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Honda Accord Seats 2008+



  • The dealership had the nerve of saying this was a design feature, they felt the problem, sat into other Accords, and felt the same hump in the back. If you all just keep on complaining here, which is fine, Honda would not do anything, I do not think they pay any attention, perhaps Edmunds should write an article of investigate after seeing 150 posts about the same thing, then Honda would probably do something about it, or you can have all these 150 people call their customer service center, to see if their engineering group would do something about it, their number is 1-800-999-1009
    I was told though that they were only there to take calls and record them to use this feedback for future models, so in theory they are as useless as an ashtray in a motorcycle.
  • I have had my 2011 accord for three weeks. Yes, it too has this problem. I have had a lot of back pain that developed over time. It was not noticed on the test drive. I was about to just trade it in, but decided to read this thread. I am glad that I did. I implemented one of the suggestions by a previous poster (sorry, I will have to look you up for credit.) and it helps immediately. First, if you find yourself constantly twitching with the seat controls, yep, you have a problem. You should not have to conform to the seat! And you should not have to search through one billion seat adjustment combos to be comfortable!
    The problem, as noted by previous posters, is excessive lumbar protrusion. Just look at the passenger seat from the driver's seat, and you can see how much it protrudes into the seat area! Here is what I did to fix it:

    (1) The problem is due to a kick-plate/rocker assembly in the seat that moves the head rest forward in an accident. The plate is pushed up too far into the seat area. Making this worse is a white piece of plastic behind that which moves to increase the lumbar support from "knee in the back" to "soccer ball in the back".

    (2) Remove the hard cover from the back of the seat. I just used my hands and was gentle.

    (3) You need to disconnect that large black plate from all of the bars that hook to it. This is easy as it really just hangs on in one direction. Keep wiggling and working with it until it can be freed from the cross memebers. Be gentle.

    (4) Rotate it. Make sure the lumbar control is all of the way off. THis gives you extra slack in the cable.

    (5) Play with the white plastic lumbar piece until you can get it free from the cable. I do not recommend cutting off that little bulb on the cable. Just work with the plastic until you can slide the ball out of the track and that will free the plastic from the cable. Pull that piece of garbage out of your seat along with the black plate. (Previous poster that did this said the seat was too conformal with this done, but I am ok with it.)

    (6) Remove the lower cross arm. It is connected to two rockers on both sides of the seat. Just push it towards the rocker arms and it will pop out. THIS DISABLES the active head rest, so you are on your own with that decision.

    (7) If you find that the seat goes too deep when you sit in it (I did not) it would be trivial to reinforce the back by looping cord through the many loops available in the seat frame.

    (8) Put the back on the seat.

    (9) Presto! See if you back is better. You may not have to get rid of an otherwise OK car!

    Also, if you do NOT own a 2011,10,09,08 Accord, then please do not tell us that we are simply used to soft seats and need to man-up. This is a defect that wears you down over time.

  • jaimito1jaimito1 Posts: 6
    Thank you, thank you w75Collins, I did exactly what you said, I left in the black plate though, and it worked perfectly, very easy to do with your instructions.
    It is a SHAME that Honda, does not give a damn about their customers. I have personally discouraged 3 people in buying this car, and will continue to do so. Last time I sat my cousin in my car who was looking for a car, and he said: What in the world is this? Granted that I have warned him, but nevertheless the seat is a piece of garbage.
    All it takes for Honda is to give a call to Lear Seats Co., and tell them to modify the design, or ask their engineers to do something about it.
    All car companies change after a model is launched is Safety items, whether forced or not, and cost cutting changes, like for removing the key lock cylinder from the trunk. All the rest they don't care, I have worked in truck assembly plant for 8 years and know exactly how this works. Japanese are not different.
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    I can't believe that this still going on with Hondas. I have an '05 Accord EX-L. The driver's seat has that same bulge. I can't believe that this has not been corrected. The passenger seat is different, as you say. I bought a small cushion that sets in this hole left when the lumbar is not engaged. It makes the seat comfortable. I have never had a car with this problem. I can't believe that they have corrected this.
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    Your issue may be different in your 05. The current generation is dealing with the new active restraint system that involves the headrest. This was not present in the previous model years.

    My 06 EX-L (same generation as your 05) is just fine for me. But as you've experienced, not all car seats fit everyone the same.
  • jaimito1jaimito1 Posts: 6
    Is not only the bulge, even after having fixed this problem with what was posted at post #173, you still have the problem that now you are a little bit deeper into the seat, and if you are not skinny, then the two sides of the seat protrude into the each side of your back. I cannot believe either that Honda has this problem in the 05's, it is just that they are a bunch of people that don't give a damn about their customers, even the review from Edmunds talks about. But you walk into a Honda dealership and they put you a dumb face like they do not know what in the world you are talking about, they go like huh? Oh sir we have never heard about this complaint, though you turn around and they have an award given by Honda, the Presidents award, for excellent customer service, this is in Katy Honda, but it is just corporate bologna, their salesman would go, oh tell me sir, is there anything I can do for you?
  • daneeldaneel Posts: 19
    My wife drives a 2008 Accord LXP. No driver seat complaints from either of us, but then we made sure about this BEFORE we bought the vehicle.
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    You may not have the same seat as the EX-L, since you have the LX-P. The LX-P may not have the lumbar support. That is the issue with these seats. The passenger seat is comfortable with no issues. There is no lumbar support on the passenger seat.
  • Hey all,

    Well, my post from #153 did not do it, as tallman1 points out. You sink into the hole and your butt is too low in the bottom part of the seat. So I implemented the method posted before where you jack the entire seat up in the rear using two sets of 9 metric washers and longer bolts (6$ at home depot). That helped for a while, but now my hips hurt instead of my back. I also tried putting a cushion under my rear (try just that on your car and you will instantly see that the part that hits your rear is way to low and compresses the spine).

    I called around and it is hard to get people to modify the seat. They are afraid of getting sued.

    Anyway, I test drove a Maxima and now I am crying because I could have got that for what I ended up paying for the accord--I thought I was getting an ok deal, but I made a mistake and was not. The maxima seat seemed great and the car was much QUIETER than the accord. The accord gas milage is no where near 27/34 and it has a lot of road noise. I also test drove an 08 335i, which felt like the seat was holding me in this wonderful position, so it was easy to see how much the honda sucks. Whatever I do next, I will RENT a car for a week before buying it!!!

    Lots of luck out there. If you find a fix, let me know. --Will
  • dagemdagem Posts: 13
    Well, I am working my way through the solutions posted here, and had removed the white piece of plastic for the lumbar adjustment. I also loosened the lower part with 16 gauge bailing wire in place of the active head restraint bar, but after 45 minutes in the car for Mothers Days, I'm still recovering and driving my wife's '05 Impala.

    I noticed during my many adjustments to the seat that the top wire is just too loose and flexible and allows your shoulders and upper back to sink and that puts more pressure on the lumbar/active headrest bar.

    I also noticed, but placing foam strips from a mattress pad (from walmart, as suggested by mikebike here and on the Honda Accord forums) in the lowest part of the seat helps the lumbar "boost" hit in a better position.

    I am about to make my second major adjustment to the seat, 1st - I bought a sink rack (looks like a stronger version of a cooling rack) at Walmart, it's very close the the size of the black plastic support, but it is perfectly flat and stainless steel. 2nd - I'm going to double the wire at the top so the won't give and force the bottom inward. 3rd - an added layer of memory foam between the rack and the seat cushion, hopefully so the rack will be able to shift slightly without changing how the seat feels.

    I will post updates, I was aware of the seat problem when I bought the car, but completely under estimated the severity of the problem, so I have no one to blame but myself. I am also aware I disabled the active head restraint, and really don't care. Our '05 Impala is without one as well as every other vehicle I've owned in my 44 year old life span. :)
  • mikebike125mikebike125 Posts: 10
    Here is the post I made complete with Pictures. This my car and what I did to fix it. It is much better after this fix.

    Lumbar Lump Fix
  • dagemdagem Posts: 13
    Yes, your post inspired me to make some of the changes I did. I was never able to make another wire with the right bends and additional length to use the active head restraints.

    I just used bailing wire to secure the black plastic plate at the bottom. that maybe why the top wire flexed too much, and allowed the bottom to continue to push against my back.

    I'm hoping with the replacement (wire rack without the bend) will work like the car seats of old. I'm going to use springs from an old mattress to attach the rack to the frame so it will be firm but still give. I'm thinking that the way the rack is made I can use the original wires to hold it in place so everything works.

    I meant to ask you mike, did you feel like the seat was too low? I'm 6' and 209 with a little extra around the middle (damn thyroid) and it just feels like the seat is too firm and low.

    My wife has the car today (thanks honey!) so tomorrow is the day for my changes if the work out I will post pictures and a step by step. As others have said complain to Honda about this seat or nothing will get done or change. Guess it doesn't really help us though does it?
  • npolitenpolite Posts: 33
    I can say when my sister had her 08 (she bought in in 9/07 and traded it in 06/09) with all of the minor issues she had (with 2 failed door actuators) and over the TSB etc recalls, I can remember the seats being very stiff. I don't know what Honda was thinking but they were already stiff enough in our Gen 6 Accord. They really made my back hurt on long trips even in the passenger's side. I don't recline my seat at 45 degree anges but rather at an 85 degree angle. Never had an issue on any previous gen Accord. I'll wait and see what the next gen features if I decide to get another Accord. At the moment it isn't looking good.
  • mikebike125mikebike125 Posts: 10
    I don't think the seat is too low (I am 6'-3"), I just think the lumbar lump is too low and too protruding. You're idea about using the springs sounds good as long as they aren't too loose.

    Just so you know, it took me 3 or 4 times with trial and error to get the new wire bent correctly. I only used a channel lock and an adjustable wrench when I made it (no special tools). I would hold the wire with the adjustable wrench, then grab it with the channel lock and just bend it. You can do it.
  • dagemdagem Posts: 13
    I mention the low stiff seat since my back is hurting in more places than just the lumbar area. I have bad disks L4 & L5 from a previous weight lifting injury doing heavy squats, so I'm sure that's not helping this situation.

    I did follow your post on the Accord forums step by step, the wire part (even down to the Lowe's tomato cage, maybe here in AZ we have stronger or harder to bend cages?) I just couldn't seem to get right.

    I had another thought about making an extension for the just the end of the original kind of like the old hook and eye type screen door lock, or hey even better a "hog ring" style half loop and then pinching each end to make sure it doesn't slip off. Looks like I'm heading to Lowe's and maybe an upholstery shop. Wish me luck.

    I also have the 2.4 EX with no leather, maybe the cloth cushion is firmer than the leather ones?
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    Some of you think the previous generation is better. I have an '05 EX-L and I don't think so. If I use the lumbar, the lump is too hard. If I don't use the lumbar, the seat is still uncomfortable. I bought a small pillow and put that at the bottom. I am then comfortable. I read these posts and what you are having to do. Isn't this ridiculous that you would have to do this on an expensive car? Honda does not seem to get messages. They are known for their lack of noise insulation. This gives you a lot of road noise. Also, they are known for their uncomfortable drivers" seats. I can't believe that company, with Honda's good reputation, that would let consistent complaints go like this. What do you want to bet that both of these problems will still be unsolved in the next generation? I would say that the odds are 99.9%.
  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    Auto seats are like beds: everyone has a different idea how soft/hard they should be. We all have different body measurements so a lumbar support hitting someone too high or too low isn't unusual. That's totally different than the situation people are having with the newest generation and the active head restraints in this forum.

    Personally, I like the seats in my 06 EX-L. I prefer the firmer seats over the soft couch-like seats I've experienced in other cars. I haven't sat in an 08+ Accord for any length of time so I can't comment on this particular problem.
  • mikebike125mikebike125 Posts: 10
    Exactly. The 06 seats are really nice. Remember, the 06 seats don't have the active head restraint in them and that is why they are so much better. I sat in my friends 06 and the seats feel really nice compared to my 08.
  • npolitenpolite Posts: 33
    Yeah the seats are much harder compared to the previous gen. I have sat in both for an extended amount of time on the passenger's side and can say it is night and day. The gen 7 and previous had stiff seats but to to what they are in the current gen. After having been in my sister's now traded in 08, I can say I look forward to the seats in a Camry or Altima.

    I hope that Honda learns from the mistakes it made and goes back to what really makes an Accord an Accord.

    I have owned Hondas for over 15 years and can say we are getting a Camry this time around.
  • dagemdagem Posts: 13
    Well, my experiment worked, but not well enough. The sink liner was too flat and had no lumbar support at all. I was constantly adjusting my seat just like before anything was done. The springs worked and let the seat move and felt pretty good, but with out any lumber support it just didn't feel right. I guess I could have added foam until it felt right but, I that seemed to hit or miss to attempt.

    So, I grabbed the last two pieces of my tomato cage and went to work, the second one came out pretty good if I say so myself. I added only about a quarter of an inch to each side, and then just followed mikebike's instruction from the Accord Forums and so far so good. I can move the headrest and feel the seat give, but now the lump is much less noticeable. Right now it seems to be just about perfect, I may need to adjust the additional foam

    Mike, thanks for the step by step instructions, while my wife could drive the car fine with the seat in the original condition, I could not and you saved me from having to make a hard decision about keeping, trading my wife cars or insurance fraud.... just kidding.

    I do agree that seat are like mattresses, and everybody finds something different comfortable or liveable. I just wish Honda would have made the "least amount" of lumbar support almost flat.

    As for other cars vs the Accord, I stopped looking at the Camry after it only got 2 stars on the front passenger seat and the Chevy Malibu when it only got 3 starts for the front passenger seat as well. This car is our primary mode of transportation for myself and my 3 year old daughter and safety was number one on our list, you didn't get 4 starts in every position, you got dropped off the list.

    Anyway, mike thanks again for the instructions!! Everybody who is having problems with your seat you really need to try his solution.
  • dagemdagem Posts: 13
    Well, back to square one, I'm replying to myself just to let people know I'm still struggling with this seat.

    I went to "Relax the Back" and was talking to them and looking for a lumbar support that might fit the car. Both employees were astounded at the seat design, the slant to the seat bottom was the thing they noticed and commented about the most. They confirmed that with the seat bottom like that the lower back would roll and put pressure on it. They had nothing that would fit the seat due to the high sides of the bottom and suggested a custom seat cushion, so I ventured to an upholstery shop and talked to the owner about a cushion.

    He gave me some foam to use to get the seat they way I wanted it, before we went any further. I got some firm foam (maybe to firm) but raising my hips up will hopefully stop the rounding of my lower back and allow me to sit with the proper lumbar support.

    I am slowly realizing that the Accord may have to be traded in, I put $10k down so I wont actually owe money to trade, but losing some or all of that really sucks. I got the 8yr/100k Honda Care that will transfer so who ever gets her will be covered for a long time.

    I guess I'm just venting now, maybe the cushion will work. ;)
  • silbermasilberma Posts: 5
    I am an engineer so I took a very analytical approach to this issue. Here is what I found works. First, the seat bottom does not have a good range of adjustments. The front of the seat is too high so it pushes you into the back of the seat and it puts more pressure on your lower back from the lumber support. I raised the back of the seat with longer bolts and washers so the seat bottom is more leveled and my back does not get pushed into the back of the seat. Second, I reduced the bulge of the seat back (lumber support) by pushing the head restraint forward and putting spacers in the gap to keep it there. Presto, no more seat problems.
  • mikebike125mikebike125 Posts: 10
    Might just want to go over and make sure you did a few things.

    1. Make sure that you have removed the white adjustable lumbar plate.
    2. Be sure that you have fabricated the new tomato cage wire as deep as possible.
    3. When you put the additional foam in, put only one layer in the middle layer in front of the black plate. Put two (or more) strip layers on the sides and top of the seat back. The idea here being to have all of the areas other than the black plate area a little thicker to help minimize the back plate protrusion.

    It is kind of like adjusting the pillows at night when you sleep. You need to do it a few times before it is just right. Don't discount the foam, it is the one thing that you can slide around until the seat feels better.
  • mrbill1957mrbill1957 Posts: 823
    edited May 2011
    I can understand the need to make the seats work for you, but what is everyone going to do when the sell/trade in their Accords with modified seats? I'm referring to potential liability issues with modifying or even defeating the active headrests. The concern is what could happen if they were involved in an accident, injured, and the modifications were uncovered? They could go after previous owners in a lawsuit.

  • dagemdagem Posts: 13
    Everything I've done can and will be returned to factory original condition (or as close as possible since I will have removed stuff and put it back in), when/and/or/if I get rid of the car.

    I have a lot of pictures of the cat seat before I changed anything on the usb memory stick I keep in the car for the radio, and they are backed up on my laptop, desktop and my back-up drive. Old IT habits dies hard, but that way I can always look at them to know exactly how it was before my "adjustments".

    I am not afraid to allow my wife to drive the car the way it is, and I wouldn't and didn't buy a 2011 Malibu (or any other car) with a less than 3 star rating for the front passenger side.

    That's the reason I'm trying to use a custom pillow to raise the seat bottom instead of just putting washers under the seat as others have done. It's more for the safety of my daughter in her car seat, I don't want the bolts to break and let my seat move into her space during a crash.

    I have thought about it as well, I would never sell the car without letting people know what has been done to it. I would be devastated if someone was injured from something I did.
  • All of the modifications I did do not prevent the active head restraint from functioning. It still works, just that the bump does not protrude out as far. The other thing is that it can be put back exactly the way it was because the modification is not permanent.

    I for one will not worry about what will happen in the future as I own the car today and it needs to be comfortable to me right now.
  • npolitenpolite Posts: 33
    You might want to try to see if your local dealer will let you try a headrest from the 7th generation Accord and see if it fits. Might be worth a shot as I don't think it had the active head restraint.
  • jjp7jjp7 Posts: 1
    Has anyone considered just buying a totally different seat? My 08 Accord EX-L is so uncomfortable I don't know what to do. I've have this persistent lower back pain and I know it's from the seat. I don't feel the bulge that everyone else is talking about, but for me it is just a matter of no good position for the seat. I feel like I'm always moving it around trying something new, but it just doesn't work. I bought a memory foam seat cushion that covers the bottom and back of the seat. It worked for about a week, but now I'm back to square one. I found a website called Andy's Auto Sports and they have a lot of "racing" seats ranging from $150 to thousands. I know I would lose my heated seat and wouldn't be able to adjust it as much, but I don't care. Any thoughts?
  • It's not as simple as that. Mechanisms inside the seat back make the headrest move. The headrest is fine, it's just the mechanical parts that bulge out so far that cause the problem. You can actually remove the headrest and the problem is still there because it is in the seat back.
  • npolitenpolite Posts: 33
    Ah ok I understand. It isn't the head-rest rather what is inside the top of the seat that is causing the issue.
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