really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
171,264 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Honda Pilot Owner Comments

problem #8

Sep 292016


  • 150,000 miles


I was on the hwy in the left lane an exhilarated then all of the sudden my SUV just braked suddenly without me pressing the brake causing a screech on the concrete. I moved to the right lane very cautiously. I drove about 15 miles then it happened again. I turned my emergency flasher on and drove another 5 miles when it happened again. I pulled onto the side of the road and called my husband to come drive behind me the rest of the way home. This is very scary. I just knew I was going to get rear ended. I love my Honda Pilot but now I can't drive it. I have no idea why or what is causing this problem! please help. Thanks, June williams

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #7

Mar 222016


  • 195,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that the vehicle independently decelerated while driving at an unknown speed. In addition, the ABS warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the two front wheel speed sensors needed to be replaced. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was confirmed that the speed sensors and the automatic transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired.the contact referenced NHTSA campaign number: 04V176000 (power train); however, the VIN was not included. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 195,000.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #6

Jan 272016


  • 161,000 miles
In the morning, on January 27, I had my 2 year old and 4 year old in the vehicle and I was driving my son to school. Less than a mile from home, going between 30-35mph, I tapped the brakes as I approached a bend in the road and after a brief initial pause (as you would expect), the car suddenly started rapidly accelerating - I started pressing the brakes to no avail - vehicle did not slow down - at this point I was in the curve and was unable to keep the vehicle on the road. I hit a small tree and continued careening out of control until I crashed in a ditch, hitting a wood hydro pole (thankfully not concrete) - both airbags deployed - I suffered a broken ankle, bruised ribs and seat belt abrasions - my 2 year old required stitches on her eye lid and eyebrow due to impact with her cup that she was holding at the time (we're lucky her sight wasn't affected). My son suffered no physical injuries but 1 month later is still talking about it. Vehicle was a complete write off. Had approximately 161,000 miles at time of incident. Cruise control was likely on but wasn't in use. Similar issue happened on 2 previous occasions. 1st at least 8 months ago and then again about 3 weeks before accident (was going to address with dealer at next oil change) but on two prior occurrences surge occurred when brakes were tapped to disengage cruise control - same pause/surge but not nearly as intense and stopped immediately when brakes were pressed again. After the accident I noted that there are several reports of the same thing happening to other people. No idea how fast it was going when it crashed but it "felt" like at least 50mph. This is terrifying when it happens, I don't want to see this happen to anyone else. I shudder to think what would have happened if this had occurred at an intersection or on the expressway - we might not be here... also mailing letter to manufacturer.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #5

Mar 132015

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 176,000 miles


Car suddenly and abruptly decelerated as if maximum brakes were applied for about half a second. Car did not jerk hard to left or right, suggesting that if brakes were the cause, both wheels probably engaged simultaneously. Removed both front wheels and inspected front brakes and lines. Nothing unusual noted. Brake fluid level checked and found to be between max and min.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #4

Mar 142014


  • 202,115 miles
The vehicle has had unpredictable braking and traction for well over a year. Dealer visit on March 14, 2014 did not produce a cause. More recently I was unable to stop the vehicle from 40 mph for a red light with full brake pressure. Road conditions were good at the time. I had to accelerate through the intersection to avoid a collision. The vehicle currently displays the "check engine" light and "vtm-4" light quite consistently. Traction is also intermittently compromised by some unknown problem. It seems that when the vtm-4 light is on, the AWD feature of the vehicle is disabled. When it is on, it cannot be disabled with the switch on the dash. The driver side air bag was ordered on October 29, 2014 but has not yet become available. I called the dealer again on March 2, 2014 after I received another air bag recall notice. This now includes the passenger side as well as the driver side. Air bags are not expected for another two to three months. They will call...............!

- Worcester, MA, USA

problem #3

Dec 152014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Pilot. While driving approximately 30 mph, the vehicle failed to respond when the brake pedal was depressed. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the technician stated that the vehicle was operating as designed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 200,000. Updated 04/10/15 the consumer stated the vehicle has a history of traction issues in both accelerating and decelerating. Updated 04/16/15

- Worcester, MA, USA

problem #2

Sep 092013


  • 127,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that the brakes failed to engage and the vehicle suddenly accelerated. The contact attempted to utilize the emergency brake but to no avail. The vehicle then proceed through traffic and crashed into an embankment. The air bags deployed from the compartment but failed to inflate. The contact sustained injuries to the neck, the front seat passenger sustained injuries to the head and the rear passenger sustained injuries to the face. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The failure and current mileage was 127,000.

- Pittsford , NY, USA

problem #1

Oct 232012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 159,000 miles
A new master cylinder from american Honda installed by a Honda dealership failed less than 1/4 mile from the dealership. The failure was detected by the brake pedal not coming to a complete stop when pressed though this was not very noticeable. Pressing the brake caused brake fluid to leak from the master cylinder and would have eventually caused enough loss so that the brakes would not work. The master cylinder had been replaced along with the front-left brake cylinder due to the front-left brake cylinder sticking closed according to the dealership. The original brake cylinder failure caused enough smoke to cause the driver to initially believe the car was on fire.

- Murfreesboro, TN, USA

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