really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,750 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

problem #4

Dec 202008


  • 85,000 miles


I have a 2003 Honda Pilot with dvd player and wireless headphones. My wife and I were driving on the highway with our two young kids who were watching a dvd with the headphones. The kids stated that the headphones stopped working and started making a white noise sound. A few minutes later we saw smoke come out of the dashboard, through the tape deck and other openings. We were scared to death and had limited visibility. Fortunately, I was able to pull over without wrecking. We all got out of the car and let the smoke clear. Afterwards, we took it to the charleston, SC dealership. Even though they found burnt parts in the dvd player, they refused to help. They wanted over $1000 to put in a new dvd player. We took the paperwork and left, while the dvd headphones still do not work to this day. I even filed a complaint with the BBB, without success.

- Mount Pleasant, SC, USA

problem #3

Jun 112010


  • miles
The key does not turn in the ignition. We have to wiggle it or mess with it many times to get it to turn, sometimes it takes too long for us to get to it turn, which causes many inconveniences for us. The dealer wants $700-$900 to repair this problem, which is outrageous. The consumer should not be responsible for this defect or mistake in the engineering design of the vehicle. And we know this is a common problem with Honda. Please recall Pilot for this very inconvenient defect. If there is an emergency and someone needs to get to the hospital quick, not being able to start your car because the key won't turn will be catastrophic. This problem needs to be taken care of quickly by the manufacturer.

- Sanger, CA, USA

problem #2

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 #1

Feb 152006

Pilot 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles
Same situation as released in ODI case number 10172900. I had a tremendous amount of smoke coming from the dash. The smell of burning plastic or circuit board was strong. After the incident, my rear dvd headphone outputs, both wired and wireless, no longer function. Took the Pilot to a dealer and they could not confirm the failure of the headphone outputs even though I requested that they put in a dvd to test the system. They did not have one available. The dealer would only pull the radio unit and recommend that I replace that unit. When I asked if they had tested the unit, the response was that they could not test the unit. The unit would have to be sent somewhere for test and possible replacement. They could not guarantee that this would fix the problem. To view the area behind to dvd player, I was advised that it would take a technician 8 plus hours to remove the necessary dash elements in order to get into the cavity containing the dvd player. There was a definite resistance to explore the suggestions I had as to why there may have been smoke. All I know is the there was enough smoke to require me to pull off the road and my daughter and I to "bail" out of the car.

- St. Charles, MO, USA

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