Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
138,318 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Honda Element engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Honda Element Owner Comments

problem #5

Nov 092015


  • 227,590 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Honda Element. While driving 45 mph, the engine warning light illuminated and the vehicle lost power. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 227,590. The VIN was unavailable.

- Tallassee, AL, USA

problem #4

Jun 192015


  • 124,000 miles
The contact owned a 2003 Honda Element. While driving 30 mph, the check engine light illuminated. The contact heard a loud pop and black smoke emitted through all of the vents inside the vehicle. The brakes became inoperable and the vehicle ignited into flames. The contact was able to escape the vehicle without injuries. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 124,000.

- Burlington, WI, USA

problem #3

Aug 132014

Element 4-cyl

  • 144,000 miles
I stopped to check my mail and turned off my vehicle to use the mail box key and when I tried to start my car again, it would not start. All I got was a buzzing noise from under the steering column. Prior to this incident over the last week there were times my car would not start. I would make several attempts and it would finally start. The battery and starter were checked and in working condition.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #2

Jan 162014

Element 4-cyl

  • 131,000 miles
I was traveling North on nc hwy 12 on my way to work, alone, and I rear ended another vehicle traveling between 35-40 mph, when I glanced down to scratch my leg and when I glanced back down, the car in front of me was at a dead stop and I rear ended it. My passenger airbag deployed, however I had no passenger with me, my drivers side airbag failed. Luckily I was wearing my seatbelt and only received minor injuries.

- Frisco, NC, USA

problem #1

Jan 022012


  • 65,000 miles
Excessive vibration where you can see the stick shift shimmy and shake. Both driver and passenger can feel car vibrating like it has a bad wheel alignment but wheels have brand new tires and are aligned. Mechanic says it seems to be a broken motor mount. I have read on several Honda and Honda Element community forums reporting that motor mounts break with low mileage. I believe this is a defect.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

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