Honda Pilot 2003 through 2005



  • safetymatterssafetymatters Member Posts: 29
    Clarification: NHTSA is reviewing the Petition for Recall Investigation presently. They are requesting extensive documentation from Honda and collecting all similar complaints filed. Please feel free to contact me via my profile here. I would submit your video to. NHTSA. I would be happy to help connect you to the right department. In the meantime keep track of records or anything that you experience with Honda.
  • gill6398gill6398 Member Posts: 12
    I guess now I would just need to figure out how to post my video to NHTSA. My concern is that the car has over 150,000 miles on it. Nevertheless, I still shouldnt have to feel as though I am risking my life everytime I hop in the vehicle!
  • gill6398gill6398 Member Posts: 12
    How long have you been waiting for a response on whether or not Honda is going to do a recall?
  • gill6398gill6398 Member Posts: 12
    I have a few videos now of this occuring. Hard to see the pedal pressing, but you can hear the grind everytime the brakes press on their own. I just shot the video of my foot on the gas and nothing on the brakes. You can hear the brakes applying and my keys jingling from the abrupt jerking on the car. How do I post the video to NHTSA? I did see the petition for the recall on their site. How long do you think it will take to get an answer on that? My issue is really the cost. Also, if I have to spend the money, I want to make sure that it actually fixes the problem. I have seen many spending upwards of $1600 and did not fix the problem.
  • safetymatterssafetymatters Member Posts: 29
    Honda has not been willing to stand by the defective vehicles as to their safety with or without the repairs. They asked me for a non-desclosure and release of responsibility if I get a repair which they have no code for and as you mentioned is not an assured fix. Many reports to NHTSA highlight the failures of these repairs. Try working with your local state office of Consumer Affairs to see what your options are. I have been paying monthly on my loan since this defect occurred in October of 2010, that's how long it has taken for me to get to this point. A recall is warranted and NHTSA is considering the Petition which is positive. This will take some time. In the meantime, please email me for contact info to send your video to at NHTSA. It's important we get the word out.

    Bottomline personally, if I have to pursue a lawsuit to recover my damages and resolve the death trap in my driveway, I will.
  • gill6398gill6398 Member Posts: 12
    When I click on your profile it says that your email is private. Just trying to send you the videos that I have of this.
  • gill6398gill6398 Member Posts: 12
    I just spoke with American Honda and they responded as if they had never heard of this problem. I have not brought my car into the dealership for fear of being charged for something that is not fixed. They said to get it diagnosed so I am bringing it to Clawson Honda of Fresno tommorow. Luckily I know the service manager pretty well so we will see how it goes. It is really bad now. The car locks up so often that it is just sitting at my house. I am the only one that drives the Pilot because I am afraid to put my family in it. I will let you know what happens.
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  • safetymatterssafetymatters Member Posts: 29
    Please look under my profile again.
  • gill6398gill6398 Member Posts: 12
    Sorry. I click on safetymatters and it just says private for your email address. Good news though. I called American Honda yesterday and was pretty aggressive in terms of explaining how dangerous and unsafe my 2005 Honda Pilot was with this brakeing issue. Basically at first all they said was to take my car to the dealer. Than a few hours later I received a call back from American Honda. They said that they had been trying to get a hold of me all morning. The lady said that the engineering department wanted to take a look at my car. Said that the soonest they could get to my dealership was Thursday. They were very accomodating. Offered alternate transportation as well. Perfect timing because my buddy who is a service writer at that dealership said that his District Manager will be there that day as well! We will see how it goes. I'll keep you posted.
  • safetymatterssafetymatters Member Posts: 29
    Please check the Petition I filed on NHTSA's website under the directions I posted earlier and contact me. I have chosen to display my email several times under my profile and it will not take. It is very important you are in contact with NHTSA investigators and I can assist.
  • safetymatterssafetymatters Member Posts: 29
    edited August 2012
    I hope this will go better for you than it has for the rest of us. Many have had a rep from engineering come out. Afterwards American Honda or the dealer will offer you a repair with a release saying if the repair fails you cannot come back at Honda. They have not acknowledge the defect with my repair offers and will not warrant the safety of their vehicles with or without repairs. They may even ask for a non-disclosure. One way to test this is to make the condition that the engineer who evaluates your Pilot has to provide you with a report of his findings. Write down everything that happens tomorrow and date and sign your notes. Keep this with your other docs. It puts you in a good position either way. If they refuse to write anything down, that says something, if he writes a report, regardless of what it says, it is to your advantage as well. When you are done, take the vehicle to an independent mechanic that doesn't work for Honda and ask for an eval with report, shouldn't cost more than $50. Please read the document search Petition letter under under Vehicle Owners tab-Defect Investigations tab-type in box DP12002 and click on document search tab to find my Petition letter to NHTSA. Both myself and the Director of Investigations at NHTSA would like to see your video. You can also post it on YouTube and post the link here. In any event, I have talked to the Director and he would like to be in contact with you. Please check my Petition letter for contact info and get back to me.
  • gill6398gill6398 Member Posts: 12
    I just posted ONE of the videos on You Tube. It is titled "2005 Honda Pilot Braking on its own!" Let me know if this is something you can use. Now American Honda keeps pushing back the day that the engineers want to look at my car. First it supposed to be today. I called and they said either first thing next week or at the latest Wednesday of next week. Here is the link:
  • safetymatterssafetymatters Member Posts: 29
    Yes. This is good. Are you able to post all of the videos including the one you said you had of the brake pedal not being pushed but you can hear the keys? I really would like to connect you to the Director at NHTSA so they can collect specific information to bolster a recall. If you are not comfortable with this just let me know. Either way I hope you can find my contact info on NHTSA's site. Honda is supposed to provide extensive documents to NHTSA by August 4th. Have you filed a complaint with American Honda? You can do so before they evaluate the car. Just get a case number when you call to have on file. Keep this number handy.
  • jjlnw1jjlnw1 Member Posts: 1
    Help! I have an 2005 Pilot with a similar issue. Last year I had the Flashing D which stopped after we turned the car off then back on, 6 mos later as I am driving at 55mph the car just stopped. It was taken to the local Honda shop 70 miles from my home and they replaced the 4th gear pressure switch. Yesterday as I am excelerating around 40mph it did it again with the same grinding noise as gill6398 had in his utube video. I have an appointment again with the local shop 70 miles from my home but feel very uncomfortable driving it. I contacted Honda America today and was told that there are not complaints of my type on file. I could not find the info for the NHTSA.
  • safetymatterssafetymatters Member Posts: 29
    edited August 2012
    If your car brakes suddenly by itself then first you must report this to the NHTSA at (See contact info below.)
    NHTSA is presently considering my Petition for a Recall Investigation on 2005 Honda Pilots for involuntarily braking and steering failures. They have posted documents on under Vehicle Owners. Choose tab Defect Investigations. Then type in the NHTSA action number DP12002 and press the orange "Document Search" tab to follow the investigation. My email is posted on the Petition letter there and I can put you in contact with the director of Investigations at NHTSA which is important. Please cotact me. I will hel anyway I can. NHTSA needs to collect all the information they can to produce a Recall Investigation.

    You will also find in the document search American Honda’s response dated 8/3/12 to NHTSA confessing they have 87 vehicle owner complaints related to this involuntary braking in their database and 190 filed reports from their dealers of the same.

    If anyone else has experienced this with a 2005 Honda Pilot and have not filed a complaint with the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration, now is the time to do so. They need as much information as possible.

    NHTSA Complaints can be filed by phone at 888-327-4236 or online at

    It is also important to post a complaint with North American Honda Corp. at 800-999-1009 or by mail to:

    American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
    Honda Automobile Customer Service
    1919 Torrance Boulevard
    Mail Stop: 500 - 2N - 7A
    Torrance, CA 90501-2746

    Secondly take the vehicle to an independent mechanic and have them photograph the computer's steering angle and see if the angle changes on its own. If they can reproduce the braking great, if not at least you will have these pics and have them write a short report regarding what they saw.

    I would not recommend driving, I would recommend towing it.
  • gill6398gill6398 Member Posts: 12
    Sorry for the delayed response. I have actually had some positive results from American Honda. I called them to let them know exactly what was going on with my car and stressed the major safety concern. At first it seemed as though they were blowing me off. Then a few hours later I recieved a call from a person from the engineering department saying they had been trying to track me down all day. She said that the engineers down at American Honda in LA wanted to look at my car. I live in Fresno, Ca. which is 6 hours from LA. They ended up flat bedding my Pilot from a local dealership here in town down to American Honda in LA. They paid for a rental car for the two weeks my car was down there. They were able to duplicate the problem and found that the fix was a faulty VSA module. Once this part was switched out they were unable to duplicate the problem again. The dealership detailed my Pilot and had it waiting for me when I got there. Clawson Honda also provided me with paperwork for the work based on what was told to them by American Honda. Knock on wood, but it has been about 3 weeks and I have not had the problem reoccure. I think what did it was the fact that all conversations are recorded when you call American Honda and I was very aggressive when explaining the safety issue and the possibility of someone getting hurt or killed. I also filed a complaint with NHTSA. Listen to what Safety Matters is saying as well. She assisted me all along the way. She has been dealing with this for much much longer than I had.
  • safetymatterssafetymatters Member Posts: 29

    "Government Investigates 88,000 Honda Pilots for Faulty Brakes"

    NHTSA has approved Petition for Recall Investigation. Please see the NY Times article posted below. ilots-for-faulty-brakes/

    Thank you for your contributions.
  • qwerty12qwerty12 Member Posts: 2
    So I'm new to this whole message board, but our family does have a 2005 Pilot. Needless to say, this is a bit concerning. In the three years we've had the Pilot, we have not had any issues with the brakes (knock on wood), so at this point I'm not sure what exactly to do. Purcharsed the car at Carmax. Do we take it back to them to be serviced? Is there an actual recall in effect that says we shouldn't be driving it until it's fixed?

    Thank you all for being on top of it!
  • gill6398gill6398 Member Posts: 12
    Unfortunately there is not a recall yet. However, if you go back and reply to "safetymatters" which is the screen name for a person on here that is leading the charge with this whole ordeal. From what it sounds like, after reading the article posted in the New York Times, there will be a recall coming out probably by the end of the month. You are lucky that you have not had this occur. I actually posted a couple of videos on YouTube with my 05 Pilot braking on its own. You can check that out if you like. Just look up, "05 Honda Pilot Braking On Its Own."
  • qwerty12qwerty12 Member Posts: 2
    Hello, safetymatters. So gill6398 said I might contact you to get the latest info. I saw your post linking the NYT article. Interesting reading, to say the least. At this point, just wondering what to do. Do you have any further knowledge about the potential recall? And how much of a hazard is it to still be driving the car (which we've been doing for three plus years)?
  • safetymatterssafetymatters Member Posts: 29
    edited October 2012
    I apologize for the delayed response. Sometimes the forum does not tag me to let me know there is a new message.

    NHTSA has granted the Petition which has taken many long hours of work on their part. It is not a Recall just yet. They will need more investigation, engineering analysis, and the identifiable fix to set in motion a recall. Their investigation has expanded which means Honda is obligated to divulge more information. In their 8/3/12 response, Honda reported they have 87 Pilot owner reports and 193 field/dealer reports of the spontaneous braking. These reports go back to 2005. They were evaluating the spontaneous braking in 2005 and even made changes to the VSA system for the 2006 model. Honda has not just recently become aware of this problem.

    It is very important that anyone who experiences the involuntary braking report it to NHTSA.

    For now, we have to wait and see what their next move will be.

    I can't tell you what to do with your vehicle if it has not begun braking by itself. I can only tell you what I did with my vehicle after the spontaneous braking. No chances taken with it since.
  • techman41973techman41973 Member Posts: 83
    A friend has a 2004 Honda Pilot. Often he will insert and turn the key in the ignition and it won't start.
    If he presses the unlock botton on his keychain FOB, it then allows the car to start. Sometimes he has to do this several times.
    This issue happens with all 3 of his mechanical keys. It seems as if there is a solenoid in the steering column that is having trouble disengaging.
    Wondering if any other Pilot owners have/had the same issue or if someone has an idea on what needs to be done.
  • gill6398gill6398 Member Posts: 12
    I have never heard of that happening. The one thing I do know is that the key fobs go out on most Hondas within these few years. Mine have both been out for a few years now. I manually lock and unlock the car. New batteries dont help. To get the key reprogrammed its right around $200 and there is two keys.
  • lb_valb_va Member Posts: 2
    edited March 2013
    My 2003 Pilot started auto-braking after starting.
    A new recall was announced on March 13, 2013: -
  • safetymatterssafetymatters Member Posts: 29
    Hello everyone,

    Thank you for all submissions and efforts communicating with NHTSA. If you have not yet filed with NHTSA to report spontaneous braking and veering, please continue to do so. Any further information documenting is still useful. Continued communication is important to see if the repair proposed for the recall works. For that matter, anyone with vehicle safety concerns should be reporting to NHTSA. Their site is

  • lb_valb_va Member Posts: 2
    edited April 2013
    Found out that this was caused by a non-working front oxygen sensor. Replaced and its fine now.
  • naconanacona Member Posts: 1
    I am currently dealing with the same thing - did adjusting the valves fix the problem?
  • 2005pilot2005pilot Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I have a 2005 Honda Pilot and my fuse 9 keeps blowing out and the mechanic cannot figure out why it keeps blowing. I also cannot shift out of park and also my windows and gauges on dashboard don't work (ie gas gauge is on empty even though the tank is full, etc). Can you please tell me how your problem fixed? Thank you!!!
  • savegassavegas Member Posts: 26
    I have 2003 pilot EX around 115,500 miles and runs OK.

    Recently, i found the passenger side around radiator area has the nail polish smell (engine off and engine is cold) during the weekly inspection: there is no leak and anything broken under the hood.

    Anyone has the similar experience ?

  • vjohn13vjohn13 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 05 Pilot which has the same VSA problem you are discussing - when I take a corner the VSA lights up and the brake on the rear engages pulling the vehicle violently to one side.
    Can you tell me if there is a recall on this problem yet by Honda - I have seen nothing advising me of one.
  • gill6398gill6398 Member Posts: 12
    There is absolutely a recall for this. It took a long time but they finally did make this extremely dangerous issue a recall. Call your local dealership ASAP.
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