me, took m who my car and made me open it with the analog key, and the cylinder of the driver’s door lock, spinned with no limit, this happens when someone tries to rob it by hitting the lock with a screwdriver, one hard knock, a twist in the lock and voila! Your lock is screwed!! So, as when you open your door with the analog key, windows down and sunroof open, so, take a look to your main door lock, or make it check, the lock cylinders was changed for a new one, and now is ok!

Christina (not verified)    March 21, 2020 - 1:51AM

In reply to by Rushelle (not verified)

My daughter woke me up this morning after all the terential downpours of rain saying all my windows were down including the back windows which I never put down because it affects my ears if too many windows are down along with my sunroof completely open
I accused my other daughter of messing around in my car because I had never heard of such a thing
And my keys were on my dining room table
No where near coins or in a pocket or purse
Dealing with enough right now with the coronavirus NOW THIS
Someone not me will be responsible for taking care of this problem including cleaning the interior of my car
Along with that hail fell for literally less than a minute and put a crack in my windshield

Alex mackay (not verified)    February 21, 2020 - 4:42PM

Thank you for this. I am staying at Lake Louise and when I went out to my car this morning all 4 windows were down and the car was full of snow. Crazy frustrating but thankfully Boone stole my skis!

James Hofbauer (not verified)    July 10, 2020 - 10:57AM

I have a 2019 CRV and a 2020 Civic. This morning my CRVs windows were down, I went out and put them up - came back inside and my Civic's Windows were down (they were up just 30 seconds prior. My keys get directly hung up on a rack over night (never in a pocket or purse). There is no way the button (or any button) gets pressed or held. I didn't even know this is a "feature". Seriously, what rationally thinking person thinks it's a good idea to remotely role down your windows?

Ernie Foster (not verified)    November 14, 2020 - 3:37PM

2016 Civic CVT - This morning immediately after a rain, all 4 windows rolled down and gas cap popped open, plus car locked. I had 2 key fobs in my pocket and put my iPhone in on top of them. I saw this a year ago with a key fob in my pocket as I rode a bicycle next to car as windows rolled down.

Terry Wilson (not verified)    December 4, 2020 - 7:50AM

The most recent window event was parked mr 2020 Civic coupe in the garage and next morning the windows were down. Key fob was on the counter all night, go figure!
This follows 3 other windows down events since lease began. I have 1350 miles on the new Civic. Neve had this issue with my 2018 Civic.