really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
60,054 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 Element seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2005 Honda Element Owner Comments

problem #14

Mar 262011

Element 4-cyl

  • 77,500 miles


I was driving to work on March 26, 2011 on the freeway and it was early and a clear day. I was on the highway and out of no where I heard a loud explosion sound and was completely freaked out. My right ear was ringing and I started to smell smoke. I looked to my right side and the passenger side airbag had exploded out. It wasn't even inflated and there was no one sitting on the seat thankfully. But since no one was on the seat the airbags should have been off, the Honda Element has a sensor on the seat. I called the Honda customer service department and they told me I was responsible for the problem. That I should take my vehicle to a Honda dealership and report it to my insurance so that they can take care of it for me.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #13

Aug 272010


  • 111,000 miles
Driving to work at 6:20am on 08/27/2010, while exiting the 91 freeway (going eastbound) and entering the 71N towards chino hills, my driver side airbag deployed out of nowhere. The deployment (or better, the explosion) hit the left side of my face, my left arm and jerked my head towards the other side (to the right/passenger seat). For a couple of seconds I had no idea what had happened and was partially deaf for about an hour. Now my face and arm sting a little, my neck is a little stiff and I'm still hearing a little ring in my left ear. I contacted Honda's corporate office in torrance, ca and was told that it was very likely Honda would not be responsible for the financial burden since my car is a 2005 Element, past the warranty. To that, all I have to say (or ask) is: Once the car is out of the warranty, does the manufacturer cease to have responsibility over the overall safety of it's vehicles? to me it seems that is there was no accident, my car wasn't hit or it didn't hit anything, that my airbag shouldn't deploy. Nobody has ever told me there is an expiration date on an airbag and my seats are in great condition (as is the rest of my car). Ultimately, this deployment could have cost me my life, and I am not exaggerating. I was blown in the face on a major freeway, if I had lost control due to the explosion I could have slammed my car into a wall or another car.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #12

Mar 262010


  • 82,498 miles
I was leaving work, driving about 10 miles an hour and without warning there was a huge boom in my ear, powder was in the air, the left side of my face was numb (later, red from heated air), my left side was shoved forward and my left ear was ringing. My side impact airbag went off as I was taking a left turn! I thought I had been hit by a car...except there was no other cars around. I pulled over and couldn't figure out what had happened until I opened my door, stepped out and saw the airbag hanging out of the seat. Scared the crap out of me! I am glad I wasn't on the freeway at a faster speed, I probably would have crashed! very sore now though. Left side is sore, neck is very sore! I drove to the Honda dealership afterward and spoke to the manager (neff) of the maintenance department. They had a technician (tim) hook up some data machine to my 2005 Honda Element 4WD - ex. I was advised to come back on Monday and drop the car off so they could contact Honda corporate hq and get a direction to proceed. The technician (tim), and manager (neff) advised me that until it was repaired, my other airbags would not work. They also stated that they had never seen something happen like this. After a google search of 'Honda Element airbag defects' it appears that it is a pretty prevalent problem. I have temporarily parked the car at my house until Monday's maintenance appointment.

- San Mateo, CA, USA

problem #11

Nov 072009


  • 76,259 miles


I was driving my 2005 Honda Element on a smooth gravel road around 25mph when the drivers-side airbag in the chair deployed bruising the back of my left arm. It deployed fully and tore my seat. My vehicle is no longer under warranty, but I feel this could be a safety hazard if I was driving down the highway and something like this happened and could easily cause a serious accident. I would like to see Honda acknowledge that they have a problem with the airbag system and take responsibility in fixing it, as I stand now I have to replace my airbag, airbag ECU, and have my seat repaired.

- Provo, UT, USA

problem #10

May 292009


  • 59,000 miles
While driving on I95 northbound at approx. 60 miles per hour, my 2005 Honda Element side-driver's side airbag deployed unexpectedly; it felt like a bomb went off. My 12 month old daughter in the back car seat was completely traumatized by the severity of the event. My ears were ringing and my left rear shoulder was hit by the bag. Nothing hit my car to cause the deployment. After regaining my composure I contacted Honda usa who told me to contact my insurance company. My insurance company said they do not cover an event such as this because there was no apparent collision. Honda usa then said to take it to a Honda dealership for an inspection. The Honda dealership inspected the Element and found no problems or reason as to why the airbag deployed unexpectedly. Honda usa assigned me a case #, but has yet to contact me. The Honda dealership also refused to release my car because they now deem the car "unsafe to drive". I can get the car if I sign a waiver stating that I will not sue the Honda dealership if I get into an accident. My attorney has been contacted. Also, my extended warranty does not cover deployed airbags. The situation still remains unresolved.

- Fairfield, CT, USA

problem #9

Apr 222009


  • 52,000 miles
The passenger air bag, in the front passenger seatback, deployed accidentally in my 2005 Honda Element. We were driving very slowly on a gravel road. We thought we had been shot at, with the loud bang and my passenger's swearing and grabbing his arm. I am going to click below to say there was an injury, but it was only bruising to the upper arm. It was painful.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #8

Mar 312009


  • 64,000 miles


On 3/31/09, I rolled my Honda Element four times (according to fhp report) on I-95, to avoid a construction ladder. No other vehicles were involved. Among other injuries, I suffered two full-width rotator cuff tears to my left shoulder. This was a direct result of the drivers side airbag only partially deploying. I have documented with several pictures or the bag still folded inside the seat fabric panel. The passenger side deployed fully, and you can clearly see the difference in deployment size difference of drivers side vs. Passengers side. Honda was notified, and denied any responsibility.

- Lake Park, GA, USA

problem #7

Mar 312009


  • 50,000 miles
I rolled my 2005 Honda Element (2X drive) on I-95 at least four times according to fhp. My front airbag did not deploy, although my windshield was crushed in. And my drivers' side airbag deployed only partially (1/4). I was extracted from the vehicle and life-flighted to shand's emergency room in jacksonville, Florida. I suffered multiple contusions; internal bleeding and severely fractured sternum. Had my drivers side airbag deployed, I probably would have been spared much of this trauma. I have thoroughly documented with pictures to support my claim, and my insurance adjuster also confirms this. I am awaiting the Florida highway patrol's report.

- Lake Park, GA, USA

problem #6

Mar 182009


  • 107,000 miles
Driver side airbag deployed with for no reason.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #5

Oct 252008


  • 46,000 miles
My wife, mother in-law, and 8 month old son were driving on a gravel driveway to someones house when suddenly the drivers side airbag in my 2005 Honda Element deployed. There was no collision, no reckless driving, nothing to provoke an airbag to suddenly deploy. It only happened once, however, due to fighting w/ dealerships and Honda's customer service center over the repairs; my wife is still driving the vehicle, as it is her only means of transportation. My 8 month old son also rides in this vehicle and I am very thankful that he and my wife were not hurt in the incident; my mother in-law however, received a severely bruised elbow as she was the one driving the vehicle. I took it to the dealership to have it repaired and was told that only the faulty sensor is covered under my warranty. They will not pay for replacement of the physical airbag, they will not pay to have the seat stitched back together were the airbag deployed from, and they will not pay to reset all of the other airbag sensors that apparently no longer work. It has been over a month since this occurred and the best advice Honda has given me is to have my insurance company inspect the vehicle-pay for the repairs-and then contact Honda for reimbursement. This is an outrage-my insurance company should have nothing to do with this-as there was no collision. My warranty should pay for this repair in full. I am so very thankful that my family was on a gravel road traveling under 10mph. It horrifies me to think of what would have happened if this occurred on the freeway-at freeway speeds. I feel that if something is not done to correct this problem-that someone will be seriously hurt or killed. Honda needs to take responsibility for this and take the proper steps now to fix it before it's too late.

- Toutle, WA, USA

problem #4

Jun 082008


  • 75,000 miles


The driver's side airbag in 2005 Honda Element deployed while driving on driveway. No accident, nothing hit, no traveling through water, just deployed without cause and the dealer wants $2100 to repair.

- Madison, VA, USA

problem #3

Nov 252007

Element 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I was driving down the road, and for no reason at all, my passenger side airbag deployed!!!!! scared me to death, glad I wasn't going very fast or I might have gotten into an accident! I am also lucky that it wasn't the drivers side airbag, or it could have broken my arm!

- Ashburn, VA, USA

problem #2

Oct 212006

Element 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,500 miles
The passenger side airbag in my 2005 Honda Element deployed, but I was not in an accident.

- Springdale, AR, USA

problem #1

Aug 152005

Element 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
While driving, the side impact airbag deployed for no reason. The vehicle was 6 months old at the time and still under warranty. I contacted the dealer and they have refused to replace the airbag because of the possibility that something may have hit the underside of the vehicle causing the side impact airbag to deploy.

- Covington, LA, USA

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