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. Notes: We all want our SUVs to be able to stop on a dime, just not randomly and without warning. But that's what was happening to 2005 Pilot owners: their vehicles were slamming on the brakes even when they didn't. A government investigation of this problem led to a recall in March of 2013.

Another issue that keeps popping up is transmission fluid mixing with coolant in the radiator which is causing transmission failure, a costly repair to say the least.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
96,410 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.

2005 Honda Pilot brakes problems

brakes problem

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2005 Honda Pilot Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #78

Aug 302016


  • 150,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. While driving approximately 50 mph, the vehicle slighty swayed from the left and the right with a shuttering sensation. The vsa system warning indicator illuminated. The contact turned off the vehicle to disengage the warning indicator; however, the failure recurred. The contact found in the owner's manual that the vsa warning was an indication that the brakes and stability controls were experiencing a malfunction. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and several failure codes appeared; however, they were not able to completely indicate what the nature of the repairs. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and opened a case. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- Madison, OH, USA

problem #77

Mar 312016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. While driving approximately 40 mph, the brake pedal was depressed but the brakes failed and the passenger side caliber was smoking. The contact had to restart the vehicle to release the brakes. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the brake pads, calibers, master cylinder, and emergency brakes needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure persisted. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #76

Feb 242016


  • miles
To whom it may concern, my 2005 Pilot model exl has 90,000 miles. Recently the vsa light started to come on randomly while I was driving the car. Whenever that happened there would also be a loud ┐chunk┐ noise that accompanied it and for a fraction of a second the brakes and steering wheel would lock up. However today when it happened, I could not turn off the vsa function and the worst part was that the malfunction of the vsa had locked the brakes once while I was driving on the road. Due to the malfunction I lost control of the car for a few seconds and although this only occurred one time, it was an extremely frightening experience.

- S Richmond Hill, NY, USA

problem #75

Oct 082015


  • 140,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. While driving at 10 mph, the speedometer dropped down to zero. The contact stated that the vsa warning light illuminated and the brakes activated independently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 140,000.

- North Reading, MA, USA

problem #74

Jul 012015


  • 102,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. While driving approximately 15 mph, the vehicle decelerated intermittently and the vsa warning indicator illuminated. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the yaw rate sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 13V092000 (service brakes, hydraulic, traction control system). The approximate failure mileage was 102,000.

- Portage, MI, USA

problem #73

Sep 012015


  • 60,000 miles
The vsa light comes on, and brakes suddenly engage without warning, and without brake lights.

- Pacific Palisades, CA, USA

problem #72

Sep 202015


  • 119,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. While driving at an unknown speed, the ABS and vsa warning lights illuminated. In addition, when depressing the brake pedal, there was a longer stopping distance. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The contact was informed that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 13V092000 (service brakes, hydraulic, traction control system). The failure mileage was 119,000.

- Philadelphia , PA, USA

problem #71

Jul 122013


  • 98,000 miles
Traveling 45-60 miles per hour, vsa light comes on and vehicle comes to a complete stop, no warning no brake lights nothing, vsa recall has been performed 3 times now, along with yaw rate sensor. After repairs done again on 07/28/2015 lasted until 09/09/2015 when traveling 45 miles per hour and vehicle stopped again almost causing a major accident. Anyone else out there experiencing these difficulties ?

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #70

Jun 042015


  • 73,200 miles
This is an addendum to complaint #10734361 the incident date was not correct. It was 2015 not 2014. And since the original complaint, we took the vehicle to auto parts store & they came up with 2 error codes. 25-1 yaw sensor malfunction & 61-1 battery voltage malfunction. These error codes seem to be a common thread with a lot of the complaints filed. Also, we have had to replace our alternator & battery since the recall service. Coincidence?

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #69

Jun 042014


  • 73,500 miles
1st incident-I was traveling at a slow rate of speed (approx. 25-30 mph). Heard a growling sound & car suddenly braked on its own. I also felt as if I had lost steering ability. The vsa light flashed on then off during the incident. 2nd incident- same as above only a week later. 3rd incident- about 2 weeks later. My wife was driving the car. Had slowed down to enter the ramp to get on the highway. Again the car made a grinding sound, the vsa light came on momentarily while the car applied the brakes on its own. All of these incidences occurred after the car was serviced for the vsa recall(13-026) on May 6, 2015. Previous to this service, we had never had any issues with the vsa. We believe that by having this recall performed, has caused another malfunctioned as a result. I have read some much more frightening incidences than ours on your site. So we are now driving our car with the vsa off! please investigate before someone seriously gets hurt.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #68

Apr 282015


  • 126,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. While driving approximately 60 mph, the brakes engaged independently. As a result, the vehicle swerved from left to right and the vehicle stability assist warning light illuminated. The vehicle was serviced under NHTSA campaign number: 13V092000 (service brakes, hydraulic, traction control system); however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the yaw rate sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 126,000.

- Arlington, WA, USA

problem #67

Apr 032015

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
I was parking, when the car jolted forward, I hit the brake, but the car accelerated going onto the pavement of the shopping centre, breaking two sides of a brick pillar. Both sides of the front of the car doors were destroyed and the main front, the car was a total loss. The airbags, never came out.

- Centreville, VA, USA

problem #66

Mar 012007

Pilot 6-cyl

  • miles
The vsa and/or ABS will unexpectedly apply the brakes while driving. It is a short and quick application of the brakes, hard enough to make the vehicle swerve. It then seems to release and you can continue driving. Once this occurs both the vsa and ABS lights on the dash turn on showing they are disabled. The brakes continue to be operational. Upon turning off the ignition the lights reset and the vsa/ABS seem to be operational. During cold temperatures I will sometimes find the vsa/ABS lights turn on and stay on during start up but again only during cold temperatures. After driving a short time (10-15 minutes or miles) I will turn the ignition off, wait 1-2 minutes, turn the ignition on and the vsa/ABS lights go through the normal start up test and turn off and expected. This vehicle has not been in any major accidents that would affect the braking systems.

- Marquette, MI, USA

problem #65

Feb 032015


  • 162,680 miles
My daughter was driving our family's 2005 Honda Pilot. She applied the brake lightly which resulted in excessive breaking in the left front wheel and then appearance of the vsa light. I brought the vehicle to the Honda dealer who first indicated there was no recall and then indicated there was a vsa wire harness recall (NHTSA 13V-092) but that it did apply the vsa light going on and therefore had nothing to do with the recall. A vsa light diagnostics which I independently paid for indicated a yaw rate failure code (25-01). This light vsa light has continued to intermittently go on and off with an intermittent contemporaneous relationship to braking. On 2/25/15 my daughter was driving the vehicle on the highway (no vsa light on), applied the brakes lightly and the car braked severly even once her foot was off the brake and pulled the car in the same front right direction as before forcing her to swerve along side a passing truck. The vsa light went on after the event occurred. Calling the Honda dealer today, the service manager indicated that Honda does not have a recall on this matter once the part for the 13V-092 recall was replaced. In reviewing safer NHTSA campaign id number DP12002 it describes well what has occurred twice and which has not been corrected by the recall service performed. I have also contacted Honda usa. I believe Honda has inadequately evaluated the relationship of similarly reported events regarding unexpected car brake assist with mild application of the brake since the vsa wire harness recall repair did not resolve the unexpected and inappropriate vsa/ESC/ba system logic response. It is not clear why Honda is not addressing my matter under this recall (NHTSA 13V-092) and the referenced NHTSA DP12002, and further investigating under a known safety recall.

- Altavista, VA, USA

problem #64

Oct 152014


  • 112,000 miles
I heard a loud thumping or grinding sound from the front of the car and the brakes engaged on their own. At the same time the vehicle stability warning light came on (yellow triangle). Over next three weeks this happened three times, seemingly randomly. On one occasion the "yaw sensor" code was triggered. The vsa recall in 2013 was performed by the dealer in 2013.

- Brookline, MA, USA

problem #63

Oct 242014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 163,826 miles
Honda Pilot was serviced at ed voyles Honda on 10/22 and picked up on 10/23. Extensive service performed on car...timing belt, transmission, air bags replaced per recall, engine mounts replaced, oil changed, etc. Picked up car on 10/23. On 10/24 backed out of driveway and put car in drive gear. Car accelerated without me putting foot on acceleration. Could not stop vehicle. Acceleration continued and increased. Only way to stop car was to run into a tree. Not sure if caused by recent work or I have read now that 2005 Honda Pilot have had issues with unprovoked acceleration. Usaa insurance company has totaled car and car is at junk yard now.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #62

Oct 172014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
My 2005 Pilot model has 108,000 miles. The vsa light started to come on while I was driving the car. Whenever that happens for a fraction of a second the brakes and steering wheel would lock up and vsa light remains on until vehicle is turned off. The stability control recall 13V092000 was performed July 2013, it was to fix this problem. Local Honda dealer found yaw rate sensor failure and wants $1,100 to replace.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #61

Jun 112014


  • 162,829 miles
The first incident happened while turning, car came to a stop, jerked the wheel almost hitting another car; all without warning. A child passenger was in the back seat and was thrown forward hitting her head on the passenger front seat and seat belt locked causing her to have a seat belt bruise. Vsa (light), the vsa activation light (triangle with exclamation inside) were both illuminated. SUV was taken to local dealership to perform the recall work. Two weeks later, same thing but this time I was going about 55mph on highway, SUV came to almost a complete stop within a short distance. Grinding feeling and with the vsa indicator lights on. Almost hit someone when the wheel jerked and caused me to go into the right lane and almost hitting someone, kids were in the SUV one in the passenger side front and the other in back same side. Seat belt once again left a bruise on their chest and caused the front passenger to have strained his neck. This is a vehicle that cause great concern. I am now afraid to allow my son to drive this vehicle with this problem continuing. The dealership has said that they have performed the recall bulletin and I will need to fix this on my own. This is not satisfactory at all.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #60

Jun 152014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
On 06/15/2014, around 6:00pm, while approaching a curve at approx 30 mph lightly applied brakes. Brakes locked up and vsa light came on. Had the car checked by dealership and told me the problem is the sensor of vsa, it happens mor and more often for last couple of months.

- Andover, MA, USA

problem #59

Mar 142014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
While driving around a bend towards a red light, without my foot on the pedal my car made a weird shutter or brake pulsing, I thought I had gone over some ripple strips. When the light changed, I proceeded to make a right turn in a busy intersection, when going almost 30 & out of the turn, my Pilot came to an unassisted abrupt stop! im so lucky the person behind me didn't rear end me! it sounded like the transmission was grinding & the tires were locked. I waited a few seconds let go of brakes & the vehicle began to move but in 5 ft it did it again. Towed to dealer who cant seem to find or recreate the problem. Multiple brake, ABS, vsc & electrical alarms were reported by dealer but still no solution. This car is unsafe to drive and by multiple reports this is a widespread problem.

- Hoboken, NJ, USA

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