Brakes, fuel system and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
The 2019 Honda Ridgeline has had a loyal following from enthusiasts. It even made the “Cars.com American-Made Index.” However, being American made doesn’t help this pickup fare any better. In fact, it suffers from a faulty engine, malfunctioning fuel system, poorly-made structure and defective service brakes.
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Problems with the Engine
Whether customers are towing or simply cruising around town, the engine must work properly to accomplish the goals. Yet, with this Ridgeline model, the engine seems to be one of the top complaints.
One Edmunds review states, “The 2019 Ridgeline makes a buzzing noise (think woodpecker on sheet metal) when cruising around 40MPH with light acceleration, especially with cruise control. This is likely a software bug in active motor mounts control system. When working correctly, the software should cancel engine noise, but in this case the software actually creating the noise problem. I took my new Ridgeline back to the dealer after 3 weeks, 1000 miles. The service manager tested another vehicle off the showroom floor, and it had the same problem. He told me that is no service recommended for the problem i.e. too bad. I also contacted Honda Corporation and was told that nothing can be done at this time. This is unacceptable for a $40,000 truck! I plan to trade it in for some other brand next summer. Avoid this truck!”
It turns out that the engine-related problems go far deeper. In fact, NHTSA Campaign Number 19V298000 says that the timing belt teeth might separate on nearly 100,000 vehicles. If this happens, the engine could stall, leaving occupants in danger of being involved in an accident. Modern vehicles with timing belts generally don’t experience failure for at least seven years, so this is a huge defect. It appears that even being American-built can’t save this truck from poor assembly.
2019 Honda Ridgeline Complaint Summary
|Complaint Category||Number of Complaints|
|Unknown Or Other|
|Back Over Prevention: Sensing System: Camera|
|Vehicle Speed Control|
Problems with the Fuel System
The fuel system is just as vital as the engine function to keep the truck moving. However, there are just as many complaints about this system.
Just read this NHTSA complaint. “Fuel/Combustion chamber odors accumulating around engine compartments. When vehicle is parked in garage and filling the cabin with nauseating odor. The problem comes and goes with new resolution from dealer. Seem as an engine venting issue. Ongoing problem since new purchase.”
Beyond this, there is a recall that affects over 100,000 vehicles. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V053000 states that the fuel pump feed port could crack, allowing pressurized fuel to leak out. If this occurs, fumes aren’t the only concern, but there’s also an increased chance of fire. Honda appears to be creating a new car smell for customers in the form of fuel.
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Problems with the Vehicle Structure
While the Ridgeline is American-made, it doesn’t seem to be well-built. There have been countless concerns over a situation regarding the hood.
Here is one NHTSA complaint worth reading. “Hood flutters on highway. Happens more during windy conditions but can happen anytime while driving on highway. Looks like the hood is going to blow open. Brought it to dealership last year, they said they couldn’t find an issue and did nothing.”
This sounds like something is missing from the construction of the hood, but most dealerships aren’t doing anything about it. Maybe they forgot that Honda seems to miss parts in other areas as well. Just look at NHTSA Campaign Number 18V848000 that states some pillar mounting holes among the right center pillar trim panel were incorrect. These holes were too large, causing trouble with the air bag deployment of the right side curtain. Because of this, occupants are put in even more danger during an accident. Maybe it’s time for Honda to stop praising the Ridgeline based on manufacturing processes. In fact, it would be wise if they drew attention elsewhere.
Problems with the Brakes
Finally, a closer look at the service brakes shows further concerns that lead to safety questions.
Another Edmunds review states, “I have a 2019 RTL-E which I bought new and the brakes are horrible. Pedal sinks half-way to the floor, very spongy feeling and are practically useless in a panic-stop situation. I’m really afraid this vehicle has a major defect and Honda is ignoring it. I have complained to the dealership and Honda. Both say ‘It’s fine & normal.’ I won’t be keeping this vehicle much longer as I truly feel it is unsafe!”
While the company has nothing to say about the brakes, there is another recall that everyone should know about. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V664000 says that the airbags might be disabled because of a manufacturing error. If this happens, the air bags might not deploy, leaving occupants in further danger of incurring an injury. What part of this truck was manufactured properly and how did it win awards for being built in America? It would seem that one wouldn’t want to boast about how it was made at this point.
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