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 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #42

May 202013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 90,140 miles


Key will no longer turn in the ignition switch, it is also difficult to insert and remove the key, take 6 min max sometimes, change keys and the same problem. I was told by service department that this is not a recall. Service department told me it going to cost me $500 or more material $200 and rest in labor I is there a recall in this area?this start to happen after I take my vehicles for a recall, something to do with the vehicles move went the keys inside.

- Albany, NY, USA

problem #41

May 152013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
Key will no longer turn in the ignition. It is also difficult to insert and remove the key. Assumed this was what the ignition recall was for, but was told by the service department that this is not covered and that they cannot fix the recall item unless I first get the ignition fixed.

- Benton Harbor, MI, USA

problem #40

Apr 182013


  • 161,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that the vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 12V573000 (electrical system). The contact stated that recently, the key was able to be removed from the ignition while the vehicle was not secured in park. The manufacturer was not contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 161,000.

- Burnet, TX, USA

problem #39

Mar 072013


  • 130,000 miles


I was about to turn the key in the ignition but it could not get in. The key meets resistance and gets in after I tried several times. When I attempted to turn on the ignition, it wont budge and acted as if it was locked. Since then, I do not take the key off the ignition because I am afraid I will not be able to get it in. It is a really safety issue and Honda refuses to address it voluntarily. I went on line and there are several owners who are left alone to deal with the same safety issue. Why do I have to leave my vehicle with the key stuck in the ignition. Honda should be ashamed of their flagrant irresponsibility. Please help us. Thank you.

- Stamford, CT, USA

problem #38

Apr 192013


  • 165,000 miles
This problem is extremely common on all Honda and has never been addressed. The power door lock motors consistently go bad. So far, this has happened to the driver and passenger doors on my Pilot. The Honda dealer is asking for $300 per door!!! this needs to be recalled asap.

- Smithtown, NY, USA

problem #37

Dec 052012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the key came out of the ignition switch independently and the vehicle continued operating normally. The vehicle was initially taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the ignition needed to be replaced. The contact mentioned that she received a recall letter for NHTSA campaign id number: 12V573000 ( electrical system). The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who refused to perform the repairs free of charge since they believed the vehicle had been tampered with. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 95,000 and the current mileage was 115,000.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #36

Mar 042013


  • 206,000 miles


Key got difficult to put into the ignition switch. Then after a few days the key had to be jiggled to turn and then after two weeks the key will not turn. This is a safety hazard if you need to start the car quickly or if you are threatened and need to use your car to escape.

- Westminster, CO, USA

problem #35

Jan 032013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 125,123 miles
I was trying to leave from work and when I tried entering the key it got stuck half way. I removed it and tried again and the key went it but would not turn. I had to try many times and then called my husband, he said to take the key out and wait couple minutes then try again. I did what he said and after the second try it finally turned. Since that date I keep having the same problem and I recently received a recall letter and thought since its a recall Honda would repair at no cost to me. Well to my surprise I just found out that this is not part of the recall and will have to pay for them to repair. The recall I received said the interlock lever in the ignition switch may become deformed. :(

- Orange, CA, USA

problem #34

Jan 152013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 250,000 miles
Unable to turn key in ignition. Apparently this is an issue that many 2003 Honda Pilot owners are having. This can be a safety issue as it can leave someone stranded in a remote area as happened with me. If the malfunction is caused by a faulty part then Honda should bare some of the responsibility and cost to correct the problem.

- Loganville, GA, USA

problem #33

Jul 162012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 171,708 miles
After loading my Pilot, tried to put the key in the ignition switch but it did not go easy on the switch and once in the switch it did not turn on the ignition. I tried several times and or use the spare key until the ignition switch worked. Since July 16, 2012, everytime I start my Pilot, I have the same problem. I have to keep my spare key all the time to avoid the issue on having to reenter the ignition switch. Everytime I forget to keep the spare key on the ignition switch I have to spend about 20 minutes to try to reengage my key in the ignition switch to have it work.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #32

Nov 012011


  • miles


Key won't turn in ignition due to misaligned wafers. This is the second time in just over a year we have had to fix this problem. At first had to jiggle key to be able to turn it, then can't even get the key in all the way. Taken to locksmith. First occurred 10/2011, then 1/11/2013.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #31

Dec 102012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 122,200 miles
The key would not fit into the ignition without forcing it several times, after a few weeks, the key would not even turn. The vehicle was serviced and the cylinder and ignition switch were replaced at the cost of the owner. This is a very common problem with this model. Honda corporation should be held responsible for it.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #30

Dec 132012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 180,000 miles
I was unable to start my car due to faulty ignition switch. I was stranded, with my kids, and in the cold-unable to even run the heat. The key issue was reported to Honda and I was waiting for help from the company due to the known defect in the key/ignition tumblers, as widely reported to me by a locksmith and a dealer. Honda has been unwilling to issue a recall notice regarding this defect.

- Powder Springs , GA, USA

problem #29

Oct 202012


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that after inserting the key in the ignition, the key would not turn, preventing her from starting the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the ignition needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 150,000.

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #28

Sep 062012


  • 133,568 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that while trying to start the vehicle, the key seized in the ignition and could not be turned. The vehicle was not taken to a mechanic or a dealer. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure and current mileage was 133,568.

- Epping, NH, USA

problem #27

Aug 142012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • miles
Rear hatch window wiper blew the fuse. The SRS light came on there was nothing wrong with my air bags or my seat sensors. A new fuse fixed the wiper but would not turn off SRS light. Dealer wanted $100 plus dollars to check system and turn off light. Independent mech. Checked system found nothing wrong and reset the light. Why is a wiper motor tied into the seat sensor and air bags?

- Santee, CA, USA

problem #26

Jun 082009

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
Ignition locked up. The car could not be shut off. The key could not be removed from the ignition. Dealer wanted $900 to fix the problem.

- Santee, CA, USA

problem #25

Jun 242012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 127,345 miles
2003 Honda Pilot ignition - at first we were having issues inserting the key into the ignition. Then it progressed to needing to jiggle the key in order to get it to turn to any position of the ignition. The key would go in but it'd take several attempts, of a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes, before we could get the ignition to start. We read the manual and understood the importance of keeping the wheels straight - that seemed to help for a few attempts. Now the key goes in but doesn't turn at all. With everything that has been documented about this issue from Honda customers and the volume of customers it is affecting why isn't Honda doing the 'right thing' and issuing a voluntary recall?!

- Orangevale, CA, USA

problem #24

Jun 012012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 151,000 miles
The ignition key will not slide into the ignition without a great amount of effort and time. This is a well documented problem. I will have to leave the key in the ignition because of the failure.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #23

Sep 012011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 144,685 miles
Vehicle shudder/shake starting at 50 mph. Advised needed new transmission. Called Honda to check if recall or would be reimbursed. Told no and said wanted problem on record. Replaced transmission at own expense $3045. Drive light periodically flashes. Have not repaired as >$300.

- Roanoke, IN, USA

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