NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2004 Honda Pilot

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2004 Honda Pilot, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. Air Bag Inflator Rupture NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA15001

    • Status:
      OPEN
    • Date Opened: February 24, 2015
    • Date Closed: Pending
    • Recall: possible recall

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Air Bags:Frontal

    Summary: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened PE14-016 in June 2014 based on six inflator rupture incidents involving consumer owned vehicles produced by five vehicle manufacturers.All six vehicles were operated in Florida or Puerto Rico at the time of the rupture and for the majority of their service life, and were equipped with inflators produced by Takata, a tier-one supplier of automotive air bag systems.During the course of PE14-016, ODI determined that five additional vehicle manufacturers used inflators of a similar design and vintage also supplied by Takata. No evidence of field failures was found in vehicles produced by these five additional manufacturers.Nonetheless, at ODI's insistence, all 10 vehicle manufacturers initiated a regional recall within approximately two weeks of the opening of the investigation.The regions recalled initially included Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, areas with high absolute humidity and climatic conditions believed to be a significant factor in the inflator ruptures.As part of the recall actions, inflators removed from remedied vehicles are to be returned to Takata for testing.Takata's initial test results on passenger inflators from remedied vehicles indicated a much higher than anticipated rupture frequency for inflators returned from Florida.Accordingly ODI requested all 10 manufacturers expand the regional recalls for passenger inflators to include other geographic areas where high absolute humidity conditions exist, including the Gulf States and other coastal areas.Takata's testing of the passenger inflators to date continues to indicate this geographic area as having the highest risk, with no ruptures occurring from inflators returned from outside the expanded recall regions.During PE14-016 four additional passenger inflator field events occurred, all in vehicles from the same expanded geographic region.Also during PE14-016 four additional driver inflator field events occurred including two in vehicles from regions not known for high absolute humidity, specifically California and North Carolina.Accordingly, ODI requested all five of the affected vehicle manufacturers currently using the subject Takata driver inflators expand to nationwide recalls.Significantly, neither of the affected vehicle manufacturers or Takata provided any explanation to account for these two driver air bag inflator ruptures outside the area of high absolute humidity.Takata testing of returned driver inflators indicates a lower rupture frequency as compared to passenger inflator testing.All test ruptures reported by Takata to date have occurred on inflators returned from high absolute humidity areas.The investigation now includes all manufacturers and vehicles known to be affected at this time.ODI's investigation will focus on, among other things, root cause analysis, other potential defect consequences, identification of affected vehicles scope, and adequacy of the remedy.The five ODI reports cited above can be reviewed online at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID under the following identification numbers: 10537899, 10568848, 10585224, 10605877, 10651492

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA15001 »

  2. Air Bag Inflator Rupture NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE14016

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Air Bags:Frontal

    Summary: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened PE14-016 in June 2014 based on six inflator rupture incidents involving consumer owned vehicles produced by five vehicle manufacturers.All six vehicles were operated in Florida or Puerto Rico at the time of the rupture and for the majority of their service life, and were equipped with inflators produced by Takata, a tier-one supplier of automotive air bag systems.During the course of PE14-016, ODI determined that five additional vehicle manufacturers used inflators of a similar design and vintage also supplied by Takata. No evidence of field failures was found in vehicles produced by these five additional manufacturers.Nonetheless, at ODI's insistence, all 10 vehicle manufacturers initiated a regional recall within approximately two weeks of the opening of the investigation.The regions recalled initially included Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, areas with consistently high absolute humidity and climatic conditions believed to be a significant factor in the inflator ruptures.As part of the recall actions, inflators removed from remedied vehicles are to be returned to Takata for testing.Takata's initial test results on passenger inflators from remedied vehicles indicated a much higher than anticipated rupture frequency for inflators returned from Florida.Accordingly, ODI requested all 10 manufacturers expand the regional recalls for passenger inflators to include other geographic areas where high absolute humidity conditions exist, including the Gulf States and other coastal areas.Takata's testing of the passenger inflators to date continues to indicate this geographic area as having the highest risk, with no ruptures occurring from inflators returned from outside the expanded recall regions.During PE14-016, four additional passenger inflator field events occurred, all in vehicles from the same expanded geographic region.Also during PE14-016, four additional driver inflator field events occurred including two in vehicles from regions not known for high absolute humidity, specifically California and North Carolina.Accordingly, ODI requested all five of the affected vehicle manufacturers currently using the subject Takata driver inflators expand to nationwide recalls.Significantly, neither of the affected vehicle manufacturers or Takata provided any explanation to account for these two driver air bag inflator ruptures outside the area of high absolute humidity.Takata testing of returned driver inflators indicates a lower rupture frequency as compared to passenger inflator testing.All test ruptures reported by Takata to date have occurred on inflators returned from high absolute humidity areas.The PE is now closed/upgraded to an Engineering Evaluation (EA15-001) to include all manufacturersand vehicles known to be affected at this time.ODI's EA investigation will focus on, among other things, root cause analysis, other potential defect consequences, identification of affected vehicles scope, and adequacy of the remedy.The recalls related to this PE are: 14V343, 14V344, 14V348, 14V351, 14V353, 14V655, 14V700, 14V701, 14V752, 14V763, 14V770, 14V773, 14V787, 14V802 and 14V817.The number of vehicles affected are an estimate since some vehicles may have both the driver and passenger side inflators recalled. The five ODI reports cited above can be reviewed online at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID under the following identification numbers: 10537899, 10568848, 10585224, 10605877, 10651492

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE14016 »

  3. Ignition Interlock Failure - Rollaway NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE12026

    Component(s): Electrical System:Ignition
    Electrical System:Ignition:Switch

    Summary: On December 10, 2012, Honda Motor Company submitted a defect information report to NHTSA regarding ignition interlocks in approximately 576,117 model year MY) 2003 through 2004 Honda Pilot and Odyssey vehicles that are the subject of this investigation and 231,044 MY 2003 through 2006 Acura MDX vehicles (Recall No. 12V-573).Honda's report states that a design change to the ignition switch used in the recalled vehicles reduced the range of rotation for the ignition switch from 160 degrees in earlier designs to 125 degrees without a corresponding change to the ignition interlock blocking mechanism.The result was that excessive rotational force could damage a lever that would allow the driver to remove the ignition key that was in a position other than the Park position, which may allow the vehicle to roll away.ODI identified 176 complaints related to the alleged defect, including 48 roll away crashes.Threeof the incidents resulted in the following injuries to pedestrians:1) a broken foot and torn Achilles tendon; 2) a fractured fibula and crush injuries to a shin area; and 3) an incident requiring unspecified treatment at a hospital emergency room.This investigation is closed.The VOQs associated with this investigation are: 10486515, 10486393, 10486100, 10485010, 10482229, 10482091, 10481169, 10481105, 10481079, 10481027, 10480804, 10480648, 10480099, 10480009, 10479934, 10479695, 10479561, 10479517, 10479494, 10479484, 10479437, 10479421, 10479409, 10479343, 10478916, 10478876, 10478857, 10478845, 10478784, 10478776, 10478720, 10476767, 10473167, 10465590, 10463995, 10457825, 10452596, 10451185, 10448593, 10446962, 10440841, 10440040, 10439061, 10439033, 10438611, 10425909, 10403299, 10397920, 10395833, 10395298, 10379673, 10374724, 10365751, 10363501, 10361325, 10358480, 10355331, 10354680, 10354669, 10354390, 10353281, 10351899, 10351489, 10351240, 10349716, 10349612, 10348987, 10348955, 10348725, 10348579, 10348564, 10348429, 10348389, 10348268, 10348254, 10331474, 10325334, 10276072, 10179464.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE12026 »

  4. Low Beam Headlights Stop Illuminating NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA11012

    Component(s): Electrical System:Wiring:Interior/Under Dash
    Exterior Lighting:Headlights
    Exterior Lighting:Headlights:High/Low Beam Dimmer Switch
    Exterior Lighting:Headlights:Switch

    Summary: This investigation was prompted by Preliminary Evaluation (PE) 11-017, and was based on reports from consumers alleging that both low beam headlights stopped illuminating simultaneously.Some complainants also reported that the combination switch (switch) that controls the headlights and turn signals, and/or its electrical wiring harness connector were damaged by overheating.ODI's PE information request letter asked Honda for certain data on model years (MY) 2002-2006 CR-V, 2003-2008 Pilot, 2003-2008 Element, 2001-2005 Civic, and 2000-2001 S 2000 vehicles.Analysis of complaint and Honda data show that a complete low beam headlight circuit failure occurs in models with 2-bulb headlight systems (i.e., a single bulb on each side for high and low beam).Models with 2-bulb systems include MY 2002-2004 CR-V, 2003-2005 Pilot, 2001-2003 Civic, and 2003-2008 Element.Models with 4-bulb headlight systems (i.e., two bulbs on each side, one for high and one for low beam) have different electrical circuits for the headlights and do not experience the same failure mechanism as the 2-bulb system.MY 2000-2001 S 2000 models with 2-bulb high intensity discharge headlights also have different electrical circuits for the headlights and do not experience the same failure mechanism.Honda introduced the 4-bulb headlight system in CR-V in MY 2005, in Pilot in MY 2006, and in Civic in MY 2004.On March 29, 2012 Honda submitted a defect information report (DIR) to recall 554,428 vehicles, including MY 2002-2004 CR-V and MY 2003 Pilot.In the DIR, Honda stated that tension from the combination switch wiring harness to the electrical terminal for the low beam headlight circuit could cause a small amount of motion as the combination switch was operated.This motion, over time, can wear the surface of the terminal creating copper oxide, increasing electrical resistance, which may cause the terminal to melt within the harness connector.ODI continued its investigation, and on August 31, 2012 Honda submitted another DIR to recall an additional 820,789 vehicles.This report included the MY 2002 Civic vehicles which were not subject to a prior safety recall (04V-086) for headlights, all of MY 2003 Civic, and MY 2004-2005 Pilot.Honda's DIR advised that operation of the turn signal switch lever at high speed and/or with heavy force can cause movement between the combination switch body and the sub-harness wiring connector.This can cause wear and continued movement can create copper oxide, increasing electrical resistance, and potentially causing the terminal to melt within the harness connector. Please see both DIRs at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/ under safety recall 12V-136 for complete details.Honda also provided additional information on the Element model, stating that it was not recalled due to it's very low failure rate.Honda sold 301,497 Element vehicles in the United States and received 17 reports, while ODI received one report (see VOQ 10395219).Honda's technical explanation for the low rate, which was submitted under request for confidentiality, is that the headlight switch, as installed in the Element, reacts differently to the forces applied to it as compared to the recalled models.See attachment for additional information.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA11012 »

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