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Honda Pilot Driver's Seat Catches Fire



  • solosolo Posts: 48
    Wow, its been 3 years since i posted my pilot drivers side seat caught fire! You had the same symptoms as me.. My 04 had about 60,000 miles at the time. My dealer in Chicago, Fl etcher- Jones fixed the heater and ALSO the burnt leather seat was replaced at no charge.
  • ejyyejyy Posts: 2
    I just filed my claim and reported this safety defect with NHTSA and the American Honda Motor Corp. I have never owned anything other than a honda and buy them based on safety, reliability, etc. It truly is sad that this has not been recalled - I guess there has not been anyone severely hurt/died from this for it to be "dangerous enough" to warrant a recall. AHM said they will get back to me on monday with the regional claims person to discuss further.
  • My 2004 Pilot had the driver's seat wiring break and short out when the car was very new. It burned a three inch hole in the seat and padding. I heard a dealer part-counter worker say the 2005 had warranty coverage extended on this issue, but I have been unable to verify this.
  • broellbroell Posts: 1
    My 2004 Pilot Smoked up this morning on low. I guess I will call Honda and see . I noticed it heating up (real Hot seat) seems like on half the thing dosent work and other half over heats, before but mis judged warenty by 10K and missed out. I need to call my Insurance agent and see what he says about smoke in my car ! I parked it away from the house just in case

    I'll keep you all posted :)

  • lrotalrota Posts: 18
    I am having the same problem as other have noted here. 2004 Pilot with 39K miles. Drivers seat heater becomes dangerously hot on right side of seat cushion. We have stopped using the seat heater due to concern. I see that the NHTSA complaint databse has several complaints on this issue for 2004 and 2005 Pilots. I called Honda Customer Service. I got a call back from an upper level representative who was very rude, refused to acknowledge any problems with the seat heaters and refused to remedy the situation. They will not extend the warranty for this issue even after I told them that it was safety issue and there are other identical complaints for this problem. I plan to escalate with certified letter to Honda Customer Service and to NHTSA. Class action lawsuit time?
  • rf530rf530 Posts: 4
    2004 pilot, 62,000 miles original owner. Recently my wife started complaining that the right side of driver seat cushion is burning hot. We don't use it anymore and I will be following up with Honda on this.

    Please provide any updates with dealer/Honda USA and I will do the same.

  • lrotalrota Posts: 18
    3/13 Update - Since corporate district customer service rep refused to provide any warranty or goodwill on this obvious early safety defect, I then took it to local dealer. They quickly acknowledged that there was a problem as they felt the hot spot. They told me they would contact factory and get back to me. Next day they called and said factory wanted them to take apart the seat and identify exactly what was going wrong. They would not charge for diagnosis. They found damage to heater element and to foam in seat ( melted). Dealer told me they would find out from factory if they would cover anything. That afternoon, factory told them they would cover 90% of parts and labor to replace all damaged items. As the total bill for parts and labor came out to about $950(!!!), I accepted their offer as the Pilot is a 2004 and out of warranty. I thought it was fair to pay the $95. Kudos to the local dealer for getting factory to pay up for an obvious safety problem even if our of warranty. I just read today that Mazda has issued recall for RX-8 or for fires in their heated seats and are suing Magna who supplies the heaters for their seats.
  • lrotalrota Posts: 18
    Our hot spot is at same exact location you and others describe ( right hand side of drivers seat bottom cushion). Do not use your heater until it is repaired..there have been fires. Also, you can go to the government website and print ourt reports from about 4 other 2004 and 1 2005 Pilot owners who have had fires or smoke. All complaints tend to be on 2004 Pilots with 30000 to 50000 miles.
  • lrotalrota Posts: 18
    Update 3/18 - Instead of working with corporate customer service, who refused to acknowledge any problems or offer to investigate, I took it to local dealer. They confirmed that seat heater was getting dangerously warm. They contacted factory and got factory to pay for 90% of parts and labor which I thought was far considering it was technically our of warranty ( but low miles , 39K). So kudos to the local dealer!
  • gmac10gmac10 Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 pilot, I noticed last winter that the driver seat was getting too hot. I have set up an appointment with my local dealer (HVAC lights ALL went out). They said they would take a look. Will update post after the inspection.
  • We've had a similar problem. No fire, but unbearable heat and now it doesn't work at all. Our vehicle was still under the extended warranty, but the dealer said the seat heaters were not a covered item. I guess I need to complain to higher ups.
  • lrotalrota Posts: 18
    My dealer got Honda Corporate to pay 90% of the repair cost despite fact that we were well out of the standard warranty period and had no extended warranty either.

    I went to the dealer with a handful of printouts from the Internet showing many complaints specific to the 2004 pilot driver side seat heater.

    I first called the regional Honda rep and they refused to do anything, even when I complained it was a safety issue due to reported fires.

    So I recommend going back to the dealer and tell him its a safety issue and let them negotiate with corporate.
  • bogiejimbogiejim Posts: 51
    I have a 2006 Pilot with about 55K miles, out of warranty. On my drive home last night my wife and I both noticed that odor of an electrical or plastic overheating problem. I had my driver seat heater on high and at the same time noticed it was much warmer than normal. I turned if off right away, the odor remained for the rest of our ride, about 15 minutes. Once home I felt both the top of the seat cushion and also felt underneath. It had cooled down, but I parked in the driveway outside the garage. This morning all was okay, but I am not using the seat heater until I can have it looked at. Sounds like I will end up having to fight to have Honda pick up most of the repair tab as others have mentioned here. This certainly seems like an issue that would require a recall. What does it take, someone being seriously injured or killed in a fire? Have others with the 2006 model year had similar experiences?
  • vrmvrm Posts: 308
    Posting messages on this forum will not force Honda to act.

    Please go to the NHTSA wesbsite and fill out the online form. State all the facts accurately. When the volume of customer complaints exceeds a certain threshold, NHTSA will initiate an informal inquiry.

    Last year, Toyota learned a harsh and expensive lesson. Its Honda's turn now.
  • annef1annef1 Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 Pilot and have been experiencing the hot spot in the same location others have described for a few weeks now. I didn't read all posts, but haven't noticed any others with an '07. Now that I've read these posts, I won't use the seat heater until I have a chance to get it checked out. I will start with my local dealership, but thanks to everyone's info I won't be afraid to escalate if necessary.
  • tarajane07tarajane07 Posts: 1
    edited February 2012
    Thank you for the information. I file the complaint yesterday as my 2004 Acura MDX seat heater on driver's side burned through the leather on the back portion of the seat(not back side but where it touches your back). Nashville dealer is checking with American Honda Company for repair. This is a MAJOR safety issue to potentially be burned while operating a vehicle. I had the entire seat heater disabled today.
  • Agree.... I went to the dealer with my 2004 pilot with the same complaint. Seat heater is very hot under my right leg and now inoperable. The dealer blew me off so I went to the corporate customer representative. Same story.... I will file a complaint with The Feds.... I am not expecting miracles , juts recognition there is a potential fire hazard...
  • jarnigjarnig Posts: 1
    I wish I had found this feed a year ago. My wife and I bought a 2006 Honda Pilot EX-L in Sept of 2012. In June of 2013, I had to go out of town for business. My wife dropped me off at the office for my trip at 5am and went straight home without using the heated seats. The truck was parked in the driveway about 4 ft from the house. She returned to the vehicle at 1pm and opened the door to a puff of smoke and everything covered in soot. The driver seat was melted through the entire outside of the bottom cushion and the entire door panel had melted. Everything in the vehicle was destroyed by the soot and smoke.

    Fortunately, my insurance covered it as a total loss. However, in the process we notified both our local dealer and Honda USA. Today, I post this in amazement that both indicated they had NEVER heard of something like this before. Maybe I can believe my local dealers ignorance on the topic, but it's very clear by all the posts here that Honda USA is very aware of the issue.

    After this, I don't think I could ever trust Honda again.
  • I have a 2008 Pilot with 83,750 miles and this exact same thing just started happening about one week ago. So glad to hear about all of your experiences and will get my car to Honda asap.

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