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

Powertrain, electrical system, and engine issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The Ridgeline, Honda’s only midsize pickup truck, has been around since 2006. The second-generation launched as a 2017 model, 34 years after the Japanese company started producing vehicles in the U.S.

Four years later, in 2021, Honda announced the arrival of a new, “redesigned” Ridgeline. In a media release on 14 January 2021 they say: “2021 Honda Ridgeline Arriving Next Month Ready to Rumble with Rugged New Look.”

But this is not a third-generation Ridgeline. In fact, many reviews say that the new pickup truck has no mechanical updates. The main criticism is that the so-called makeover is really just a new look that focuses on body style.

The question, though, for 2021 Honda Ridgeline owners focuses on what kind of problems to look out for. Knowing what other 2021 Ridgeline owners are complaining about will help you identify a lemon if you think you’ve got one.

Lemberg Law highlighted issues about the 2020 model in an article, 2020 Honda Ridgeline Problems and Top Complaints.

There are 16 complaints on file with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the 2020 model. And they cover 16 different problems. But for the new-generation 2021 Ridgeline, there are already 17 complaints that cover a total of 23 problems.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019   2020   2022   2023 

Most Common Problems

The most commonly reported problems with the 2021 Honda Ridgeline are related to the powertrain and engine, both of which are related. They are mentioned in a total of 6 complaints. Both the electrical system and exterior lighting are linked to 3 issues each.

There are 2 complaints that focus on forward-collision avoidance, as well as a couple of problems mentioned in the category Unknown or Other. There is also one issue each with the fuel/propulsion system, structural problems, and issues with wheels.

We are going to focus on the top three.

2021 Honda Ridgeline Complaint Summary

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

Powertrain & Engine Problems

These complaints include accusations of serious design flaws. One complainant goes as far as to say: “This is an unsafe vehicle to drive and can cause injury or DEATH.”

A 2021 Ridgeline owner having problems with the engine and CEL flashing says a major problem is that dealers can’t identify a cause because the code deletes itself. When this happens, the problem disappears, but only temporarily. This particular complaint describes how the problem recurred three times.

There is a similar discussion on the Ridgeline OwnerClub forum.

Others talk about the engine light flashing and the Ridgeline losing speed on the highway. A major issue one complaint highlights is that when the vehicle “dies” it’s impossible to restart it without a special tool, Honda part #07AAA-TZ3A100. But it isn’t available from Honda dealers.

Because the bolt that must be manually turned and locked is outside the truck and under the hood, this “is also a hazard.”

Another complaint says that when the vehicle is in drive and stops on a steep hill, it slips backward. This results in the software putting the transmission in neutral and shutting off the engine.

“This leaves the vehicle coasting backward with very little steering or brakes. This happened to me and I coasted backward across a street. If a car had been coming it would have hit me sideways.”

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Problems with the Electrical System

The biggest complaint relating to electrical problems is that the wireless charger connects and disconnects. This results in the cell phone getting hot and not charging.

One complaint states that Honda knows about the problem but the unit has already been replaced and the fault persists.

“My concern is that this charger can make my phone explode with huge consequences.”

Another complaint claims that it isn’t only the 2021 Honda Ridgeline that has the wireless charger problem. Pilots, Accord, Civic, and Odyssey models have the same problem, according to the complaint.

Exterior Lighting Problems

The automatic high-beam system is the major exterior lighting problem with the 2021 Ridgeline. Complaints range from it being too sensitive to it functioning erratically.

One complaint says: “In short, the new automatic high-beam system is not only useless but offensive to other drivers. I’m afraid the flashing (it causes) will induce road rage or gain unwanted attention from law enforcement officers.”

Another, basing his conclusion on multiple internet-based comments on the issues, says he believes the “issue is not from failure but from a design or setting defect.” However, dealers are unable to confirm this.

What if your 2021 Honda Ridgeline is a lemon? Your Lemon Rights

When cars have a substantial defect that the manufacturer has attempted to repair several times, there’s a good chance you have a lemon. Sometimes dealers don’t know how to do repairs or don’t have the parts available.

So, if you think you’ve got a lemon, you need help from a good lemon law firm like Lemberg Law. Call us and we’ll assess your situation and your rights.

If your car is a lemon you have legal rights that may include a refund or replacement of your vehicle. We won’t charge you because the law says Honda must pay the legal fees if you’ve bought a lemon.

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

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