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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
90,426 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 Pilot accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Honda Pilot Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #8

Feb 132010


  • 87,000 miles


There are several issues: 1. the problem began with the key not fitting properly as it once did, perhaps after several attempts. When I turn the key or put the key in the ignition it won't turn to get the vehicle started. I turned the steering wheel all the way to the left and it doesn't matter. The Pilot still won't start. When reading the manual, it's a push sign under the ignition but this isn't addressed in the manual. It doesn't tell you the purpose of the push sign. I've tried everything to get the key to turn and I've let others try also. And it doesn't work for anyone. The steering wheel is turned all the way to the left but the wheels are not and it won't turn to the right it all; it's locked. The vehicle won't go in neutral, so I can roll it or nothing. 2. there is knocking noise that is louder when you accelerate on the left front side perhaps it's coming from the drive-train or axle on that side, almost sounds like something is loose and may fall off. 3. the radio turns off for a few seconds randomly and it may not happen again for a while and suddenly does once again. 4. the lock and handle to the glove compartment broke off and cannot be opened. 5. the wire to control the handles for the rear seats to recline and fold down broke from within the seats. I looked inside it's the piece of plastic to hold the wire in place that broke, there needs to be a better replacement part made of steel not plastic. 6. the floor mat sticks in bunches causing the carpet to soil can be hazardous I.e. Toyota, only remedy is to replace the floor mat for the truck entirely, very, very expensive... 7. when it reaches 30mph it shakes and you can hear a loud noise like you're driving over something ridged it's scary. 8. the button for four wheel drive does not function 9. the chrome on the door handles peeled off tearing the skin causing injuries to the hand, my finger still feels tingly and numb. Please help!!!

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #7

Dec 062009


  • 134,000 miles
Traffic on a surface road came to an abrupt stop. The 2004 Ford F150 did not stop in time and rear-ended our 2003 Honda Pilot along the right half of the bumper. The impact was severe enough to shove the right frame rail forward several inches, wrinkling the roof and putting the driverside rear door in tension so that it could not be opened. The two front seats were occupied by adults. Both the driver's and passenger's seat backs failed. The driver suffered no injuries, but the passenger suffered bruising from the B-pillar and strained back from the collapsing seatback.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #6

Jul 082009


  • 88,000 miles
The 2nd row LH (driver's side) passenger seat in my 2003 Honda Pilot purchased 1/2/2003 with about 90K has had two related problems on this seat. This seat is rarely sat in and almost never moved. It became jammed in the upright at some point in time, likely much earlier than I detected it in July 2009. I attempted to fold the seat down via the top lever and was not able to. The result was the top lever plastic handle broke off the cable actuator. I paid over $200 at the dealer (priority Honda in huntersville nc, 28078 - 704.875.3100) to have it fixed even though I feel that it should not have jammed causing the top lever to break off. At repair, nothing was found that would cause the jam such as a foreign object or any damage. Recently I tried to move the seat forward (side lever engages both back fold down and base release) to allow my children to exit from the third row seat and found that this lever was not working as well. I brought the vehicle to the above-mentioned dealer the evening of 8/24/09 and left it with them until the evening of 8/24. Ed jenkins the service manager advised me that he personally worked with the mechanic to look at the issue spending three hours working on it and could not repair it. He also told me that a new seat frame was required to make the seat operational. A seat should not fail after 6 years with light use and in my opinion should last as long as or exceed the lifetime of the vehicle, which in the us is about thirteen years I consider this a manufacturing defect and an important safety issue as passengers may become entrapped in the third row seat. Any delay in exiting especially if the other side is occupied or somehow blocked could mean the difference between life and death in an emergency.

- Cornelius, NC, USA

problem #5

Sep 182008


  • miles


We bought our 2003 Honda Pilot assuming that it would be a great family vehicle. We have three small children and another on the way so our car is full of car seats. We have a backless boaster seat in the third row on the driver's side, a boaster seat in the third row on the passenger side, and a forward facing car seat in the second row driver's side. It is incredible difficult for me to get the children in the third row buckled because the seat belts are constantly getting "stuck" and have to be rethread all the way back. This is difficult because they get caught on the boaster seats that then have to be picked up and moved around to get the seat belt off. Also, the seat on the seat on the passenger side is too narrow and the seat belt buckles very low, close to the seat and it ends up underneath the boaster seat. These difficulties make it nearly impossible for my preschoolers to buckle by themselves and forces me to climb back in their seat to fix the seat belts and move the booster seat forward to buckle them in. It is incredible difficult and uncomfortable for an adult to climb into the third row seat, especially one that is seven months pregnant. We have tried moving the seats around and can not find any better positions for the car seats.

- Fort Collins, CO, USA

problem #4

Apr 042008

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 0 miles
My 2003 Honda Pilot is an unsafe vehicle, because the head restraints on the front seats can not be adjusted. That is, they must stay down against the top of the seat and can not be adjusted to fit the back of your head. Honda customer service stated they will not fix the problem because that is the way it is designed. This means the vehicle is unsafe and an immediate recall should be issued. How is it that you never discovered this? Honda should replace all these vehicles with new safe vehicles. This problem means that in a potential rear ended accident, my neck will be broken. I need your help to fix this problem immediately and alert all usa citizens that Honda built an unsafe vehicle.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #3

Apr 042008

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 35,425 miles
Rear-ended. 2003 Honda Pilot ex: Front seat head rest is non-adjustable, and hits head about an inch down from top of my head. There is no cushioning nor protection for my head. Honda customer service stated that if I took auto to dealer, dealer would repair under warranty. Dealer stated that there was nothing they can do, this is the way it is designed. Thus this is a defect in that this is a totally unsafe head rest (constraint).

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #2

Sep 152003

Pilot 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,000 miles
Just below the leather on the drivers seat the plastic panel that holds the electronic buttons to operate the seat motion has broken two times in less than four months, although the dealer replaced it both times, there appears to be a defect in the screws holding the panel in place.

- Viera, FL, USA

problem #1

May 302003

Pilot 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,100 miles
The base of the driver side leather seat was severely stretched and sagged (and also with 'pointy hairs' protruding from holes on all leather seats front and rears), and the illed-mannered Honda dealer's service department manager(robertson Honda in North hollywood, ca) refused to replace it under the covered original Honda warranty and denied totally there is anything wrong with it although the defect is so obvious and visible.

- Arcadia, CA, USA

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