2019 Honda HR-V Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Fuel system, brake and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

In the world of crossovers, the 2019 Honda HR-V has gained a lot of attention. In fact, the automaker appeals to buyers by saying, “cross over to excitement,” but many owners aren’t thrilled with the adventure this model brings. From a failing structure to a malfunctioning engine and a defective fuel system to non-functioning service brakes, this vehicle puts a lot of lives at risk.

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

Problems with the Vehicle Structure

There’s no question that customers need to spend a decent amount of money to drive the HR-V. It’s not considered the lowest dollar option on the market. With this additional cost, the structure should be well-made, but it’s not.

Just look at this Edmunds review. “Least favorite thing is that the sunroof can’t be open while the car is moving. It will blow you out of the car… Aside from the two drink compartments, all other compartments are so tiny, nothing will fit into them.”

It turns out that there are other issues not even addressed in this review. Service Bulletin #A19-067 states that some center console armrests might not remain upright, which could be both distracting and uncomfortable. Maybe it’s just the car’s way of reminding owners how poorly-made this vehicle really is.

2019 Honda HR-V Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Fuel/propulsion System
Service Brakes
Fuel System, Gasoline
Power Train
Air Bags
Vehicle Speed Control
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking

Problems with the Electrical System

The electrical system runs every aspect of the vehicle, from the window locks to the battery. Without a properly functioning system, owners have a lot of glitches and annoyances to deal with.

Take this NHTSA complaint as an example. “The contact owns a 2018 Honda HR-V. The contact stated that there were several failures with the vehicle. The driver’s side door window kept going up and down, the electric power steering EPS failed, the EPS warning indicator flashed, and the steering wheel seized while reversing the vehicle. The vehicle was turned off, restarted, and taken to [dealer], but the dealer was unable to duplicate and diagnose the failures. There were no diagnostic trouble codes present at the time. The contact was provided with a loaner vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired and remained at the dealer. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 5.”

It turns out that other electronic problems exist. Service Bulletin #A18-123 discusses the trouble with hooking an iPhone to the vehicle. It appears anyone running iOS 12 is having connectivity issues. Instead of taking responsibility, Honda blames Apple and says there’s nothing that can be done until the tech company fixes the problem. In the meantime, owners just can’t get connectivity to their newer iPhones. It’s difficult to create excitement without a driver’s favorite tunes playing during the trip.

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Problems with the Engine

The engine is the main component of any vehicle and must be reliable to ensure customers can get from Point A to Point B. Yet, the HR-V has some serious engine concerns.

Another Edmunds customer states, “The engine has some knocking sound and a bit loud accompanying with a liitle vibration and the car jerks and breaks abruptly with a light press on the brake pedal. Sorry Honda this is my first and last Honda I have ever bought I just wish for the amount I bought, I bought something different such as Mazda or Toyota.”

Honda is aware of powertrain and engine issues. Service Bulletin #A19-021 states that the vehicle can create a rattling or metallic buzzing sound while traveling at speeds between 20 and 55 mph. Honda claims it simply requires a software update to adjust some of the parameters. Sadly, it just doesn’t seem logical that a software update would repair metallic sounds coming from the engine. As a last resort, customers could drive lower than 20 mph or more than 55 mph to avoid the problem. Just try explaining that one to the police that pull you over.

Problems with the Fuel System

The fuel system works hand-in-hand with the engine to provide power. Yet, with the HR-V, this is just one more system that doesn’t seem operable.

One more Edmunds review states, “I bought a 2019 and have nothing but problems it has no acceleration and loses power while turning. The Parking brake says it can only be released while your foot is on the brake and even with my foot on the brake still won’t release. Sport mode doesn’t even give it more power up hill and the paddle shifters are a joke worse car I ever bought wish I had my Tacoma back that I traded for. Do not buy this car.”

There has even been a recall due to the defective fuel system on the HR-V. In more than 135,000 vehicles, the fuel pump can completely fail, according to NHTSA Campaign Number 20V314000. If this occurs, owners might find themselves in the middle of the road with a stalled crossover, further increasing the chance of an accident.

Problems with the Service Brakes

As seen in the next instance, stopping isn’t this vehicle’s strong suit either, unless it is abruptly due to failure.

Just read this NHTSA complaint. “Was stopped at red light. Decided to use Brake Hold feature and when traffic started to move I tapped the gas pedal to release the hold. The vehicle accelerated at an excessive rate and I ended up in the rear end of the car in front of me. Air bag sensor came loose and wire was dangling after impact and bag sensor didn’t upload.”

Another recall occurred with the brake system on the HR-V. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V777000 states that the rear brake caliper piston coating might not be correct on nearly 65,000 vehicles. This insufficient coating can reduce the braking performance, again increasing the chance of an accident. So whether customers are being rear-ended from being stalled in the roadway, or they rear-end the car in front of them due to failing brakes, this HR-V is a danger, either way you look at it. Again, this isn’t the “excitement” that most people are signing up for. Instead, they could participate in a demolition derby if they are looking to be in a car crash.

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.

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

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