Honda Civic

Honda is already recalling its brand new 2012 Civic due to a defect in the fuel system that could lead to a fire.

The problem is due to an O-ring in one of the Civic's fuel feed lines. The O-ring could be misaligned which might lead to a small fuel leak, according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The 2012 Civic has only been on sale for a few weeks, so the recall only affects around 1,200 cars. 2012 Civic owners should contact their local dealer to schedule an appointment. If the car requires repairs, Honda will replace the faulty fuel feed lines with new parts free of charge.

The Civic received a significant redesign for the 2012 model year, and it's not terribly uncommon for new cars to have some teething issues in the first year. This is the ninth generation of the popular Civic, but the new design is evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

The 2012 model has been tweaked to give it a fresher look and better fuel economy, but it's obvious that Honda wanted to stick to the already successful Civic formula. Sticking to the formula is likely a smart move, as the last generation Civic was a big seller in the US market.

The biggest changes for the Civic lineup come to the Hybrid and Si trim levels.

The hybrid is upgrading from a nickel-metal hydride battery to a lithium-ion one. This will give the car an additional three miles per gallon on the highway over last year's model.

The sporty Si gets a bigger engine. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder from the last Si has been replaced by the 2.4-liter four-cylinder also found in the Acura TSX. The new engine only has three extra horsepower, but it has more low-end torque, which provides better acceleration.

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J. Mark Sternberg is an automotive journalist, car enthusiast and writer with a degree from the University of Arizona. Mark is a devoted Formula 1 fan and also enjoys boating, flying and attending the occasional track day.

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