2019 Honda Passport Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical, fuel system, brakes and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners


2019 Honda Passport

The 2019 Honda Passport continues to be one of the most popular on the road. It even earned the “Best Mid-size Two-Row SUV” award by Car and Driver, but reliability issues bring this accolade into question. This model is known for a faulty electrical system, a poorly-built structure, a malfunctioning engine, a defective fuel system and brakes that don’t seem to work properly.

 

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Problems with the Electrical System

The electrical system in a modern SUV runs just about everything – when it is working correctly. However, the Passport is one vehicle that suffers from serious glitches.

One Edmunds review states, “Potential customers be aware of infotainment issues!!! DO NOT BUY THIS CAR!!! After less than 500 miles a crackling noise freezing the infotainment started when hitting a bump, along with a nauseating chemical smell. Took the car for repair and was told that they tightened some lose parts and the car should be fine. It all got worse after, with the exception of the chemical smell that luckily disappeared. Couple of hundred miles after the all kind of problems appeared: the break light warning would come up along with the crackling noise and the car would slow down on its own, the speedometer would black out, the infotainment including the rear view camera would shut off for long periods and would not start again, the infotainment would freeze and not shut down. Took the car back for service and was told that they need to replace the entire infotainment unit, which was backordered for 4 weeks. Then I was told that Honda is aware of the issue and that is working on a real solution that would need to replace an entire [harness] with electrical wires.”

The automaker doesn’t attempt to hide any of the electrical concerns. Even Service Bulletin #A19030B talks about wiring harness issues that cause crackling and popping from the stereo speakers. It seems that the Passport offers a unique way to enjoy music, with some additional sounds that don’t belong.

Problems with the Vehicle Structure

Honda has long been seen as a manufacturer that built solid vehicles, but the 2019 Passport causes those thoughts to come into question.

Here is one NHTSA complaint that highlights some problems. “As per other recalls of the 2019 Honda Passport we are having the same symptoms. The windshield area along both A pillars are popping and making noise. This is a problem we have been having, finally looking it up on internet we found that other Passports of this year are being recalled for faulty weld spots. We have had this noise sitting at a red light, and clear good weather conditions and also while traveling down the road.”

The recall being referenced in this complaint is NHTSA Campaign Number 19V784000. In some vehicles, the side upper members might not be properly welded to the unibody. If this is the case, the vehicle will not adequately protect the occupants inside. A defect of this magnitude causes people to wonder what is actually happening on the assembly line. Some of the welders appear to be significantly distracted.

Problems with the Engine

In addition to the other durability issues, the engine reliability also comes into question.

One Edmunds review states, “I bought a new 2019 Honda Passport a couple months ago, and noticed it idling rough when I started it. Soon after, about every warning light came on, indicating engine, transmission and brake system issues. Long story short, it’s been at the Dealers for 5 days now, and the tech is saying it appears to be a head gasket issue, and are waiting on Honda’s “permission” to take it apart to inspect for damage! So much for Honda quality, and why does the dealer have to have “permission”? I will update, when I get a solid answer, and it’s repaired. Not impressed with Honda In general, and the dealership. *Update 5-7-20, the head gasket issue, turned out being a head issue (“porous casting”), which required the replacement of the head. The dealership had the vehicle for a total of 18 days, part of which was due to waiting on Honda to give permission to do the replacement, and other procedures.”

Honda also discusses concerns with Service Bulletin #APaS10282019913. In this communication, Honda talks about numerous vehicles showing trouble with the auto idle stop equipment. Overall, it’s simply not the reliability people have come to expect from the Honda brand. Maybe Car and Driver should have talked to real customers before issuing such prestigious awards for the SUV.

Problems with the Fuel System

The fuel system works in conjunction with the engine to provide power to the SUV. Yet, the fuel system is another part of this car that isn’t working right.

Read this NHTSA complaint. “The contact owns a 2019 Honda Passport. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 55 mph, there was an abnormal noise coming from the vehicle. The Check Engine Warning Light illuminated and the vehicle lost motor power. The contact stated that the accelerator pedal was depressed however, the vehicle failed to respond. The vehicle was towed to [dealer] to be diagnosed. The service technician stated that they could not do any repairs because the diagnostic test showed soft codes instead of hard codes, which meant a possible issue with the fuel injection pump possibly having carbon monoxide in the fuel or sensors. A loaner vehicle was provided. The contact was informed that further tests were needed before a final decision was made on the cause of the failure or the possible repair. The failure mileage was 16,000.”

This is one system that Honda doesn’t seem to want to talk about. There have been no communications regarding complaints with the fuel system, but owners know all too well what is going on. It doesn’t take an automotive engineering degree to see that this SUV isn’t made the way it should be.

Problems with the Brakes

One would think that there couldn’t be any more issues with the Passport, but that’s simply not the case. In fact, the service brakes are one more system that isn’t working correctly.

Just take a look at what this Edmunds review states. “I bought my Passport in February. Immediately I noticed some issues with the sensors. The crash mitigation system is supposedly designed to reduce rear end collisions. When I drive on a 2 lane road and a car is coming at me from the opposite direction my car will flash “BRAKE” and put on the brakes rather aggressively.  Honda‘s response? We put it in the handbook, that can happen, with a shadow or a building or a hard breeze also, they are just sensitive.  Additionally when it rains my car will flash “APPROACHING OBJECT” and beep incessantly. The only way to stop it is to put the car in park and/or turn off the engine.  Honda‘s response? As long as we can duplicate that we will fix it.”

In this case, Honda has addressed some brake concerns, just not to the extent people would hope for. Instead, Service Bulletin #APaS01162020904 only discusses pulsation of the brakes when driving at highway speeds. Yet, the automaker offers no solution to the problem, but instead, seeks to investigate it further. In the meantime, it wouldn’t be surprising if some disgruntled owners let their non-braking Passport take a dive off of a cliff just to get rid of it.

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About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 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.

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