Electrical and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
The 2019 Honda Pilot continues the long line of this model as a family favorite vehicle. Discerning customers purchase this SUV because it has long been synonymous with reliability and affordability. For this model year, the automaker claims it will help owners “Arrive in Style.” Unfortunately, many of today’s drivers have trouble arriving in the first place because of the malfunctioning engine and defective electrical system.
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Problems with the Electrical System
Many owners of the Honda Pilot find difficulty using the infotainment system. It either malfunctions or shows a blank screen.
Among the many reviews available on the internet, read this one from an Edmunds user. “Steering wheel controls freeze up and error message on display occurred 9 days after buying car. I have been having problems with controls freezing up and have getting error messages ever since. The dealership changed the infotainment system but problems were not fixed. Come to find out, Honda was aware of these problems and is not fixing. If this has been happening to you, you are not alone and more importantly it is not normal. There is a class action suit that you should be aware of if you are having these problems.”
It appears the company faces many electrical problems, not just this one. In fact, their service bulletins are filled with unusual quirks such as a clock that is persistently an hour off or the CarPlay beeps and then stops working. Even Service Bulletin #A19030B talks about how the speaker system might crackle and pop because of a poor connection. Apparently the Pilot wants to be more like Rice Krispies, but most owners aren’t interested in strange noises and defective equipment while driving to work.
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2019 Honda Pilot Complaint Summary
|Complaint Category||Number of Complaints|
|Unknown Or Other|
|Vehicle Speed Control|
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking|
|Electronic Stability Control|
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings|
Problems with the Engine
The engine is arguably the most critical part of any vehicle. It provides the power needed to move and must be reliable. While many Honda vehicles have earned a reputation of being reliable, the 2019 Pilot isn’t one of them.
Just look at this NHTSA complaint. “I purchased a new 2019 Honda Pilot EX-L in December 2018. I was recently exiting an off ramp from an interstate and when I pressed the accelerator to merge into traffic the vehicle hesitated significantly and the Check Engine Light started flashing. I then continued a few miles which I had remaining to my house and the vehicle would accelerate very poorly and the engine would shake under acceleration. The manual states that a flashing light is an engine misfire. I started the vehicle on Monday morning to take it to the local Honda dealer and it drove normally down to the dealer. After checking the engine computer, they could find no fault codes for the Check Engine Light flashing the day before. They gave me back the vehicle and said there was nothing they could do at this time. I feel that this is a very serious problem and it appears that a few other complaints have been filed for the same issue. Having a vehicle that loses a significant amount of power can be a serious safety issue and I highly suggest that Honda look into this matter carefully. This should not happen to a brand new vehicle with 2,200 miles or any vehicle for that matter.”
The automaker has faced numerous engine troubles on this model. Service Bulletin #APaS09092019904 discusses a chirping noise coming from the engine compartment. Because the technicians don’t understand what is causing it, they were looking for feedback from customers. Furthermore, there is a significant recall because of the engine. In NHTSA Campaign Number 19V298000, we see that nearly 100,000 vehicles were affected. It appears that the timing belt teeth could separate from the belt. If this happens, the engine might stall and cause a crash. In response, the company is replacing the affected timing belts along with any other damaged engine components that break as a result of this malfunction.
Honda might be right – the Pilot features plenty of style, but will it arrive? That’s the main question to ask. Between the defective engine along with the endless complaints about the infotainment system and electrical equipment, there are just too many faults to deal with when it comes to owning this SUV. Owners are frustrated and ready to trade it in for a vehicle that actually arrives – the way it should.
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