2018 Honda Odyssey Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system, vehicle speed control, engine, structural and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Are your speakers making popping or crackling noises? You may be eligible to join our class action investigation.

It is no surprise that so many people continue to flock to the Odyssey minivan as a family vehicle. It has a storied history of reliability, which is why the latest round of difficulties affecting the 2018 Honda Odyssey is so surprising to enthusiasts. The modern lineup is labeled “The Fun Family Minivan,” but there’s nothing fun involved when you have to sit at the dealership for electrical system, powertrain and engine repairs.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019   2020   2021   2022   2023

Don’t be stuck with a lemon. You have legal rights to cash, return or buyback.

The law makes Honda pay legal fees.

We've fixed thousands of lemon problems. Message or call 877-795-3666 today.

NHTSA Complaints for the 2018 Honda Odyssey

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Power Train
Service Brakes
Vehicle Speed Control
Fuel/propulsion System
Air Bags

Problems with the Electrical System

One of the reasons so many families purchase the Odyssey is because of all the high-tech gear included. With a navigation system, rear DVD player and other amenities, it’s simple to keep the kids entertained on long drives. Sadly, most kids aren’t able to enjoy their favorite movies, mainly because of some electrical complaints.

Here is what one customer said on Edmunds, “In October 2017 my family leased a 2018 odyssey. We were so excited because it was our first car with navigation and the rear entertainment system!  My kids were so happy to have this feature however our excitement was short lived. Almost immediately we noticed problems with the car – the navigation system didn’t work and the DVD system was broken – it constantly lost connection. Needless to say, my kids never have been able to watch a movie from beginning to end without it losing connection. The car was brought in for service to fix the issue. The first time I was blamed saying I used scratched DVDs. The second time I was told there is nothing that can be done and I must wait until they figure out how to fix it which could take months even years. For the last 6 weeks I’ve been dealing with corporate – they are no help and will not offer any compensation for a brand new car that does not work. I always thought Hondas were reliable cars built to last but the only thing I can rely on is the car not working properly!”

What’s interesting is that the majority of the manufacturer communications related to the electrical system talk about these situations. Even Service Bulletin #A18090F talks about how the Bluetooth system freezes after a phone call. This is one of the many problems that require a software update. In the meantime, owners have to deal with driving a van full of kids without a working radio, DVD player and other equipment. It’s likely those parents are driving less frequently until the systems get fixed.

Problems with the Transmission

A properly working powertrain keeps everything running smoothly. It helps the driver to go from slow to fast speeds with ease.

One NHTSA reviewer wrote about a problem with the transmission. It says, “Transmission slipping when accelerating from stationary position or whenever more speed is needed. Happens when going uphill or lane changing when more speed is needed.”

While this exact situation isn’t addressed, it’s essential to take note of a dangerous powertrain recall on the Odyssey. It’s labeled with NHTSA Campaign Number 19V299000. It appears that loose battery connections cause the TCU to reboot and shift the van into Park. When this happens, it’s possible to damage the parking rod, let alone drivers become targets for an accident. What’s worse, a minivan that Parks itself while driving or kids that don’t have a DVD player? The verdict is still out.

Problems with the Power Sliding Door

To be one of the best family vehicles, the Honda Odyssey must have a functional and solid structure, but it doesn’t seem to.

One reviewer wrote this on Edmunds, “I owned this minivan for 5 months so far and I’m not satisfied with the reliability. First I need to point out that this car is made in USA. So I will except some little issue will happen but it is too soon to my expectation. I have a 1999 Honda Accord and never had any issue, only replaced one light bulb and turning bulb (regular maintain not included) for 18 year of ownership. So for this 2018 Honda Odyssey, I have a couple issue so far: 1. Passenger power sliding door just not opening yesterday, I can hear the motor is trying to open the door but can’t. I tried everything such pullin the outside handle, remote control, inside button and driver side main control button. No succeed. 2. Auto shut off idling function is not working most of the time, when I activate it, do nothing, engine not auto shut off. 3. The motion sensor from the tail door is not working most of the time, I followed the video from you tube and I can only open it 2 times so far. (Lol) 4. Driver power sliding door sound weird now, hopefully it won’t break.”

While this person suffered from a sliding door that wouldn’t open, other drivers face the opposite situation. Just look at the recall labeled with NHTSA Campaign Number 18V795000. It talks about how the power sliding doors won’t latch, which increases the chance of injury. What a scary situation this creates for a family. Hopefully, all of the kids’ toys are correctly secured before that happens. Otherwise, the roadway might become cluttered with stuffed animals and LEGOs.

Problems with the Engine

When a vehicle’s engine runs well, everything seems to fall into place. When it is defective, driving becomes a nightmare. That’s exactly what 2018 Honda Odyssey owners experience.

One NHTSA reviewer wrote, “Our 2018 Honda Odyssey Elite has a feature called idle stop. The feature has many criteria that must be met before it will activate. It should just turn off the engine when the criteria have been met in an effort to conserve fuel in lieu of idling. We are seeing a random issue when this feature activates where the vehicle will shut off the car entirely and place it in park. We must manually start our vehicle again, then place it back in drive to proceed.”

It seems this problem should have been considered for a recall as well, but it wasn’t. All the automaker says is they want to investigate the situation with Service Bulletin #APaS07272018903. In the meantime, vans are turning off in the middle of operation while on the roadway. This sounds closely related to the earlier powertrain problem. Of course, there are so many issues with this minivan; it’s difficult to tell where one stops and another begins.

Problems with the Vehicle Speed Control

Modern vehicles have sophisticated equipment such as vehicle speed control. These are valuable tools that help keep people safe when the equipment works properly.

One Edmunds user wrote this about the system, “We purchased this van brand new in March 2018. This van is scared of vacations. At 800 miles, van speed derated from 70 mph to 40 mph on vacation journey through north Florida. Drove van in limp mode 16 miles away to Lake City, FL Honda dealer. Van was repaired several days later for a stuck valve solenoid. After returning home to north Georgia @ 1,700 miles, van derated again on highway. After parking, van would not shift into gear and had to be drug onto tow truck sent by Honda Roadside assistance. Van was down for an additional week as spool valve assembly was replaced. Today, at 3,800 miles and three months old, oil is leaking on back side of motor and is dripping onto catalytic converter. Heading back to dealer again. We have created our third case file with Honda N.A. After second break down, Honda NA response was that they didn’t see the van as having an issue and told us they would not be offering any trade assistance towards an another Odyssey in an effort to get us out of the apparent lemon. So much for Honda customer service. This will definitely be the last Honda in our family.”

This is one problem that Honda doesn’t want to address at all. They’ve issued zero recalls and no communication within the company to acknowledge the concern. If the DVD player is working, owners could convert this minivan into a movie theater parked in the driveway. Taking it out on the road is just downright unsafe.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Honda pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm

Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm helping victims of bad manufacturing and run-arounds from auto companies. We are ranked A+ by the BBB. Call our Helpline today!  There is no charge unless we win.

Share your story

Does this ring a bell? Have you had a bad experience too? Sound off and share your experience with other visitors in the comment box below.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • Kelly R

    I have had ongoing electrical problems with my 2018 Honda Odyssey predating the expiration of my Warranty. Now my 2.5 year old van doesn’t start and Honda claims it is a bad battery but that the ongoing electrical problems did not damage the battery. I have just read that some Odysseys were recalled in 2019 due to bad battery terminal connectors. Mine was not in this recall but I am suspicious. Now I have a recall for the back up camera. And my sliding door on the right is malfunctioning. I just read that 3 new recalls are coming out from Honda on my vehicle. There have been 8 total recalls prior to the new ones coming out. Out of these 8 six have been for electrical issues. Honda is refusing to repair my car under the warranty. I am having an independent mechanic do an analysis on Monday. I have filed a complaint with the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. They are the government agency that tracks issues with vehicles and can get recalls into place. Once I have the opinion from the independent mechanic I will likely file complaints with the BBB and the Attorney General of Ohio. I have reached out to Hugh White Honda on facebook and Twitter. The local regional manager has not bothered to return my call for 8 days running. Corporate Honda took my complaint 8 days ago with the promise to call me back within 1-2 days. They finally called this morning, 8 days in, and told me the warranty is the warranty and offered apologies. No pride in their product.
    If any of you own a Honda Odyssey in the 2018-2020 date range and have experienced the same issues please take the time to go to go the NHTSA website and file a complaint. It only took a few minutes. I would also love to hear your stories here.

  • Chris B

    We’ve had a lot of problems with our 2018 Odyssey Elite. 1) there was trouble with the driver side sliding door closing (would go half way, then return to open position). This started within the 1st year, and we’ve taken it in 2 times for this, but they never “find anything wrong” and it doesn’t always do it, but is usually consistent when it starts. 2) we noticed that when it rains, the front right sonar sensor just stays in a “detected” state, and stopping at every single stop light, the navigation system is screaming that we’re about to hit an object on the front right side, dinging the entire time. Nothing in front of the car. 3) When the auto shutoff idling is engaged at a light (and this just started happening), when I let off the brake and hit the gas, the engine starts, the car juts forward a small distance, the engine dies, and an idle failure error pops up on the dashboard. 4) Now, most recently, the car starts and displays literally every single warning error message known to the vehicle. Every light stays lit (engine failure, power steering out, brake system failure, no anti-skid, no cruise control, no lane assist), and then it drives fairly normally, except it has disabled all of the safety features like skid control. I won’t even start with the errors in the navigation system. It will sometimes just shut off. This care is an abysmal piece of JUNK. I just can’t believe I wasted so much money on this thing. And the dealers have yet to fix a single thing.

  • Denise C

    I have had nothing but problems with Electrical, car play and more. Coming to a stop the car turns off, not park, engine turns off. The car went into neutral while driving 60 on the freeway. I took it in, they flew a technician in to look at it and said maybe a battery terminal issue as nothing recorded. Said they fixed it and now, two weeks later with kids in the car the thing went into neutral while driving again, I was almost rear ended. its Dangerous. Has anyone had any luck turning in a lease for these sort of dangerous issues? Are they liable if an accident accused because of this?

Leave a Reply or Comment

Write a comment below to share online. Or, instead you can to our legal team.

Please select your star rating.

Briefly describe your experience Briefly describe your experience

What’s your name? What’s your name?

What’s your phone number? Please enter a valid phone number

Want to know if you could sue? Get a free legal evaluation Lemberg Law?

Get Your No-Obligation
Case Evaluation

Send a secure message to our legal team.

What’s your name? What’s your name?
What’s your email address? What’s your email address?
What’s your phone number? What’s your phone number?
Briefly describe the problem Briefly describe the problem
Confidentiality Guarantee: We keep your information completely confidential and will not send you spam or sell your information.
By submitting above, I agree to the privacy policy and terms and consent to be contacted by an agent via phone call or text message at the phone number(s) listed above, including wireless number(s).