Forward collision avoidance and engine issues are the main cause of complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
Honda’s first minivan, the Odyssey, has been driving on U.S. roads since 1995. Dubbed “America’s ultimate family vehicle,” Honda says the 2023 model continues “to set the standard for minivans.” The problem is that it’s presenting ongoing challenges for owners including malfunctioning cruise control and faulty auto idle stop (AIS).
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Most Common Problems
Complaints to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) by 2023 Honda Odyssey owners highlight various components and systems with problems. By mid-February 2023, not even two months into the new year, owners had cited issues with the electrical system, engine, forward collision avoidance, lane departure, brakes, and steering in their complaints.
The most common problems at this stage relate to Honda’s adaptive cruise control (ACC) and auto idle stop (AIS).
2023 Honda Odyssey Complaint Summary
|Complaint Category||Number of Complaints|
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking|
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control|
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings|
|Lane Departure: Blind Spot Detection|
|Unknown Or Other|
Problems with Adaptive Cruise Control
Honda’s ACC system sets the cruise speed of its vehicles and gauges the distance between a car with ACC on and the vehicle ahead of it. Honda says that with ACC, “cruising on the open highway has never been easier!” But some owners of 2023 Odysseys disagree.
Listed as being forward collision avoidance issues, complaints about ACC vary from the Odyssey braking for no apparent reason to accelerating and not controlling speed.
An owner from Missouri states that when driving down the highway with cruise control and lane keep on in January 2023, “the vehicle engaged the brakes for no apparent reason. I immediately disengaged cruise control and applied the accelerator.”
This is similar to complaints made about forward collision avoidance problems by 2022 Odyssey owners.
The owner of a 2023 Odyssey from Texas had a different experience, but it was also a malfunction of ACC. When going downhill with ACC engaged, “it won’t correctly control the speed and keeps on accelerating.” At one point, the complaint states, “I managed to gain up to 20 miles above the set cruise speed limit.” Someone from a Honda dealership’s service department test drove the minivan and reproduced the issue. “In a small test he managed to increase 10 miles above the set cruise limit.”
Rather than this convincing them that there was a problem with the Odyssey, they “tested several other same-model cars, and all of them have the same behavior.” This, they said, meant there wasn’t “any error for them to fix.” The owner was told to, “just use the brake to reduce the speed that actually disables the cruise control.”
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Auto Idle Stop Problems
Honda’s AIS feature is designed to maximize fuel economy. In essence, the engine stops automatically when the vehicle stops. It then restarts when the vehicle starts to move again. Importantly, the AIS system operates in relation to vehicle and environmental conditions at the time.
The LA owner of a 2023 Odyssey states in an NHTSA complaint that their “AIS has not worked in most of the 3 weeks since we purchased it. We went on (joined) various Odyssey forums and apparently this is a known defect that Honda Corporation is denying (and can’t fix). Some think it is a wrong battery in the vehicle issue or defective vehicle charger issue. Others have found a temporary workaround by opening the hood to reset it. Honda is ripping off customers for an AIS system that is defective. A class action is in order.”
The forums are, indeed, full of comments about the faulty AIS feature in the Honda Odyssey, though not specifically the 2023 model. Many say that it has never worked. Others say it becomes inactive.
Other problems reported in complaints are varied. There’s an owner from LA whose hand was burned while pulling a child’s toy from under the van. “The muffler is unusually low and needs a vented shield to protect people from burns and cuts and to protect the muffler from debris and impacts from speed bumps, etc. This is dangerous for people, kids, and the engine.”
Another new LA owner states that the blind spot warning either goes off on its own or won’t operate. After buying the minivan on a Friday, it was returned to different dealers on the Saturday and Monday. “Both techs replicated the problem but no idea of a fix yet.”
An owner from North Carolina describes how his daughter, who was inside the van with her mother and their dog, “mashed the button to close the power sliding door on the right side of the van.” The complaint states that she “did not notice that the dog’s tail was wagging near the door entrance. All of a sudden I heard loud screaming and I opened the door on the right side. She was bleeding and in tears and said that the power door had closed on our dog’s tail. I am a physician so I provided first aid.”
Ironically, when he bought the Odyssey he asked about the power doors because of a concern that they might close on someone. “The salesmen assured us that the doors would not close on anything or anyone and would reverse if they met any resistance. Well, the door completely closed all the way in this case despite the dog’s tail sticking out of it.”
What to do if your 2023 Honda Odyssey is a Lemon?
Just because your vehicle has problems doesn’t necessarily make it a lemon. But, if the issues recur and affect the usability and value of the vehicle, it might be. Your case is likely to be strengthened if the automaker can’t fix the problem.
Lemberg Law has been helping vehicle owners with these types of challenges for many years. And we have negotiated many settlements on their behalf. If you’d like us to assess your case, free of charge, contact us by calling our Helpline or filling out a contact form. The law says that Honda must pay the legal fees for lemon law cases, so it’s not going to cost you anything.