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Honda Accord Seats 2008+



  • icyou812icyou812 Posts: 77
    I found that lowering the seat 2-3 inches from it's highest setting and tilting it back about 4 notches was what it took to alleviate my back pain. I'm 5'10" and 170lbs. As I drive I reach back and pull the headrest forward every few miles to take the pressure off for a few moments. I think that helped me to get adjusted to it. I usually jack the seat up all the way so I can see everything I'm about to run over. Works great in my old 97 Camry, but much to my surprise it was quite painful in our LX Accord. My wife hasn't had a single problem with the seats, lucky I guess. Anyone ever try fabricating a wedge to fit under the headrest to tilt it forward to relieve the pressure? Might be a easier fix for people that aren't comfortable (no pun intended) with taking their seat covers off to disable the restraint.
  • icyou812icyou812 Posts: 77
    I didn't quite think the wedge under the headrest thing all the way through. It would take the pressure off the back, but then your neck would hurt from your head being tilted forward. D'oh!
  • dbdcdbdc Posts: 10
    Thanks for the replies. I've done a lot of playing around with seat height and the head rest as well. Unlike some others, when I tilt the headrest forward, I don't feel anything different. Btw I'm pretty big too, 6' and 270. But I can ride in my Prius all day (and the Odyssey I traded in) with no pain.

    I guess the issue really is how to get Honda do to something about this. I've been told by the dealer and every independent mechanic and garage I've contacted so far that they cannot disable a federally mandated safety device.

    I go to an upholsterer tomorrow morning, coincidentally another Accord owner is coming too,. Apparently they have been receiving several calls a dayabout this problem. Maybe they can address it by moving foam around....but again, I'd like to see the video of how to do this myself, if youtube doesn't remove it for legal reasons...

    This is a real Catch 22. I think that more harm is being done to customer's spines than anything mitigated by the active head restraints. Shame on Honda for covering this up for almost 2 years. I will never even consider a Honda product again.
  • cdn2cdn2 Posts: 8
    If there is a solution that actually works well please let me know. I am 6'5 215 and have been using a memory foam pillow...that helps a little on the short trips...but not much on the long trips.
  • dbdcdbdc Posts: 10
    I had the lumbar plate taken out for $150 at an upholstery shop. It seems to help some, but its still not quite right. They will put it back in for free for me after I drive it for awhile.

    I may get it put back and try it with this "Sacro Ease" framed cushion I purchased ($120) , which also helps some. I had it bent at Health Back Store (they will custom adjust it for free) to support my UPPER back. That was better, but now I want the lumbar back again. Then maybe my whole back will be actually away from the seat contour. Problem is the "Sacro Ease takes some space and sort of negates the side bolstering. :mad:

    Really getting ridiculous (and expensive). I am going to look at a trade-in on a different vehicle that was on my short list. I would be willing to lose a couple of thousand to have a car I can sit in for 8-10 years.

    Then again, perhaps my back will "adjust".
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    Honda Accord 2008-Up seats will never be right if they hit you in a wrong spot. The bulge in lower back seat that pushes against your back is a constant pain. You will eventually screw up your lower back.

    I am amazed that more people don't HATE this piece of $#%^ seat back design.

    Sell the Accord and buy a Nissan Altima or a Mazda 6. Both have far more comfortable seats.

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    What's comfortable for one won't be comfortable for all. I'm 6'5" 195, my grandmother is 5'1" and "regular" sized. She can't get comfortable in the 08 Taurus, but I can.

    Different seats for different shapes.
  • dbdcdbdc Posts: 10
    jodar96, you were right. I sold the Accord after 2 months (at a 4K loss). I hope I do not now have permanent back damage. Back hurts most of the time, even in my other car, which I have driven for 5 years comfortable. Wish I had seen your post re: Altima or Mazda 6. I ended up purchasing a Volvo C30, which I had looked at previously, mainly because Volvo does not use the "active" head restraint. These seats seem much better, but its hard to tell because my back is still so messed up from the accord. It seems like it did something do a disk. The pain does not seem to be merely muscular. Hopefully I'll be able to enjoy driving again.

    To all prospective new Honda buyers, please drive it for at least one hour before making your decision. Rent one if you have to.
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    Your back will be fine once you do not have that constant lower bulge against it. The Accord was my wife's. I talked her into selling her 2000 Lincoln LS ( it did have comfortable seats) to get the Accord. Once we got rid of the Accord, our backs have been fine. We bought a used 2004 RX330 for her.

    You always loose more money when you trade in. Honda is one of the best cars you can sell on your own. You must be patient while trying to sell it on your own. We lost $2K for a 16 month old Accord EX with 9K miles. It sat in third garage Nov-March due to being terrible time of the year to sell a car.

    I am not sure Accord crappy seat has anything to do with their active head restraining system. Everyone these days uses the system. In fact, Volvo pioneered the system and I am sure your C30 has the system.

    Accord seat back design is simply POOR. Honda thinks they got it right, but I feel they are clueless as what a comfortable seat design should feel like.

    My 2001 MB E430 has to have the benchmark for front seat comfort. With its 21 gallon tank, I have done 535 miles w/o stopping in that car. There was no way I could take more than two hours in our 2008 Accord.

  • dbdcdbdc Posts: 10
    Interestingly, my 5 year old Toyota Prius, while not having what I would call luxurious seats, has never caused any back pain, even on a 10 hour drive. It only has the minimal adjustments, tilt and forward/back. When I drove a 2010 Camry, with full power seats the other day, the seat felt just the same as the Prius, suprise? One initial adjustment and no further thought required. It seems thats how all cars seats used to be. But now the seats are fussier, seems that if you get one of the 8 different (even manual adjustments) wrong you make things worse.

    My benchmark seat was my 200 BMW 328, it had lumbar that went up and down, as well as in and out. I don't see how lumbar can accomodate different height drivers without that feature.

    next car will either be a Toyota or Lexus (but most are boring to drive) or something with the up/down lumbar.

    But hopefully, my back can recover, and I can drive my C30 for a few years!
  • jhinscjhinsc Posts: 399
    Could it be that your back already had problems and the Accord's seats just made it more apparent? I'm not doubting your back pain or problems, but a car's seat can't be the cause of it. Typically degenerative disk disease, injury or combination thereof exists. I hope you're able to get it taken care of.

    I for one find my exl-v6 Accord's seat very comfortable and could sit all day in it on a long drive. I wish the front passenger seat has the same adjuestments and lumbar adjustment, but thankfully the Accord is my daily driver and I rarely sit on the passenger side.
  • dbdcdbdc Posts: 10
    Well, when my wife had some back issues a few years ago, she was told by her orthopedist that if you did a spinal MRI on people in their 50's (my age) 90% have some disk degeneration. Usually, however, its sub-clinical.

    Perhaps thats something that car manufacturers should take into account in their seat design.

    I am feeling better each day in my C30. I have lumbar on "full", on this car, but it covers a much larger vertical range than the Honda did.

    In answer to the previous poster's comments about active headrests, yes Volvo was the first manufacturer to use them. However, innovative in safety as always, now they have something called the WHIPS. See this link (here at Edmunds):

    in the picture, you see that the entire seat moves in a rear impact, not just the head rest. Thus no need for the sensor plate mechanism that Honda so artlessy inserts in to all 2008-2009 seats, except Odyssey.

    Again, seats are a personal matter, and I think everyone especially over 50, should find a way to drive a car or interest for a full hour or two before purchase.
  • cdn2cdn2 Posts: 8
    Are you serious? I am only 45 and very good physical shape working out 6 days a week. I truly think it has to do with height (I am 6'5) not back problems. My back feels better after about 30 minutes out of the car (or sitting in the passenger seat).
    Again, I would've never bought the car if I would've known but it is primarily my wife's car. My F150 doesn't cause any pain at all.
  • jhinscjhinsc Posts: 399
    Actually I am very serious. I am an over 50 male, 5'10", 160lbs fit and healthy, but not immune to aches and pains. Your height is a factor. They are much more comfortable than Toyota Camry seats - Camry seats don't have enough thigh support, even at my average height. My other vehicle is an 07 Chev Avalanche LTZ but I don't drive it everyday. On long trips, the seats are not comfy at all.
  • dbdcdbdc Posts: 10
    Hilarious....I'm 6', and found Camry seats very comfy, but thats after 5 years of Prius seats - but the Accord killed me. Both Prius and Camry are very marshmallow like, they don't try to reshape your spine.

    Now my C30 seat seems to hurt as well, and it didn't when I test drove it before I bought the now-sold Accord. I'm hoping this is still a reaction to my 2 months in the Accord, as noone seems to have had similar experiences with this seat.

    Meanwhile, when I drive my Prius, all pain goes away. But I think part of it is that both seat and back sort of adapt after a couple of months, but with "aggressively ergonomic" seats it may take longer.
  • In all fairness, let's remember why Honda has done this in the first place: all car manufacturers are mandated by our friend Uncle Sam to have active head restraint systems STANDARD in the near future (not sure what year, though). Camrys, Mazda6s, Altimas, etc. will ALL have to deal with this issue soon enough. Honda is just reaping the unfortunate flak of trying to be first to market with a mandated safety feature.

    It may be possible to create a more comfortable solution to the problem, but given the mechanics of the situation - having to deal with forces of sudden deceleration while providing adequate support to the neck - Honda's solution is probably the least costly and most effective. Having a motorized solution would add significant cost. Having a more comfortable solution probably wouldn't be as effective. I suppose an alternative would be to have some kind of chin-strap contraption a la Clockwork Orange but somehow I think we'd be unhappy with that as well.

    I will be curious to see how manufacturers renowned for their comfort (Mercedes, Jaguar, Cadillac, etc.) will address the problem and whether their solution antagonizes their clientele as much as Honda's has.
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    I have a tough time imagining mass producing Honda is ahead of Mercedes, BMW, Volvo in safety department. The crappy lower back bulge has nothing to do with being first, middle, or last with head restraining system.

  • I need to know how you did this, I can't quite figure it out. If you could post some photos or a video, that would be awesome, apparently, you're the only one I can find on the internet that is able to help with this problem.
  • wow, I guess we are not the only ones. Our 08 Accord ex (4 cyl) w/35k miles on it has given both of use back pain on long rides (and we do a lot of long rides). Our 02 Accord ex-v6 never gave us a bit of trouble. Both driver and passenger seats give us trouble. I find that if I elevate the drivers seat it is somewhat less bothersome. The passenger seat seems to have little hope with it not having all the adjustments. My only other complaint with the car is it's size. Much prefer the smaller 02. Wonder what it is that causes so many of us discomfort. We just took a rental Mazda 6 on a tour of Oregon, 1968 miles over a week and a half and had no issues at all. Hope Honda fixes this issue. I really like Hondas but am leery about running into this issue again. Hard to tell about seats on a test drive...
  • rapp1rapp1 Posts: 4
    I then went out and got 96 corolla headrests at a junkyard. They don't tilt in.
  • rapp1rapp1 Posts: 4
    Stick a pen in the little hole that the headrest pole goes into which jams the headrest forward. This will push the lump down. You might need to go to a junkyard and get new headrests that don't push forward. I used a 96 Corrolla headrests. After that you're on your own. Try the seat that way or buy some cushions at the auto supply store. I haven't been able to turn it into a great seat, but at least I got the lumps down.
  • I first brought it to an upholstery shop which led them to remove the seat and took out the lumbar plates which didn't alleviate the problem. After the repair the back panel of the seat fell off, which allowed me to further investigate by getting my hand up there(between the foam and the leather). don't need to have the seat removed from car to acess the removal of the lumbar support plates as I did. The plate removal alleviated the uncomfortable lumbar hump but not the other discomfort that I had. Further aggrevation led me to inspect behind the back panel of the seat where I discoverd that at every seam in the leather, there is a plastic covered metal wire that is the width of the seam (used to attach the foam to the leather). With a pair of plyers, one can strip the plastic covered wire away from the leather without damaging the seam. The only downfall is that the leather won't fit as snug against the foam backing(nothing that noticable). I removed two horizontal and two vertical plastic covered reinforcement wires (each 12-18" in length) which immediately relieved the issue. The pain I had was from the wires that are located between the leather and the FRONT of the foam padding (closer to the front of the seat). I did have to order the plastic snaps that got damaged (this is to re-snap the back plate back to the seat). This was the answer to ALL my discomfort in the seat. Hope this helps!!
  • dbdcdbdc Posts: 10
    I did the same as brentc25. I went to an upholster's too, and they took out my lumbar, and said they didn't see any other issues, but said it sure felt different without the lumbar. Different, yes, better, no. So I drove it another month - almost went back to the upholsterer and got the lumber put back in. Finally when I could stand it no longer, I traded it in for a different (non-Honda) vehicle, at the loss of $4000.

    This is simply wrong. Honda should be monitoring these forums. This problem has existed for almost 2 years, since the first 2008's came out. No more Honda's for me...ever.

    Any attorneys out there?
  • rr9rr9 Posts: 1
    Hi timdac11,
    this is awesome that you are able to resolve the issue. i just bought the car a ew days ago and feel terrble pain everyday. would you please be kind enough to post pictures or send more description of how to remove these wires from seats.
    thanks much in advance
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    What would you sue for, you bought a product you find uncomfortable? Not trying to be a wise guy, but how exactly would that lawsuit go ?
  • dbdcdbdc Posts: 10
    I"m not a lawyer. But I'll just say that "uncomfortable" is something of an understatement for myself, and I think maybe many other recent Honda purchasers, based on who I've spoken to and what I've seen in this and other forums.

    I think we're talking about actual lasting, if not permanent injury, especially if you can't afford to sell the car, and drive it with the seat defect for a long period of time.

    For starters, could we say that Honda is not meeting the terms of its warranty, by not remedying something in their product that is injuring purchasers? But again, I would defer to any lawyers among our learned readers.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    The problem is, the defense attorney could, I'm sure, find just as many owners who would testify that they love the seats, and they are very comfortable.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    For starters, could we say that Honda is not meeting the terms of its warranty, by not remedying something in their product that is injuring purchasers?

    Just playing devil's advocate with ya here; I've driven a 2008 Accord and ddin't notice a problem, but it was only a ten minute for-fun test drive. EX, cloth, 4-cylinder.

    People every day I'm sure buy office furniture which isn't conducive to proper spinal health, but you don't hear about anybody suing over that. I realize that this would be a $25,000 office chair, but still - I really think this is just going to be a tough case for a lawyer to even take, much less win. I wish you the best, and certainly hope your pain in the backside (literal and figurative alike) goes away.

    Thanks for replying,


    2006 Accord EX I4 Sedan
  • dbdcdbdc Posts: 10
    If Honda only satisfied 1/2 of its purchasers in general, it wouldn't still be in business!
  • My wife just bought a 2009 accord and I will tell you the seats are terrible. Hard as a rock!! This is an EX-L, looks good, handles well on all roads, if you can stand the seats. Dont believe me just go to Edmunds and check it out. Wish I had, but she loves it and its her car so.... I'll buy my own and not share hers. Just my 2 cents.
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