really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
101,246 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

problem #12

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 #11

Sep 072012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
I have been having a hard time turning the ignition with my key. Now the key will not turn in the ignition. I believe this is a safety issue since there may be a situation where the car may need to be moved in a dangerous situation and cannot be turned. I found this website from 23 other complaints for the same issue on this website alone.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #10

Jul 022012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 146,281 miles
Steering lock allows driver to remove the key from the steering column without placing the gear selector to "park". car rolled backwards. There (luckily) was no damage and no one was hurt. Car was also brought to the local Honda dealer to repair problems with unlocking the ignition switch to start the car. Key regularly became stuck in the keyhole. This could leave someone stranded repair for the ignition switch locking from was $518. The repair also fixed the gear selector issue (can no longer remove the key from the steering column without placing the selector in "park"). the main concern here is the possibility that someone removes the key and the vehicle rolls into an unsuspecting person or strikes another vehicle. Of secondary concern is for someone to be stranded because the mechanical ignition mechanism fails.

- Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #9

Dec 142011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 126,000 miles


The ignition interlock mechanism on our 2003 Honda Pilot ex failed allowing the ignition key to be removed when the shift lever was not in park thereby allowing the vehicle to roll away. I reported the issue to U.S. Honda (case #[xxx]) who said the issue was rare for that vehicle therefore no recall has been issued covering the defect. When researching the defect, I noted that a recall has been issued for the 2003 Honda Accord, civic and element models for precisely the same problem. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Ridgewood, NJ, USA

problem #8

Aug 252010


  • 122,000 miles
The ignition key for the 2003 Honda Pilot has been getting stuck in the ignition causing it not to start for over a year. If I wiggled the steering wheel, the key and pumped the brakes the key would turn and the truck would eventually start. On August 25, 2010 the the key remained jammed in the ignition and the truck would not start. I had to have the truck towed and repaired. This is not normal wear and tear of the vehicle. I have researched and found many other 2003 Pilot owners who have experienced the same problem with the ignition key. This is a safety issue because in case of an emergency the 2003 Pilot owner would not be able to start the truck in a timely manner.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #7

Dec 272007

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
2003 Honda Pilot ignition interlock failed. The car was stopped, turned off while in drive gear, the key was removed and the driver left the vehicle. The vehicle then rolled down the street and stopped when it hit a brick mail box 2 blocks away. Honda dealer told us that the drive must have forced the key out to be able to remove it while in drive gear and damage the ignition. Drive disputes this. Said the key came right out. We had roughly $2500 damage to the vehicle to repair at the time. Chose not to pay to replace the ignition switch at our cost. Honda did not replace or repair the ignition. It is still broken.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #6

Jun 152010


  • 140,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Honda Pilot. While starting the vehicle the key will not slide into the ignition. The contact had to slide the key in partially in order to start the vehicle. She also stated that she had to leave the key in the ignition because of the failure. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who stated that the whole ignition needed to be replaced. They advised her that the failure was caused by the wear and tear in the ignition. The dealer also advised her that the failure would get worse if the vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 140,000 and the current mileage was 146,000.

- Danville, KY, USA

problem #5

Jul 012010


  • 120,000 miles
The ignition key cylinder on my 2003 Honda Pilot jammed and you cannot turn the key. Once out, you cannot put key in it again.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #4

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 #3

Jun 072010


  • 94,675 miles
Ignition lock failure, key stopped working car won't start left us stranded.

- Cornelius, NC, USA

problem #2

Feb 102009


  • 55,000 miles
The ignition key can be removed when the shift lever is out of park. I should not be able to remove the key until it is in park. This defect was the subject of a recall for all Honda Accord, 1999-02. The dealer has quoted more than $500 to fix the problem and I have appealed to american Honda and they have told me that this defect is not their responsibility.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #1

Jan 022008


  • 60,000 miles
1-failed ignition lock 2- cannot start the car 3- replace the ignition lock cylinder.

- Hinsdale, IL, USA

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