Consumer Reports uncovered a memo sent to Honda dealers concerning the news from Honda's manager of auto campaigns and recalls. That memo said that the oil in these engines could be diluted due to software settings or potential hardware failures. A previous report didn't name the Civic's version of the 1.5-liter turbo as a problem yet, but it looks like Honda's internal investigation has found it to suffer from a similar issue as the CR-V's "rising" oil levels.
Last fall, Honda offered a free fix to folks with this engine in their CR-V in 21 cold-weather states, which totaled about 239,000 vehicles. That included new engine and transmission software, an oil change and some air conditioning control unit replacements. The engine software is the key here, as the reason oil levels have been "rising" is due to gasoline that hasn't been vaporized in combustion washing down the cylinders and mixing with the oil.
Of note is the inclusion of the U.S. Civic in this latest news — Honda previously recalled Civics in China, (the 1.5-liter turbo is not exactly the same there as it is here), but it hasn't been officially, previously noted by the company with this problem in the U.S. Honda sent along this statement concerning the extended warranty:
"Abnormal oil dilution remains extremely rare, especially outside of extremely cold weather areas, and there only during said extreme cold. This warranty extension is primarily to provide reassurance to vehicle owners who may be concerned by varying oil levels in these engines, which, in most cases is normal and does not cause engine damage. In extreme and rare cases in the cold weather states, where abnormal oil dilution has occurred prior to a vehicle receiving the software updates, this extension will provide extra time for any undetected engine damage to become apparent and be covered by the warranty."
The memo sent to dealers goes on to say that the problem could ultimately cause the vehicles to experience a lack of power, leading to cylinder misfires and engine noise. Owners who are eligible for this one year of extra warranty should be notified this month. There is no mileage limit on the extended warranty, so you'll have it for all six years instead of the previously standard five years.