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Hi! New 2010 and am encountering problem w/ head restraint

3rdofjuly3rdofjuly Posts: 3
edited September 2014 in Honda
I would GREATLY appreciate your input and advice, even if you don't have a solution for this.

After much research, we purchased a new 2010 Ody. We were very excited. We bought it out of town, and I was looking forward to taking it out on the highway for our 5 hour trip home. Thirty minutes into the drive, my neck started aching. The pain caused a headache as well. I realized it was due to the head restraint pushing my head forward. I tried to adjust the seat every way I could think of to help. In the past week, I have continued to try to work with the seat adjustment, but the pain starts up every time I start to drive. I had no pain issues with my last car---a 1998 Altima. I've done some research, and it seems like there are just a minority of people who experience this problem of having their heads pushed forward with the new active restraint head rests. I am not a princess and the pea type person. I am a 31-year-old woman who is 5'7 and who usually doesn't have back/neck issues. I read that the people who are bothered by this can be people who are used to sitting up fairly straight. I do sit up with most of my back touching the seat in my old car. I don't rely on the head restraint to lean my head back, though. If I try to sit with my back completely supported up to the shoulder blades in the Odyssey, the head restraint not only touches my head but pushes it forward. I have tried putting my seat back more than I usually would, but then I lose back support.

I am frustrated, because I reallly want to have a good experience with my new purchase. I am considering a fairly thin Obus full back support that was recommended by someone with similiar Honda headrest problems. It would move my head away from the headrest by maybe an inch or two. Do you think that's a good idea? I really like the safety aspect that the active head retraints promise, and I don't want a hard backrest to hurt my spine in a rear end collision. Do you think a think back rest would be a risk factor?

I appreciate any feedback you can give. And if you don't have any neck problems from the Ody, could you maybe describe how you sit? I know that sounds silly, but I'm desperate here!

Thanks so much!


  • Hi, We also have 2010 Odyssey which is primarily driven by my wife. She had the same problem you have. Her solution was to remove the headrest and turn it backwards and put it back in. No more problem. I'm not sure how that affects the active head restraint mechanism but she is far happier with this arrangement.

    As for myself, I don't have a problem with the headrest as it does not touch my head.
  • Thank you for the suggestion. I appreciate your taking the time to reply. My husband has no issues with the head restraint either. My Honda dealer called me this morning and said that some people who have had this problem in the past also take a head restraint from the second row and switch it with the driver head restraint.. I did this tonight and felt considerable relief. I am not sure how this affects the active head restraint system, though. It seemed to lock into place pretty well, but I honestly would like a Honda Technician to check it out and tell me if he thinks it will work or not. I keep imagining a worst case scenario where, in the midst of a rear-end collision, the substitute head rest flies off and something like that! I know they can't guarantee any modifications, but I bet he'd be able to give me a personal opinion. I'd even be willing to sign a waver saying I wouldn't hold them responsible. My best friend is a physical therapist, and she evaluated the situation with the seat with it's original head rest. She said my posture wasn't an issue (I was wondering.). I am just a person who carries her head back further than most people. It's just how I'm built. No matter what I did with the adjustment controls of the seat, it wasn't going to help. She said I just simply could not drive the seat as is because it would lead to back issues. The fact that my neck was cracking in that position and that I was suffering from eye strain and headaches wasn't a good sign. Hearing her say that made me feel validated, because there are some threads on different Honda forums where the people who don't have this issue think that those who do experience this pain have bad posture or they're just overly sensitive. Hopefully my post here will be encouraging to anyone else experiencing this. Although I feel much better with the second row head rest, I still feel a slight strain. I'm going to give it a few days. I might get that Obus Forme Ultra Forme backrest just to see what that's like too. I can always return it if it doesn't work. I have called the Honda 800 number and let them know about this issue. They said I definitely wasn't alone, although they had no solution. I encourage anyone else who is experiencing this to call as well, because maybe enough people complaining will cause them to make a modification in the future. And don't keep driving around with your back hurting! As my physical therapist friend said, you might majorly mess up your back long term that way.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,863
    The issue is with the need to design a seat that meets the testing process of the IIHS. Not that safety testing is a bad idea. All the manufacturers design for the vast majority and you unfortuantely, aren't part of that majority.
  • I agree that safety should be the top priority, and I never stated that I was against safety testing. The top reason why I chose the Odyssey was because of the safety scores. There have been more than a few articles, however, that imply that perhaps some car companies went a little overboard on the tilt of their head restraints---that other companies have been able to get the same safety results without a tilt so severe. My point is that this head restraint does not work from a major health perspective for a small but still significant in number minority, and it would be nice if Honda could make a safe modification. Otherwise we are forced to shop elsewhere or modify the car on our own in a way that we're unsure about as far as the safety.
  • You are not alone. I have a 2008 Honda Accord and have experienced the very same problems. I tried to work with the dealer to fix the headrest problem, but ended up buying 2007 headrests because they're a little better. There's a large forum about this problem: Also, I ended up turning my headrests around. Looks kind of odd, and probably not the best deal if I get into an accident, but beats the constant neck pain from the correct orrientation.
This discussion has been closed.