Notes: We all want our SUVs to be able to stop on a dime, just not randomly and without warning. But that's what was happening to 2005 Pilot owners: their vehicles were slamming on the brakes even when they didn't. A government investigation of this problem led to a recall in March of 2013.

Another issue that keeps popping up is transmission fluid mixing with coolant in the radiator which is causing transmission failure, a costly repair to say the least.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 2
Average Mileage:
98,218 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.

2005 Honda Pilot brakes problems

brakes problem

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2005 Honda Pilot Owner Comments (Page 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #7

Feb 192010


  • 68,800 miles


My wife was cruising down the highway at 50 mph a week ago, under very good road condition, with her foot on the gas pedal, when she tried to Dodge the passenger car from the next lane, her brake wasn't working properly, suddenly her car made lousy banging sound and sled 3 times in rapid toward left after toward right, and left again. Luckily no contacts was made while in devastating moment. Before heading to dealer, today snowy day, driving 10 mph to my daughter's school dropping, it happened again as similar but not so panoramic. Barely avoid to collision with police patrol car on opposite lane.

- Fort Lee, NJ, USA

problem #6

Jan 102010


  • 50,255 miles
Our 2005 Honda Pilot vehicle statbility system (vsa) malfunctioned. On six seperate occasions and over the course of 7 days, starting January 10, 2010 the vehicle would brake spontaneously and abruptly at different speeds. This occurred at speeds from 10 mph to 60 mph. After each incident, the vsa light would come on. The temporary remedy was to turn off the vsa before before driving the Pilot. The Pilot was repaired at our Honda dealer on January 27, 2010. A yaw rate sensor was replaced for $720 including labor.

- Vienna, VA, USA

problem #5

Aug 012009


  • 60,080 miles
2005 Honda Pilot went into a full brake mode (slammed) without anyone touching the brakes from 45 mph. After the car stopped in the middle of the road we limped onto a side street with the brakes continuing to catch off and on. Parked the car and returned later to get it to the dealer. We could not get it to duplicate the problem. This could have been a disaster if someone had been following the vehicle.

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #4

Feb 202009


  • 58,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. While driving 40 mph, the vehicle slammed into brake mode and came to a complete and sudden stop. The failure continued for several minutes, causing items to be thrown from the seat onto the floor. During the failure, the vehicle stability assist warning indicator was illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing, which produced a low battery voltage code and a brake sensor code. The dealer tested and replaced the battery. They also notified the manufacturer and opened a case. The failure and current mileages were less than 58,000.

- Chesapeake , VA, USA

problem #3

Feb 052009


  • 71,500 miles
Yesterday, my daughter's 2005 Honda Pilot with 71K miles since new, was rolling along at 60 mph on interstate 66 when brakes engaged bringing car to sudden stop. Several cars behind her had to take defensive action to prevent piling up. Vsa light and ABS lights were on. This happened several more times to a point where car was undriveable and had to be pulled to side of the road. Car was towed to Honda by aaa. Same thing happened in Oct 2008 (about four months ago) but occurred only intermittently and car could be driven to dealership. Diagnosis from dealer was need for new battery. Original battery was replaced and car worked fine until yesterday. It appears that the Honda diagnostic system at the dealers cannot properly identify this problem although it is surely serious enough to warrant a recall. According to members posting at forum, this has happened to others and with the same potentially hazardous results. More troubling is the fact that Honda dealers are unable to diagnose the problem with current technology. Some have replaced tire pressure sensors, some have replaced steering wheel sensors and others have replaced side crash sensors and brake systems. In my case, the dealer replaced the battery. The fact remains, however, that the problem could not be the result of malfunctions of all these systems and the current diagnostic codes apparently are insufficient to pinpoint the exact component that failed. This level of uncertainty only compounds the original problem and increases the likelihood of a multi-car pileup when the vsa system engages for no good reason.

- Clifton, VA, USA

problem #2

Oct 212008


  • 50,000 miles
In May 2008 while approaching a curve at approx 30 mph lightly applied brakes. Brakes locked up and vsa light came on. Had the car checked by dealership and no issues found and no parts replaced. In October 2008, 5,000 miles later, the same issue happened at approx the same speed - applying the brakes to execute a turn, no vsa light indicator came on. Took the car to the dealership a second time and filed a safety compliant with Honda of America (ref case # N012008-10-22-00221) again no issues were found and no parts were replaced. Honda would not commit to the safety of the car.

- New Milford, CT, USA

problem #1

Oct 302008


  • 67,000 miles
On 10/30/2008 my wife left home at approximate 6:00 am. At about 6:05 am the brakes on her 2005 Honda Pilot ex-L applied themselves without any pressure applied to the brake pedal. When she did push on the brake pedal, there was no effect. The brake pedal went to the floor. The vsa indicator light came on and a vsa activation indicator light came on. The vehicle behind her nearly rear-ended her.

- Woodbine, GA, USA

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