really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
7 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,922 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Honda Pilot Owner Comments

problem #17

Jul 012014


  • 250,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Honda Pilot. During inclement weather, water traveled through the engine compartment onto the floorboards. The failure created mold in the vehicle and electrical wiring damage. The failure recurred multiple times. The dealer stated that water was traveling through the windshield. The windshield was replaced; however, the failure persisted. The manufacturer had not been notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 250,000. The VIN was unavailable...updated 02/11/15.

- Brentwood , MO, USA

problem #16

Oct 032013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 136,000 miles
Honda Pilot '03 started leaking water into the front cabin after the rains. The floor gets wet and the water needs to be vacuumed out after the rain. Not sure what else is being affected because of this water leak.. I already see rust showing up and mold smell coming out because of the water leak. I called in northamerican Honda and lodged a complaint.

- Indian Creek, IL, USA

problem #15

Sep 022011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • miles
My vehicle is leaking water to the interior, like a number of other Honda owners. Honda is not doing anything about it...and it will eventually lead to electrical failure because of moisture on critical electrical parts in the steering column.

- Hulmeville, PA, USA

problem #14

Mar 012011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 107,000 miles


Over the last few months, I have noticed the driver side floor mats are soaked with water on my 2003 Honda Pilot. Attempts to find and repair the leak have failed. I see multiple examples of this on-line where consumers like me are getting no help from Honda Corp. I am constantly pulling up the carpet to allow it to dry out but the risk of mold, mildew, and rust are high. I already have a musky small in the car which is not good for the health of my family. Additionally, I just pulled up a cover plate on the driver-side floorboard to discover more water pooled around the E-brake cables. This pool of water covered the E-brake components and could have rusted out the cables making it useless.

- Ashburn, VA, USA

problem #13

Jul 022010


  • 69,000 miles
I had repeated visits to babylon Honda in babylon, NY for a rear tailgate spoiler problem. When opening the tailgate (rear door) the spoiler would hit and grind against the roof panel. Babylon Honda addressed the issue by tightening the spoiler mounts which worked for awhile, but the problem returned. This past July while driving on interstate 91 at 65mph, the spoiler flew off my car and nearly hit the car behind me. I am waiting for babylon Honda's response to repair this problem - the spoiler mounts cracked.

- North Bellmore, NY, USA

problem #12

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 #11

Dec 182009


  • 101,054 miles


2003 Honda Pilot ex with 101,054 miles front, side and rear motor mounts were cracked and leaked hydraulic fluid. Honda dealer replaced all three motor mounts costing $600. Honda dealer states this is a common problem since the motor mounts have hydraulic fluid in them (they are not all rubber).

- Lanesville, IN, USA

problem #10

Apr 202009


  • 69,077 miles
The chrome plating on the passenger side door handle of our 2003 Honda Pilot is flaking at the front edge. It is a dangerous cut hazard. Our Pilot has only 69077 miles. This defect should be a recall, as it is a safety hazard. I purchased a extended warranty from the dealer, but was told that this is not covered. The repair cost is $39 labor and $20 for handle. The dealer service writer said he has seen this before, and has even experienced it himself.

- Bremerton, WA, USA

problem #9

Dec 152008


  • 42,000 miles
My 2003 Honda Pilot was causing lacerations to the hands and fingers when using the door handle from the inside of the vehicle because of the delaminating door handles. The chrome plating on the plastic delaminates and has a very sharp edge that slices the fingers or hands if rub against. All of my family members have had laceration injuries from these defective handles. I have pointed out the defect to Honda but they say it is normal wear and tear and not covered. I have older vehicles from other manufacturers that don't have this issue and obviously disagree with Honda's assessment.

- San Ramon, CA, USA

problem #8

Nov 012004


  • miles
Honda Pilot 2003, very difficult to see what is behind, a back-up sensor should be standard in all cars. Safety hazard concern.

- Beaver Dam, WI, USA

problem #7

Feb 062003


  • miles


Nar 03/03/2003. The consumer was involved in an accident. The vehicle was hit just after the right side door and on the right side rear wheel. There was substantial damage done to the vehicle.

- Seneca, SC, USA

problem #6

Jun 242004

Pilot 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
When opening the tailgate the consumer noticed that the spoiler hit the rear window and the roof. Consumer notified the dealer about this issue. The sunlight caused heat swelling of the plastic tailgate spoiler. When the tailgate was opened, the spoiler would strike the roof which resulted in scratches and damage to the roof.

- Vandalia, OH, USA

problem #5

Jun 252003

Pilot 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
My Honda Pilot becomes unstable at speeds above 60 mph, it responds as though there is play in the steering and any small road imperfections cause the vehicle to veer left or right, I took it to cush Honda where I purchased the vehicle and they said three of four tires had 52 pounds of air in the tires, which had to have been there on delivery since I have less than 700 miles on the vehicle and it has never been serviced or had air put in the tires, the problem still exists and is unsafe at highway speeds in traffic, the service manager claims all Pilot do it and it is a design problem? please advise.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #4

Jun 132003

Pilot 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,800 miles
While driving Honda Pilot ex-L on a local street at 35 mph, the right rear wheel seems to have hit something or skidded. Attempt to control the vehicle by moving the steering wheel resulted in the SUV going out of control. While still on the road, any attempt to steer the vehicle caused it go in an unexpected direction. Finally, the vehicle rolled over and landed back on the wheel in a ditch by the side of the road. Driver sustained head injuries and two children in car seats, ages 1 and 4, escaped unhurt in the back seat. The car sustained extensive damage all around especially on the driver side. The windshield, front side windows, front doors and front roof appear to have sustained the greatest impact. The fact that the vehicle went out of control so easily seems to point to a mechanical failure. It would be useful to investigate this issue to prevent any future roll-overs by anyone using this vehicle.

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #3

Jun 042003

Pilot 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40 miles
While driving my 2003 Pilot at speeds over 40 mph, opening either the rear window causes a pressure imbalance within the vehicle which unless the windows are immediately closed, causes extreme ear pain to all passengers. This situation can cause a potentially hazardous situation if the vehicle is in high speed traffic and the pressure change affects the driver. I contacted my local dealer as well as american Honda and they claim that they have no record of any such complaints.

- Unknown, DC, USA

problem #2

Feb 122003

Pilot 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,600 miles
While backing out of the drive way and turning the steering wheel in either direction you can hear a thumping sound, it's a constant thumping. If only the back 2 windows are rolled down, the sound of the wind passing through the car is deafening. It creates a booming that immediately affects the ear drum.

- Buena Park, CA, USA

problem #1

Sep 032002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer was driving at highway speed with all windows closed. Then passenger opened rear window, and vehicle felt like it was falling apart. There was a terrible noise. Consumer had to open two windows to stop loud noise. *akthere is also a loud boom noise heard when three of the windows are opened at certain levels.

- Mundelein, IL, USA

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