hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
99,919 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2003 Honda Pilot Owner Comments

problem #14

Dec 162016


  • 168,000 miles


Rear suspension rusted out from the frame. Only one side as of right now.

- Newark, OH, USA

problem #13

Jun 152016


  • 199,000 miles
Of the four posts where the complete rear axle mounts to the under body of the chassis, two of the posts have rusted away from the frame, leaving the rear axle only half attached to the main body of the car. The vehicle has very limited rust anywhere, so for the under body to rust to a point of separation from the rear wheel assembly is disconcerting. We had no warning and had the vehicle properly/routinely maintained. If the rear axle assembly had completely broken away, the resulting crash would have been disastrous. Certified mechanics confirm that they had never seen such a serious deterioration of a significant structural component.

- Peoria, IL, USA

problem #12

May 052016


  • 210,000 miles
I own a 2003 Honda Pilot my rack and pinion is in bad condition so is their a recall on this year make and model? my number is 334-468-3394

- Union Springs, AL, USA

problem #11

Sep 052015


  • 175,000 miles


While my wife was driving my 2003 Honda Pilot she almost lost control without any warning. She drive it the few remaining miles home and asked me to examine it for a possible loose wheel. Upon inspection I found that the entire rear suspension had separated from the body and that only the ABS brake wires was holding it in place. There was no apparent reason for this. There was nothing to explain why this had occured

- West Liberty, OH, USA

problem #10

Jun 012015


  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Pilot. While making a left turn at various speeds, the contact heard a noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the bolt connecting the suspension to the frame had corroded and that the suspension needed to be welded to the frame of the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 160,000.

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #9

Aug 072014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 141,706 miles
I am the original owner of a 2003 Honda Pilot. I am an older, cautious driver and have babied this vehicle, doing all regular service at the dealer's, so it would run in top shape for many years to come. Around six months ago I noticed at lower speeds (20-30 M.P.H.) the vehicle shudders. To counter the problem I have to accelerate and then it goes away. I have had the dealer check it three times and each time they say they cannot replicate the problem, which is hard to believe. Last week the D light started to flash. I took it into the dealer right away and they said it was a sensor. I asked if that could be making the car shudder and they said probably. I had them change it and the shudder has not gone away. This morning it was particularly heavy so I called the dealer again and they gave me the american Honda number. I called them and they said the dealer should look at it. I've seen so many other people have the same complaint and I'm very concerned this is a safety issue that Honda is choosing to ignore; a little like other auto companies have done over the past few years until a fatality happens. As I carry my family in this vehicle and I am particularly concerned.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #8

Mar 052012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 139,438 miles


I took my Pilot in for a slipping transmission. I was told I had bad motor mounts and that was allowing the transmission to slip. I spent approx. $3600 to have the motor mounts fixed, timing belt and water pump, front struts, etc. Fixed. The problem started again, this time, getting a flashing "D" light. Took it back in for failure to fix the problem. Had 4th gear pressure gear replaced for cost. I now have a check engine light on posting a code of P0730, "incorrect gear ratio". I have been into Honda 4 times for this issue including today, and I was told I need a new transmission. I am out of warranty of course, but I know there are many, many complaints regarding this particular issue. I do not have the money to replace a faulty transmission that was built poorly. I am worried I might get into a crash because of this. I am contemplating hiring a lawyer to resolve this issue.

- Oak Grove, MO, USA

problem #7

Oct 052002

Pilot 6-cyl

  • miles
2003 Honda Pilot. Consumer states mechanical problems with the vehicle the consumer stated the drive light began to flash intermittently from the beginning of ownership. The dealer told the consumer it was related to the gas cap not being secured properly. However, once the transmission was replaced the light no longer flashed. On August 19, 2003 the vehicle was taken to the dealer due to a hesitation issue, but the dealer was unable to duplicate the problem. Four months later, the check engine and SRS lights illuminated. Also, the vtm lights were flashing. On September 8, 2005 the transmission light began flashing. The consumer was informed that a special part had to ordered. The consumer also stated the power steering pump and gear box had to be replaced. Also, the egr, V-tec seals and O-ring were all replaced to rectify the engine light problem. The timing belt and left and right control arm links were replaced. The inner and outer cv boots were replaced. On February 8, 20011 while driving 70 mph, the transmission suddenly downshifted almost causing a complete loss of control of the vehicle. The next day, the vehicle was taken to the dealership, where the consumer was informed the transmission had failed again.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #6

Aug 172009


  • 138,400 miles
Our 2003 Honda Pilot locked up on the highway due to transmission failure of the 2nd gear. We were traveling in the 3rd lane over 60 mph when both front tires locked and we skidded to a halt in less than 200 yards on the highway. Prior to our vehicle breaking down, there were no signs of danger, no unusual sounds, no blinking lights or any hesitation with the car. Our vehicle had 138,400+ miles and has been serviced regularly according to Honda's recommended maintenance schedules, including all transmission fluid changes. On May 7, 2004 with 36,384 miles, our vehicle had received a retrofit of the A/T oil jet kit due to Honda's 04-021B safety recall on the automatic transmission second gear. Luckily no one was injured and there were no other vehicles involved in the incident. The car behind us stopped just in time to avoid a collision. Our car could not be rolled into the breakdown lane as both front wheels were locked and we were stranded in the 3rd lane. A police officer was called to the scene and logged the incident as a disabled vehicle. The officer requested for immediate towing since we were in a dangerous location. The car was towed to a Honda dealer, who provided the following diagnosis and estimate: "transmission internal failure both front axles twisted needs 2 tires - flat spots alignment $5,199.14 plus tax" we opted not to repair the Honda and instead purchased a new non-Honda vehicle and received a trade-in value for ¿as-is¿ condition.

- Redding, CT, USA

problem #5

Oct 162008


  • 67,118 miles
Had to replace front and side motor mounts on my 2003 Honda Pilot. This was after only 67,118 miles. Mechanic said this is a common problem with the original motor mounts. This could be very dangerous.

- Jamestown, NC, USA

problem #4

Mar 142006

Pilot 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


My vehicle vibrates at highway speeds between 70-80 mph. I have taken the car into the dealer no less than 5 times for the problem and just recently was told that Honda is aware of the problem and that the vibration is a characteristic of the vehicle. Up to this point the dealer has re-balanced the tires over and over and redone the alignment. I even purchased brand new tires and still there is the vibration. The dealer road force balanced the tires and still the vibration problem. There are many people complaining about this problem on the hondapilot.org website and there appears to be no resolution.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #3

Jul 082002

Pilot 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Since owning the vehicle in 8/2002, there has been a slight vibration at speeds around 70 mph. Since chsnging the tires recently, the problem is more pronounced, but only when cold. The vibration borders on a shake, and you can feel it in the steering wheel as well as the floorboards.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #2

Mar 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
The problem has been traced to the upper shock mounts. Their design causes a rattle on small to moderate road irregularities. I was forced to make a personal modification to the mount as Honda would not acknowledge the problem. Others (national web site) have experienced the same symptoms, but Honda says this is charastic of vehicle. I have been a major supporter of Honda in purchases and their customer service is incredibily insensitive. My next purchase may be a VW or Volvo. Since I modified the bracket, the sound is not the issue. The value Honda has placed on my business is. I can document all efforts to resolve the issue, however Honda does not want to admit there is a problem. Surely I can not be the only one to have this issue with Honda as I have remained professional at all times. I will not let the issue die. There should be reasonable expectations that support should go along with product loyalty. Bill price

- Crystal Springs, MS, USA

problem #1

Jun 252003

Pilot 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
My Honda Pilot becomes unstable at speeds above 60 mph, it responds as though there is play in the steering and any small road imperfections cause the vehicle to veer left or right, I took it to cush Honda where I purchased the vehicle and they said three of four tires had 52 pounds of air in the tires, which had to have been there on delivery since I have less than 700 miles on the vehicle and it has never been serviced or had air put in the tires, the problem still exists and is unsafe at highway speeds in traffic, the service manager claims all Pilot do it and it is a design problem? please advise.

- San Diego, CA, USA

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