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

Engine, electrical system, and exterior lighting issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

For customers that want an SUV-quality ride with a truck bed, the 2020 Honda Ridgeline seems to be the obvious choice. It’s not a full-size truck, but Honda says it will “amp up your ride.” Yet, owners are complaining about the engine, electrical system and exterior lighting.

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

Problems with the Engine

The engine is the most important component of any truck because it supplies the power needed to get the job done. Yet, the Honda engine is a big disappointment.

One Edmunds user states, “Do not purchase any Honda Ridgeline vehicle unless you don’t mind an obnoxious intermittent motor noise coming from the dashboard that Honda knows about but either refuses/can’t fix.  The factory claims it is a ‘characteristic of the vehicle’ that the dealerships are aware of and yet [dealer] sold it without disclosing that this annoying noise occurs.  Since purchasing, I have had other people tell me they have had the same noise as far back as 2009.”

There aren’t a lot of communications from the manufacturer to the service department, leaving people to wonder what they are trying to hide. However, there is Service Bulletin #AMV200501 that discusses a leaky front arm oil control valve because of a deteriorated lower gasket. There’s no reason for this defect to occur on a new truck and shows just how little Honda cares about craftsmanship. This engine leaves nothing to be amped up about.

2020 Honda Ridgeline Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Exterior Lighting
Power Train
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Back Over Prevention
Fuel/propulsion System
Back Over Prevention: Rearview System Braking

Electrical System Problems

The electrical system on the Honda truck isn’t much better. What’s interesting is how customers seem to complain about multiple issues.

Here’s a long list from one Edmunds reviewer. “Blindspot activation comes on too close to rear end of your vehicle to take evasive action and the indicators would be better if located on mirrors. Remote control features are confusing- for example tailgate will not unlock automatically with fob in pocket–requires pressing unlock button two times, then doing this will not also unlock all doors, requires pressing unlock two more times. There is no instant radio mute on the steering wheel requiring you to decrease volume to lower radio. Blue tooth phone requires multiple commands to make a phone call. Collision monitoring system goes off continuously when going through a fast food drive through–can only be stopped by putting transmission in park!”

Sadly, Honda has nothing to say about any of these defects. It’s as if nothing is happening. Maybe the only way to amp up the ride was to take it back to the Stone Age before technology was important. This truck might have won awards twenty years ago, but not today.

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Problems with the Exterior Lighting

Driving at night can be scary if the lighting systems aren’t adequate. That’s precisely what we see with the 2020 Ridgeline.

One NHTSA complaint states, “When driving on a highway, the auto dimming high beam headlight system often fails to dim the high beams when an oncoming vehicle is approaching – often causing the oncoming driver to ‘flash’ his high beams in anger. The system will also dim the high beams when it shouldn’t. When there’s no vehicle ahead of you at all. The dealership has been unable to find a fix for the problem.”

It doesn’t take long to figure out that Honda didn’t put a lot of care into building this truck. NHTSA Campaign Number talks about a massive recall due to the tonneau cover not being properly secured to the pickup. Because of this defect, wind can remove the cover from the vehicle, causing a road hazard. If there’s anything to get amped up about, it would be sending this truck to the junkyard.

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
  • Cruz G

    I own a Honda 2020 AWD Ridgeline. Honda mailed a 10-year Warranty Notice dated March 2023 regarding: “Engine Does Not Auto Restart After Entering Auto Idle Stop”. Honda does not offer a fix to this problem until the vehicle fails and leaves the owner stranded anywhere on the road/freeway.

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