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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
90,790 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.

2004 Honda Pilot electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Honda Pilot Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #37

Sep 082016


  • 100,000 miles


Ignition key gets stuck in the ignition and does not turn. Several people have complained about this problem, but Honda is charging for the known defect in the tumbler system used with their special key system. People are told that this is normal wear, but this does not make sense that all cars expire at the same time and the fix involves replacing the entire ignition including the keys, leaving the owner with one set of keys for the doors and a new set for the ignition. My question, if the keys are worn, how do they still work for the doors. Once the switch is broker, the car will not start and the key feels like it is the wrong key

- Vienna, VA, USA

problem #36

Jul 112016


  • miles
Had my car serviced for 4 recalls: 12-056 -manufacturercampaignid:12-056 lighting switch harness wear, mfr campaign/safety recall notice:13-011 -manufacturercampaignid:13-011 shift interlock, mfr campaign/safety recall notice:16-047 -manufacturercampaignid:16-047 passenger airbag inflator. I went to pick up my car at the dealership and it was driven to me. I went home and it drove perfectly fine. Yesterday, I tried starting it and a couple things happened, as I inserted my key, it got stuck halfway or so. I pulled the key out and reinserted. It worked again. I headed out to work. Leaving work, it happened again, the key got stuck, I pulled it out, reinserted it, and repeated that a few times. The key finally went in. Later that evening, I was going to the store. The key inserted just fine, but then it wouldn't turn. The next morning, a repeat. This should be a recall.

- Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #35

Jun 292016


  • 119,500 miles
Key switch failure after interlock was replaced (Honda recall) key gets stuck in ignition won't turn or start vehicle. Honda recommends new key which will work 3-4 weeks then tell you you need new ignition switch. Honda admits interlock failure causes additional wear to key switch and key switch failure but only recalled and fixed interlock pin and no parts that were damaged by failure of the interlock pin. This has been ongoing problem with Pilot from 2002-2013. Even if key switch is replaced you are advised it will fail again in 4-5 years per Honda dealer.

- Idaho Falls, ID, USA

problem #34

Sep 102015

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 174,171 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that the key would not turn over to start the vehicle. The gears also failed to shift into park multiple times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis and repairs. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V573000 (electrical system). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 174,171. Updated 2/4/16 the consumer stated the vehicle was repaired at a cost of $ $441.67. Updated 03/31/16.

- Peoria Heights, IL, USA

problem #33

Oct 052015


  • 143,685 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that while parked and starting the vehicle, the key fell out of the ignition switch and the vehicle powered off. The vehicle was able to restart after several attempts. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the interlock lever and the ignition cylinders needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that the vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 12V573000 (electrical system). The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 143,685. Updated 04/06/16

- Lancaster, PA, USA

problem #32

Jun 192015


  • 175,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Pilot. While the vehicle was parked, the key was inserted but failed to the start the ignition.the failure was persistent. The vehicle was able to restart after several attempts. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 175,000. The VIN was not available.

- Sun Praire , WI, USA

problem #31

Sep 022015


  • miles


The contact owns a 2004 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that when the ignition key was turned to the on position, the vehicle failed to start intermittently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Suffolk, VA, USA

problem #30

Feb 082013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Pilot. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign numbers: 12V573000 (electrical system) and 14V700000 (air bags); however, the parts needed to perform the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #29

May 022014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 179,850 miles
Steering wheel locked, key would not turn nor come out, gear could not be changed. Vehicle would not start. Pilot's ignition would not work at all.

- Newark, NJ, USA

problem #28

Mar 292015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Pilot. While parked, the vehicle failed to start. In addition, the key ejected from the ignition while the gear selector was in drive. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 12V573000 (electrical system). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Milledgeville, GA, USA

problem #27

Oct 012014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 148,500 miles


Noticed an extreme hot spot on drivers side lower seat cushion when heated seats are on hi or lo. Spot is so hot that you cannot let it touch your pants without burning you. I have read many accounts of this same issue with other Honda owners that ultimately resulted in a fire. Now drivers side lower seat cushion heating element no longer works. Drivers side back and passenger side heating elements still work.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #26

Sep 072013


  • 100,000 miles
When we turn on the seat warmer in the front passenger seat of our Honda Pilot 2004, we smell a strong odor of rubber or foam burning. Now our seat warmer will not work at all. We've stopped using the seat warmer due to concerns of a fire starting.

- Tigard, OR, USA

problem #25

Oct 152013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
When the driver side heated seat is turned on the seat gets so hot that it literally burns the skin on anyone sitting in the seat. It happens on both low or high setting. The seat then begins to emit smoke.

- Hillsboro, OR, USA

problem #24

Jun 202014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 170,000 miles
We were on another summer trip and the airbag warning light came on. This is the big red light to the far left of the panel. Calling Honda in franklin tn they had no idea what could happen while continuing to drive the vehicle. Calling another dealership they assured me that it was most likely a sensor and the airbags would simply not deploy. Honda as recalls now for bad airbags. 1- our 2004 does not fall into the recall period 2 - Honda should pay for any issue related to bad airbag technology regardless of how old the car is, just like they do with seat belts. If we would have been in a wreck during the time that light was on, the airbag would not have deployed. 3- any part of the airbag/sensor/ seatbelt system should not be merely covered under a limited warranty. It should be covered for the life of the car. This is a safety issue. If they cannot stand behind the safety of the car they need to get out of the business.

- Brentwood, TN, USA

problem #23

May 092011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • miles
I'm having trouble with my 2004 LX, no keyless remote on this model. The drivers side door lock quit working, the key goes in with difficulty and won't turn, won't unlock the door. Resorted to using the rear door lock to get in and now that lock has developed the same problem. Now have just the passenger side door to unlock from the outside. Now the ignition. Same problem. What the [xxx] is going on? information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Brentwood, CA, USA

problem #22

Jul 252013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
On July 25,2013 around 8:00am am starting my 2004 Honda Pilot, to move my car to avoid parking tickets at 8:30am. After 5 minutes of warming the engine I decided to drive around to find a parking space to avoid a ticked.around 8:14am I found a parking space and the car is parked.later around 3:00pm I decided to go to my girlfriend house, I see the my car parked and a free parking space in front of my apartment. To avoid tickets the next day I moved the car. Around 3:02 the car is parked in front of my apartment. Around 9:50 pm am walking home and I see the hood of my car open.the engine was all burned including headlights there was no wire everything melt.neighbors where sitting outside as usual, they told me that it started around 3:30 and that small amount of smoke was coming out of the left side of the department took like 15M !!!!to had 105,000 miles. I wasn't using the car that often, the night before the fire I drove the car for 15 miles back and forward. My ensures don't cover fire. No more Honda thanks!!!

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #21

Feb 142013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that she received notification of NHTSA campaign id number: 12V573000 (electrical system) and took the vehicle to the dealer for service. The dealer advised that they would not repair the vehicle because the shifter interlock did not need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired per the recall. The manufacturer was not notified. The contact had not experienced a failure. The current mileage was 113,000.

- Beaufort, SC, USA

problem #20

Mar 292013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 162,715 miles
The key was difficult to insert into the ignition. Once in, the key was then virtually impossible to remove. Furthermore will not turn as it is stuck in between off and accessory positions. Hours were spent jiggling, bringing a locksmith to make attempts at removing without success. The Honda Pilot had to be towed to dealership. This happened within 1 day of a serviced recall for the interlock lever which involves the ignition and the steering column shifter.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #19

Jul 122012


  • 119,000 miles
Pilot rolled away while it was parked, I had key in my hand, it hit a concrete flower pot. Damaging my right fender bumper mirror.policeman got inside Pilot took key in and out of ignition several times, while it was in gear. I drove the car to Honda dealership told them what happened. They admitted it should not do that, but did nothing to help. After hearing of recall in Jan. I contacted Honda about the incident telling them they should fix my Pilot since it was there fault this accident happened. They had me send them information about what happened. The police report ect.they had me take the Pilot to dealership and leave it 5 hours. When Honda called me back a week later they refused to take responsibility for accident because the key does not come out of ignition when dealership had it, it does not do this all of the time, but it did happen in July 2012 long before I knew about recall and I have police report and witness to prove it did. My insurance has gone up because of accident plus I have to pay deductible, when this was not my fault. Honda has recall on Honda so how could they not be responsible" could you please help me with this"

- Peoria, IL, USA

problem #18

Sep 092008

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 68,197 miles
2004 Honda Pilot SUV 9/9/2008 front ac blower resistor replaced $230 (miles 68,197, also had 100 miles bumper to bumper warranty but was told by dealer it was not covered. 1/25/2013 (miles 134,000) front ac air mix motor replaced $501, rear ac/heat does not work was still in 100 mile warranty it has a bad blower resistor I still have not replaced it. To top it off when it rains my driver and now front passenger floor mats are getting wet from the underneath the protective mat (miles 105,000)! your attention to this above matter is most appreciated.

- Milton, DE, USA

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