really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
111,298 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Honda Pilot Owner Comments (Page 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #62

Dec 042014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • miles


The car was moved into location, turned off, and the key removed leading to the driver thinking the car was in park, however the car was still in drive. The car was on a slight incline which caused the car to roll backwards down the driveway, across the street, roll over a tree, and crash into another tree causing significant damage.

- Chalfont, PA, USA

problem #61

May 112011


  • 170,000 miles
Car ran away in reverse as if it had a mind of its own. Full weight on the brakes but the car kept accelerating. Crashed into utility pole encircled with old car tires. Car bounced off and then crashed into the pole over and over again. Hit gear shift into forward. Engine screaming really high revs, car raced forward and I did everything I could to avoid hitting parked vehicles and a pond as car kept going faster. With nowhere to head but golf course or highway, I steered onto a farm field and drove a half mile until I was able to pull out the keys from the starter which stopped car. I did not think I was injured at time but I ended up with whiplash which meant I lost about six months income. Honda refused compensation, or paid for any of the repairs of the car with exception of the key interface for starter. Honda claimed that nothings wrong with car. Said had my foot on accelerator. However, Honda dealership charged me more than $3,000 to fix a completely destroyed braking system how could I have had my foot on the accelerator and destroyed the brakes? Honda refused to buy my car and decommission it because they said car was perfect. Downright rude afterward. I did not let anyone else drive the car and used it as infrequently as I could. Seven months later, I was in an underground parking garage and same thing happened. The car accelerated into thesolid concrete wall just four feet ahead. The impact destroyed car. Front end crumpled in, the engine damaged and all airbags deployed. This from a four foot collision.

- London Ontario Canada, IL, USA

problem #60

Sep 232014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 220,000 miles
Parked the car. Came back about 10 minutes later, heard loud like shots fired, rounded the corner to see it was our airbags popping...the car was on fire under the hood, and going to the dashboard. Called 911 and by the time the fire dept. Came ( 1 mile away) the whole car was engulfed. The whole car destroyed, all that was left was the shell no seats no dashboard no license plates nothing left. We complied to all recalls and took it to a Honda dealership each time for repairs. We had a steering column fire about 2-3 years ago driving along and the car filled with smoke, it was a electrical fire, but pulling over turning off the engine put out the fire. Had it repaired immediately. A week before the big fire we felt the column and it was hot...but cooled after we parked it. Then days later is when it burned to the ground, even the tires were gone. Honda doesn't care about our loss, and of course it's not their fault. P.S. in 2007 we got hurt in that same car we were stopped on the side of the road ( we were in the car) and a truck crossed the line and hit us head on. Our seat belts didn't hold us in, they loosened and airbags did not deploy. We were hurt and Honda said the truck hit us too high is why the airbags didn't deploy. That sounds ridiculous. The seat belt shoulder straps didn't hold us cause we weren't moving also sounds ridiculous. Honda didn't care then either.

- Hartland, WI, USA

problem #59

Jul 092014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 170,000 miles


Car key goes in ignition and will not turn. This is a danger when you can not start the car and get out of a dangerous situation. I read on line many other Pilot with the same problem. Honda has a bad part. Honda wants $500 to fix a bad part that needs to be recalled.

- The Villages, FM, USA

problem #58

Apr 022014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • miles
Left work at night. Low-beams partially failed, but I didn't notice until I was going 55 mph on the highway. Had to use brights, and go to a gas station. Vehicle had to be towed, and checked by dealer. Dealer said using 3rd party headlight bulbs was the cause. Of interest, the car already had the low-beam failure recall fixed. Looks like this is still an issue after the recall, and using Honda oem bulbs is the only safe way to go. 3rd party bulbs were purchased from advance auto parts, and I'm unsure of the brand.

- Gladstone, MO, USA

problem #57

Jun 012014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
We started to have trouble inserting the key in the ignition. Today the key wouldn't even go in after many attempts wiggling it. After twenty minutes trying had to leave car behind. Now I'm without a car and searching for recalls noticed that although there is none for this problem it is a huge problem with other Pilot owners.

- Racine, WI, USA

problem #56

Mar 172014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 184,000 miles


I took my vehicle to repair a recall and [xxx] service manger said he will service all the recalls to the vehicle. The recall was something in reference to the ignition. To days later the vehicle will not shout off, the vehicle always make the sound as if the key was in the ignition. I took it back and [xxx] service manger said the do not touch anything around the ignition.... now the vehicle shout off while driving have video. Took it back and [xxx] said I need to pay additional.... if all vehicle recalls where recall by the dealer. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Brandon, FL, USA

problem #55

Mar 272014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • miles
2003 Honda Pilot. Consumer requests reimbursement for ignition system recall repairs. The consumer stated the dealer completed the repairs outlined in the recall, but charged him for the replacement and installation.

- Hyde Park, MA, USA

problem #54

Dec 112013


  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that he was unable to start the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but was not diagnosed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 105,000.

- Lowell, IN, USA

problem #53

Mar 252014


  • miles
Issue with Honda Pilot's ignition switch not fully engaging the park position. Received recall paper work ordering this issue to be fixed at local Honda dealer free of charge. Recall paper work was signed by [xxx] chief recall management division. Local Honda dealer, williston Honda and Chrysler performed the recall service on April 4, 2014. The recall job for a Honda Pilot was botched. The service mechanic refused to fix. Requested management to investigate this issue. As of today April 18, 2014 an answer to fix or not to fix this issue from the management of williston Honda and Chrysler has not been given. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Williston, ND, USA

problem #52

Apr 012014


  • miles


2003 Honda Pilot. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch recall problems at dealership. The consumer received a recall letter in the mail. However, when she visited the dealer, they refused to fix it, by stating the vehicle was not in their system. The consumer stated the vehicle was purchased in germany through the military. The consumer has since sold the vehicle.

- Bristow, VA, USA

problem #51

Sep 022013


  • 90,000 miles
There is a recall: www.Honda.com/newsandviews/article.aspx?id=7018-en in addition the key and lock mechanism can be warn out where the key can fall out of the ignition while on a freeway or street. The car dies and you can't put the key back in and move the car. Happened to me had to tow the car have the recall done and had to pay for the ignition with replacement. The web shows 100 or 1000 of others with similar issues.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #50

Aug 262013


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Pilot. The contact stated the ignition switch failed the key could not be released from the ignition. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection and the contact was advised that the ignition cylinder needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 140,000.

- Provo , UT, USA

problem #49

Dec 212010

Pilot 6-cyl

  • miles
Certified letter (7011 0470 003 0649 3438) from attorney representing his client regarding paid repaired work he had done to his 2003 Honda Pilot and later received recall notices about the problem; he is seeking reimbursement. On December 21, 2012, the key became stuck in the ignition, and could not be removed without the assistance from the dealer. The dealer informed the consumer it would cost $624. 41 to fix the problem, despite the fact it was a known defect, which apparently resulted from an improper setting of the cable connecting the shift lever to the transmission at the shift lever bracket, which was a common problem with Honda vehicles. After the consumer paid for the repairs, he received a recall notice from Honda concerning the ignition interlock switch on his vehicle.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #48

Jun 292013


  • miles
The key gets stuck in ignition and does not turn. After numerous attempts it finally turns and then I can start the car. I have noticed a lot other people are having this issue, called up Honda and they said there is no recall for this symptom.

- Elmont, NY, USA

problem #47

Jun 042013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
Key cannot be inserted into ignition switch. Takes multiple attempts to insert key and once fully inserted key won't turn ignition. Takes numerous attempts and eventually key will turn ignition.

- Silverdale, WA, USA

problem #46

Jun 092012


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that the key failed to release from the ignition switch when the gear lever was shifted into park. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 12V573000 (electrical system). The dealer replaced the shift interlock lever and failed to include the replacement of the ignition switch. The failure persisted after the remedy repair. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 115,000.

- Marysville, WA, USA

problem #45

May 012013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • miles
Key gets stuck in ignition, very frustrating when the key does not work. This effects the lock cylinders(tumblers). This should have been a very, straight forward issue Honda would address. Also have a 2011 Pilot (in addition to Honda minivan) and concerned this will occur with new car. Understand wear and tear, but this is a basic function for ignition. Honda needs to address this issue.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #44

Jun 212013


  • 180,000 miles
Broken ignition tumbler: I had just finished running errands and was starting home when the key would not turn in the ignition. I had no warning there was a problem, all of a sudden it just would not turn...... not even after multiple attempts. This left me stranded with my five children. I had to get the car towed to nearest Honda dealership..that alone has set me back a couple hundred dollars...now dealership is telling me I have a broken ignition tumbler and is quoting me $500 to fix the problem. I have seen a lot of other complaints online concerning this same issue. To say the least, I am not too happy to be stuck holding the bag for this, not to mention being stranded with my children, which I think is every mothers worst nightmare.

- Hattiesburg, MS, USA

problem #43

Jun 032013


  • miles
2003 Honda Pilot. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch recall notice and seeks reimbursement for repairs. The consumer stated he was denied reimbursement twice. The last rejection, was via telephone, in which he was told the symptom fixed at his expense was a sticky tumbler. The consumer explained that the symptoms included an initial interlock failure. The consumer stated the problems started with him being able to remove the key from the ignition, when the gear selector was not in park. A month or two later, the key started to stick in the ignition with the shifter in the park position, and a few weeks later the steering wheel eventually locked with a stuck key. The consumer as since traded the vehicle.

- Heber City, UT, USA

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