2020 Honda Pilot Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical, vehicle speed control and brake issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

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

Large SUVs are a common vehicle these days, with the 2020 Honda Pilot regularly coming out on the top of lists. The automaker claims this SUV is “refined at every level,” but our research shows a long list of complaints instead. From a poorly-built structure to a faulty electrical system and defective service brakes to a malfunctioning vehicle speed control, there’s a lot that can go wrong.

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

Problems with the Vehicle Structure

Honda is known for building a reliable car, but there seem to be real concerns about the structure of this model.

One NHTSA complaint says, “I purchased this vehicle 2 months ago and I have less than 2000 miles on vehicle. It has Bridgestone tires and the driver side rear tire blew.”

This isn’t something that should occur on a new vehicle, but what’s more alarming is the recall. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V784000 says that some vehicles have an improper weld to the unibody. If the Pilot were to get into an accident, it could provide inadequate protection and cause significant injuries. This isn’t what most people would consider “refined,” especially since welding a frame is considered a basic element of car production.

2020 Honda Pilot Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Service Brakes
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Vehicle Speed Control
Fuel/propulsion System
Power Train
Electronic Stability Control

Electrical System Problems

Whether it is the stereo system or the charging equipment, the electrical end of the Pilot seems to disappoint as well.

An Edmunds user wrote, “I looked forward to owning a Honda Pilot and purchased a 2020 touring in Nov 2019. By Jan 2020 loud crackling noises coming from the speakers at random times and radio turned off. I took it in to dealer and said they had to reboot and reconnect wires. It solved the problem but 2 months later same problem and now the dashboard and infotainment center turns off and says network connection lost! If you read other owner reviews lately a lot of similar issues. Back to the dealer I go and hope Honda comes up with a solution! I like everything else but having dashboard turn off is a major issue!”

Honda did respond with Service Bulletin #A19030B. This communication says that a popping and crackling noise with the speakers could be related to a wiring or harness issue. However, many owners are struggling to get it repaired. Even after visiting the service centers, the vehicle comes back with the some condition. Therefore, it’s clear that the Pilot is “refined” unless customers plan on listening to music. Maybe humming would be better.

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Problems with the Brakes

The brakes on a vehicle help to stop it before a collision occurs. This system works in conjunction with driver-assist technology to keep people safe, when everything operates correctly. Sadly, the Pilot is suffering with this equipment.

Read this Edmunds review for an example. “The adaptive cruise brakes firmly when it senses the car in front, slows the car, then accelerates until it is in range of the car in front and then repeats this. Very uncomfortable to and fro sensation. The lane change warning came on when there was snow partially covering the road. Front collision came on when making a left turn. The vehicle is very sensitive to cross winds. Even with no wind the steering wheel requires constant pressure, it does not like to simply track straight.”

This is one condition that Honda doesn’t want to talk about. Instead, the Pilot manufacturer has chosen to stay quiet. Maybe they are “refining” their message before sending it out.

Vehicle Speed Control Problems

The vehicle speed control is one of the systems working with the brakes, but this is another area that the Pilot fails with.

Another NHTSA complaint states, “Car flashes brake and sometimes brakes on its own when it detects an object along the side of the road or when a car may be approaching in the opposite lane or in a center turning lane. This has nearly caused an accident on two different occasions. Each time the lane we are in is clear and usually doesn’t even have a vehicle in front of us.”

Here’s another time when Honda doesn’t have an answer. Instead, the company issued Service Bulletin #APaS10092019910 that simply states they want to further investigate claims about trouble with the adaptive equipment. Apparently, the automaker needs more time to ensure complete “refinement.” Instead of holding their breath, customers should simply move onto a vehicle that won’t put lives in danger.

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
  • Daniel

    Several times and I mean several times we have had to take my 2020 pilot in for the electrical issues. Wife was driving and the speedometer and everything else shut off. Been to the dealership over 5 times for the same issue and never has been resolved. Can this be a Lemon?

  • Li

    New 2021 pilot, purchased 2 weeks ago, 500 miles, black screen suddenly. Need to send to dealership to fix. Also hear some noise in front of car during drive. Accelerate slowly with adaptive cruise control.

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