2021 Honda Odyssey Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical & engine issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners.

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

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

The Odyssey was the first minivan produced by Honda. Its debut model was 1995 and it’s kept going ever since, with five generations introducing significant changes.

Nevertheless, it’s had problems since the first model. Furthermore, sales have been declining for the past 15 years. With sales of just over 26,000 in 1995, they peaked at 177,919 in 2006. By 2019 they had dropped below 100,000. The 2021 model figures indicate sales of just 76,125.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2018   2019   2020   2022

Don’t be stuck with a lemon. You have legal rights to cash, return or buyback.

The law makes Honda pay legal fees.

We've fixed thousands of lemon problems. Message or call 877-795-3666 today.

NHTSA Complaints for the 2021 Honda Odyssey

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Electrical System
Power Train
Air Bags
Unknown Or Other
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
Vehicle Speed Control
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings

Honda has announced that it will no longer be producing the Odyssey in Japan. So, the 2021 model is the last for the Japanese market. But the company will continue to manufacture the Odyssey in North America.

Honda Odyssey Complaints Since 1995

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) records for the 1995 Honda Odyssey, there are 103 complaints. Of these, 29 were about airbags, 25 about the van’s electrical system, and 18 about brakes.

There are usually many more manufacturer communications warning retailers about issues and offering solutions. But in this case, there are only 38 on record, with 9 notifications about engines and engine cooling topping the list.

NHTSA has a record of 43 complaints about the 2020 model. Of these, only 25 were lodged up until the end of 2020. This time, the electrical system tops the list, with 20 complaints. We cover these in our article, 2020 Honda Odyssey Problems and Top Complaints.

Additionally, there are 114 manufacturer communications. Unsurprisingly, the electrical system tops this list with 40 notifications.

So far there are 9 complaints to NHTSA about the 2021 model, 7 of which are dated 2021.

Most Common Problems with the 2021 Honda Odyssey

The most common problems highlighted in consumer complaints relate to the engine, electrical system, and forward-collision avoidance. Additionally, complaints relate to airbags, exterior lighting, lane departure, the powertrain, and visibility.

We’re going to look at the top three.

2021 Honda Odyssey Electrical System Problems

There are 3 complaints that highlight electrical system problems. But 25 of the 67 manufacturer communications sent to dealers relate to the 2021 model’s electrical system. These communications highlight problems they want dealers to be aware of. In most instances, they ask dealers to let them inspect vehicles with the problems they mention before the dealer attempts repairs of any kind.

Since 2012, manufacturers have been legally obligated to provide NHTSA with all communications sent to dealers.

2021 Honda Odyssey Engine Problems

There are 4 complaints that include engine issues.

One complaint states that the “Honda Odyssey 2021 has major safety issues.” The complaint says the van starts and shuts the engine off itself. The tail lights come on when the engine is running even though the knob for the lights is in the off position.

After taking the van to a Honda dealer twice, and being told they cannot fix it, the complainant was told a manager would review the safety concern. But it may take months, depending on how busy they are.

Another complaint states the Odyssey lost power six times while driving. The dealer was unable to replicate the problem but traded the vehicle in for a new one. Within days, the new Odyssey also lost power while driving.

A different issue was identified as a cracking noise in the engine occurring at low speed. This time, the dealer refused to acknowledge it was a problem and said “a lot of cars with this engine develop this sound.”

2021 Honda Odyssey Forward-Collision Avoidance Problems

One of two forward-collision avoidance problems is that the vehicle system goes offline for emergency braking and collision. This dealer told this complainant that they were unable to find anything wrong.

The other is that the car randomly brakes hard even though there are no vehicles or obstacles to avoid.

What to do if your 2021 Honda Odyssey is a lemon? Your Lemon Rights

Persistent problems with your 2021 Odyssey may indicate that you have bought a lemon. Typically, these are issues that relate to the engine, powertrain and transmission, brakes, and the electrical system.

If you suspect you may have a lemon on your hands, contact Lemberg Law and we will assess your problems. We have helped many clients get trade-ins, cash settlements, and replacement vehicles.

Of course, there’s nothing to stop you from trying to negotiate your own settlement. But we take the stress out of the equation and do all the work for you. It won’t cost you anything either, because the law makes Honda pay the legal bills for cars that are lemons.

Complaint Data

CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
DateNov 30, 2022
Exiting a construction zone (I-70 westbound near mt. Comfort, indiana) at approximately 60 to 65 mph, our 2021 honda odyssey, without warning, momentarily applied unwarranted automatic emergency braking. The brakes were actuated for (an estimated) one second and resulted in an abrupt (approximately) 10mph reduction in speed. A large suv traveling directly us was forced to take immediate action by making a sudden lane change in order to avoid a serious collision. The involuntary braking action on the part of the vehicle placed the passengers of both vehicles in grave danger. The only warning indication provided by the vehicle was an orange-box “brake” warning displayed on the dashboard and the accompanying warning beeps, both simultaneous to the actual brake actuation. No indications or warnings appeared prior to or after the actual braking. No obstacle or object on the roadway was visible to either the driver or front seat passenger. All traffic lanes were clear for a minimum of 100 yards ahead of the vehicle. Weather was clear and dry. The pavement was dry and clear of any debris. The construction zone where the incident occurred carries both east and westbound traffic on the normally westbound (north) side of the expressway. The left side of the traffic lanes are lined with continuous, concrete “jersey” barriers. The incident took place at the western end of the zone, at the point where the westbound lanes expand from two to three lanes. This is approximately where the left-side parallel-to-traffic barriers end and a small, separated section of angled-to-traffic barriers is revealed, along with some other barrier sections in the median area between the roadways. This incident (november 26, 2022) was the second time this malfunction has occurred in same vehicle in approximately the same area on I-70. On august 11, 2022, an essentially identical event took place under similar conditions. The vehicle has not been inspected by honda or any other authorities.
DateOct 19, 2022
The back-right passenger side door was opened by pulling on the outside handle after a hobbled passenger was cautioned that the door was going to slide open and moved a few inches away from the vehicle to allow for that. The door required more clearance than either of us anticipated. The passenger fell backwards either trying to avoid being hit by the door or by actually being hit by it, leading to a broken bone, hospitalization, cancellation of the pending surgery to address a pre-existing orthopedic issue, and many continuing expenses. I have not attempted to reproduce this accident (duh), and this is my first report of it. There were no warnings of which I am aware. The speed of door sliding open likely contributed to the accident, as did the required clearance from the vehicle.
CategoryElectrical System, Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
DateAug 04, 2022
The vsa modulator has repeatedly failed. When it fails, all of the safety systems report errors - air bags, abs brakes, high beams, traction control, blind spot detection, parking sensors, etc. Additionally, the power sliding passenger doors and tailgate will not open, even manually. I have taken it into honda dealerships on 3 separate occasions. On 6/14/21 (vehicle mileage 7,453) they cleared the error codes and reset the system and reported it was fixed. On 2/26/2022 (vehicle mileage 21,077) it happened again and they reported the vsa modulator as defective and replaced it under warranty. On 7/29/2022 (vehicle mileage 26,916) it happened again. This time the dealership disconnected and reconnected the vsa modulator and it decided it was fixed. At the time of the issue I was driving the van at approximately 30 mph on flat streets through my town. I've expressed my concerns that this defect renders the vehicle extremely unsafe. Over the past two weeks I've contacted honda corporate repeatedly requesting further repairs or assurances that this error would not occur again and have been passed around to case managers' voice mailboxes and have been unable to speak to anyone about my concerns. While no injury or crash has occurred yet, I am concerned that this if this occurs again, myself or my family could be hurt.
CategoryPower Train, Vehicle Speed Control
DateJul 29, 2022
I have a 2021 modely honda odyssey elite (purchased in november 2020). This car has 14,000 miles on it as of july 29, 2022. When accelerating from a complete stop or accelerating after slowing down, upon depressing the accelerator pedal the car simply refuses to accelerate for a second or two and simply coasts due to momentum and then after a while accelerates hard causing a sudden jerky take off. This might not seem like a big issue on its face, but that delay has almost caused me to get hit by the oncoming traffic especially when making a right turn or when changing lanes. I have 3 small kids (one of them a baby, and a five year old) and this is a precarious situation to be in. Also, this happens intermittent in all weather conditions (be it cold or warm or hot doesn't matter) and we don't know when this will happen and cannot replicate consistently on demand. Just happens maybe every few days but is more consistently happening. There are several similar complaints from odyssey owners, nhtsa, you are our only recourse to this as I feel this is a model wide problem which needs to be addressed by honda from the factory with a recall. Thank you!
CategoryAir Bags
DateJul 01, 2022
All passenger side curtain and front passenger seat airbag deployed for no reason while driving down an interstate. No collision. No impact of any kind. Honda denied any warranty d/t impact on tires on passenger side (there was no impact to tires, I have included pictures of the tires).
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
DateMay 23, 2022
On numerous occasions the forward collision warning has caused hard braking when there is nothing close in front of me. I fear that a close following vehicle will hit me when this occurs. This has not caused an accident yet, but the following vehicle driver must think that I'm a terrible driver for unnecessarily hitting my brakes.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Exterior Lighting
DateFeb 25, 2022
Honda odyssey 2021 has major safety issues – the van starts engine on itself, shuts the engine on itself, tail lights are on when the engine is running, the knob for the lights on the turn signal handle was in off position when the van was observed starting, running and shutting engine on itself – for no reason. In all occasions key fobs were untouched. Once honda odyssey was observed with the engine starting and shutting on itself when both of the key fobs were in 10 miles distance from the vehicle. Brought twice to the dealer, cannot fix it. Contacted honda on 2/17/22 informed about the problem. Called honda on 2/21/22 to check on the case, was told that will assign a manager to review this safety concern, but it may take two weeks, possibly two month or maybe more, depending how busy they are. 8 days have passed, no response yet from honda. I am concerned that it may shut the engine on its own while driving.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
DateFeb 24, 2022
While driving with no vehicles or obstacles stopped in front of me, my car automatically braked hard.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateNov 09, 2021
Unknown there is a cracking noise in engine at low speed (slow acceleration after stop). Much like this video https://www. Youtube. Com/watch? V=kl9d0pzoxhu&t=1s the dealer would not acknowledge it as a problem and call it by design. They say a lot of cars with this engine develop this sound. This started happening after 6000 miles.
CategoryElectrical System
DateOct 04, 2021
The 'infotainment" system turned off stating "network connection lost." the speakers then started making a very loud crackling sound that could not be controlled with the volume button. It was very distracting to the driver--sounded like rocks hitting the windshield. When the infotainment system was off, the blindspot monitor and back-up camera stopped functioning. This has happened several times.
CategoryAir Bags
DateAug 13, 2021
The contact owns a 2021 honda odyssey. The contact stated that while driving at 35 mph, the passenger's side curtain air bags deployed without incident and without warning. An automated security feature in the vehicle called him immediately upon deployment of the air bags. The contact was asked if he needed assistance from authorities and he informed them that he was ok. The contact was not injured during the failure. The contact was able to drive the vehicle home where it remained in his possession. The dealer nor the manufacturer had yet to be notified of the failure. The vehicle had yet to be repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 8,000.
DateJul 23, 2021
The drivers side side-view mirror was vibrating for serval days making it impossible to see correctly and was very distracting. While waiting for a new one to come in, I was driving on the highway it came off and smashed into the door. It was still hanging by the wire and smashing into the door over and over till I could get it to the dealer. The dealer said they've have multiple customers with this same problem. When it happened I was very lucky no one was near me on the highway because I was so startled by the crash that I was swerving. Then I had to drive to the dealer without a working sideview mirror. Additionally, the entire door had to be repainted and the window replaced because they were damaged by the mirror.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Unknown Or Other
DateApr 11, 2021
2021 honda odessey lost power while driving 6 times. I ended up taking it to get service and the dealer couldn't replicate the issue in 3 different occasions. Ended up trading the odessey on thursday for a new one. However the the new 2021 honda odessey that I bought thursday 4/8/21 lost power on me today as I was driving.
CategoryPower Train
DateMar 22, 2021
On reaching the exit of a tunnel car wash, the van would not shift from neutral to drive. The instrument cluster displayed a message that, in order to shift into drive, I had to depress the brake pedal. This has happened twice, and that's clearly a dangerous thing to do in a tunnel car wash. I can't replicate the issue if I put the van into neutral and coast down our street (about 1200 feet).
CategoryEngine, Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure: Assist
DateFeb 20, 2021
Hi the vehicle shows speed limit of 70 in 25 or 40mph zones. The vehicles system keeps going offline emergency braking and collision. Every time I take to honda dealer I am being told to go see where the car was purchased and they can't find a issue.

Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm

Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm helping victims of bad manufacturing and run-arounds from auto companies. We are ranked A+ by the BBB. Call our Helpline today!  There is no charge unless we win.

Share your story

Does this ring a bell? Have you had a bad experience too? Sound off and share your experience with other visitors in the comment box below.

Brian Jones

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.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • Sandra B

    Can you give advice on what is a good car to buy?

Leave a Reply or Comment

Write a comment below to share online. Or, instead you can to our legal team.

Please select your star rating.

Briefly describe your experience Briefly describe your experience

What’s your name? What’s your name?

What’s your phone number? Please enter a valid phone number

Want to know if you could sue? Get a free legal evaluation Lemberg Law?

Get Your No-Obligation
Case Evaluation

Send a secure message to our legal team.

What’s your name? What’s your name?
What’s your email address? What’s your email address?
What’s your phone number? What’s your phone number?
Briefly describe the problem Briefly describe the problem
Confidentiality Guarantee: We keep your information completely confidential and will not send you spam or sell your information.