Notes: Beware the 2003 Honda Pilot once the odometer reaches 100k miles, when two problem defect trends have shown up: transmission failure & ignition switch problems.

Typically a locksmith can fix the ignition switch or it can be replaced for around $700. However the transmission failure is a far more expensive problem, with the average repair cost at well over $3,000. A major transmission recall of over 1 million Honda vehicles back in 2004 dealt with transmission damage due to overheating, but 2003 Pilot transmissions have continued to fail.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
81,403 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2003 Honda Pilot Owner Comments

problem #5

May 242012


  • 99,975 miles


I was driving my wife's 2003 Honda Pilot stopped at light and when I started to drive away started to smell gasoline vapors coming into vehicle. Drove home and smell continued after shutting vehicle off. Next morning drove to Honda dealer on tyndall parkway, in panama city Florida, waited all day for an answer from service department, finally 1500 hrs on Friday, they told me the fuel line had separated at joints and couplings and that was the smell I experienced. They kept the vehicle since then awaiting parts to repair fuel line. I was told parts would not arrive until Tuesday 5-29-2012, they still haven't, was told again they would be available on 5-30-12. They also advised me it would cost$ 250, for part and total bill would be $1300, when I asked why so much, they stated labor would be for 11 hrs and cost $1150. Being it was a safety concern agreed to pay as my wife has ms and is handicap and having to keep a window open in 90+ temp. Would cause her ms to flair and possible relapse..1). My question is why wasn't this vehicle recalled as a safety hazard with possible effects from gasoline fumes exposure and possibility of catching on fire of vehicle which both could have lead to possible death or injury of handicap individual or vehicle occupants. And is it common for the fuel line to break in this model vehicle? 2). Does Honda allow for 11 hrs to replace and repair the fuel, and what is their responsibility in the matter of this incident? not to notify owners of possible injury or death due to faulty equipment of their vehicles. I want a response from Honda on these issues. 3). and a investigation into these concerns involving fuel line burst and connections involved here. And will this dealer provide written information as to why this happened and will they notify Honda headquarters and customer services of this incident? updated IVOQ 06/06/12....updated 06/18/12

- Lynn Haven , FL, USA

problem #4

Sep 132011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 116,040 miles
I initially noticed a gasoline smell in the garage. Then, after filling the gas tank one day, and parking in the garage overnight, I discovered a puddle of gasoline on the garage floor! the gas is leaking from the fuel tank, at the seam or joint where the tank's integral cylindrical "tube" projection transitions to the flat surface of the tank. The rubber filler hose clamps onto this tank tube, but the leak is in the tank "tube joint seam" only. Light finger pressure on the side of the tube results in a more obvious leakage rate. I contacted Honda owner link, and was told that a dealer had to confirm my observation before Honda could help with this safety defect. I took the car in, and the service tech reported "fuel leak at the filler neck. Tank has no road damage. Tank will need to be replaced. Fuel is leaking at this time." I waited another 2 hours for the service manager to contact and receive a response from the Honda dpsr. She declined any "goodwill" assistance "due to miles and year of vehicle". the quote to replace this safety defect is $1200, and no one at Honda accepts any responsibility. I have tried to elevate this dangerous safety defect within Honda, and have been told it is not a safety defect because there is no NHTSA action in place. I was told that the only further elevation avenue beyond the Honda dpsr was to file this NHTSA complaint, and wait for enough similar fuel tank failures to be registered by NHTSA. Meanwhile, gasoline is leaking from my defective Pilot fuel tank, and my only choices are to run it out of fuel and park it, or to pay $1200 myself to correct the Honda design or manufacturing defect in this fuel tank. I do not understand how Honda can deny responsibility for this extremely dangerous safety defect, when their technician has confirmed that it is integral to the fuel tank, and that the tank has not been damaged in driving.

- Hot Springs Village, AR, USA

problem #3

Oct 122009


  • 135,000 miles
I'm not of that scared of sticking gas pedals kind on person. Just want to file this incident to probably help others to avoid problems in the future. After car being parked for three weeks at airport when first started it I had and issue with the stuck gas pedal. Fortunately I was in the parking gear when I first pressed the pedal, otherwise could be an accident on the parking lot if I was in the drive gear. I just pulled the pedal back with my toe and pressed and pulled it couple times more before it started working ok. Before that I felt it little mushy after long parking periods especially in the relatively cold days in Georgia autumn/winter but it was coming away after driving the car daily. When I got back home I rectified the problem by pouring some oil in the throttle cable jacket and lubricated the pedal axis as well. Had no problems since than so far.

- Thomaston, GA, USA

problem #2

Mar 122007


  • 56,000 miles
My Honda Pilot has an unfixable life threatening defect. It is sticking gas pedal. Usually it sticks after the night in the garage and I need to idle until the engine is hot and then the pedal unsticks. But sometimes it happens while driving. This defect makes the car absolutely unpredictable while driving and could easily lead to the fatal accident. Actually, one time out of four when it happened while driving I was very close to such accident. First time I encountered this defect when my new car was still on warranty Nov 4, 2004. Since than the authorized Honda dealer has tried to fix this defect more than four times. They replaced the throttle body but all the attempts to fix it were unsuccessful. The problem is still there. I"M very concerned and scared to drive this car at this point as this defect not only directly jeopardizes my life but also the life of my 6-year old daughter who is almost always with me in the car. The american Honda stated that it was not anymore responsible for this defect because it"S unfixable and anything else concerning this defect from now on is my responsibility.

- Seaside, CA, USA

problem #1

Sep 012004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Engine light keeps on turning on. This is makes it difficult to see how much gas is in the vehicle. Also, vehicle is using twice as much gas as before.

- Valley Stream, NY, USA

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