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 1 of 4)

problem #67

Dec 142016


  • 10 miles


On cold temperatures, and while the car is moving on the highway, the brakes will suddenly apply all by itself and the vsa off and a triangle (with exclamation) light comes on the dashboard. This causes the vehicle to strongly jerk and swerve for a second. Turning off the vsa before driving, the sudden brake will not happen. I checked recalls for my VIN but there are no open recalls. Please investigate.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #66

Sep 142016


  • 170,000 miles
Problems with vsa and vtm 4 lock. Vehicle slow dowm while drive around 30 mph.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #65

Aug 302016


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. While driving approximately 50 mph, the vehicle slighty swayed from the left and the right with a shuttering sensation. The vsa system warning indicator illuminated. The contact turned off the vehicle to disengage the warning indicator; however, the failure recurred. The contact found in the owner's manual that the vsa warning was an indication that the brakes and stability controls were experiencing a malfunction. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and several failure codes appeared; however, they were not able to completely indicate what the nature of the repairs. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and opened a case. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- Madison, OH, USA

problem #64

Jun 272016


  • 154,000 miles


When driving vehicle, it brakes suddenly, swerves, and makes a clunking noise as if you just hit something in the road. The vsa lights both come on in the vehicle. This is the 2nd time my yaw sensor has failed since the initial vsa recall in 2013, which I completed.. when googling this issue, it is all over the internet with other Honda Pilot drivers. This is very dangerous and almost caused a wreck with each instance.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #63

Jun 142016


  • 150,000 miles
Vsa light randomly comes on when going around corners at low speeds and has a grinding noise, or when driving at highway speeds the car pulls sharply. The car has been to the dealer several times and the last time they said the vsa modulator needs to be replaced at a cost of about $2000.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #62

Jul 012015


  • 110,000 miles
While driving at any speed sometimes my veh brake on for about second, and the warning light of vsa appears, I took my veh 3 times to braman Honda at coral wayi was told nothing they can do, the problem that I have is with the yaw rate sensor and that is not coverage with the recall.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #61

Feb 292016


  • 150,000 miles


While driving in normal conditions at any speed at any time it on any type of roadway feels as if the brake is being slammed on and pulls the car slightly to the left without any input from the driver. I have this occur daily. The vsa light and many times the tire pressure light immunimate just prior or at the time of the event. It is at the Honda dealer who first wanted me to replace the rear end but they say it is a faulty sensor and are replacing it for about $800 but they are still not sure that is the problem. I saw the recall for 2013 part of the vsa and they say that was fixed back then. So what is going on now this continues to be a major safety issue and costly.

- Fort Thomas, KY, USA

problem #60

Feb 202016

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that while driving at 65 mph, the vsa light and the tire pressure warning lights illuminated. The contact depressed the brake pedal but the brake lights failed to illuminate. The vehicle was diagnosed but not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000. The consumer stated he was unable to apply the brake, as it was in the upright position and consumer was loosing engine power and eventually stalled. The dealer informed the consumer the vsa malfunctioned and it was a part that did not recognize the tires as being equipped for the vehicle. Updated 03/30/16.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #59

Jan 192016


  • 102,500 miles
The car's vsa (vehicle stability system) will engage for no apparent reason. The dealership is saying this is due to a faulty yaw rate sensor. Upon investigation, this appears to be a common problem in the 2005 model. My car's vsa (brakes) were engaged on multiple separate occasions while driving at highway speeds for no reason. This caused the car to rapidly decelerate and I nearly lost control of the vehicle. If I manually disengaged the vsa system (the Pilot has an on/off switch), I experience no such erroneous braking incidents. You can see the incident summary here: NHTSA campaign id number: DP12002 or discussion threads here:

- Superior, CO, USA

problem #58

Nov 292015


  • 0 miles
Vsa warning lights came on while I was driving on highway and the car suddenly applied brake itself for no reason. I almost lost control of the car due to panic of unknowing what happen. I pulled the car over and took a quick picture of malfunction vsa warning lights. Then, I turned off the engine and start again later to check if anything has gone wrong. Vsa lights went off and the car is driving as normal. I had notified this vsa warning lite on ignition before the cold start in the morning to local dealer since last year. They said that they can't find any error code in diagnosis. In lately incident, they finally took the matter seriously then they found yaw sensor error code but they still can't guarantee the vsa problem will be solved. I wish ahc will look into this vsa problem to help out the owners and I think there are many other people having same problem like me.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #57

Jul 122013


  • 98,000 miles


Traveling 45-60 miles per hour, vsa light comes on and vehicle comes to a complete stop, no warning no brake lights nothing, vsa recall has been performed 3 times now, along with yaw rate sensor. After repairs done again on 07/28/2015 lasted until 09/09/2015 when traveling 45 miles per hour and vehicle stopped again almost causing a major accident. Anyone else out there experiencing these difficulties ?

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #56

May 192015


  • 205,219 miles
Random, repeated and sudden breaks apply; car slows down dramatically. Vsa light may come on, may not. This occurred several times. The first time it occurred was on a trip to pa. The car would suddenly slow by more than 20 mph. We were thrown hard into our seat belts. We went to a Honda dealership in pittsburgh.they wanted to sell me 4 new tires stating the problem was due to tires not wearing even. This was hard for us to believe. It was extremely dangerous. We had to veer off the road many times to avoid accidents! google search on vsa car suddenly breaking - first 'hit' was a 2013 recall on the vsa harness and sensor. We received no information on the recall. Honda pittsburgh fixed the recall free. Then 8 weeks later in Maryland the car began to do the same exact thing. We emergency stopped at a local auto center. Their system code showed faulty "ABS brake system" they kindly reset the codes, but the car continued to exhibit same. We then went to salisbury, md. Honda. They said we needed a new vsa module despite the diagnostic showing no codes stating we had a faulty vsa. The only vsa module was in Ohio and would take a week to get to Maryland, and cost us $1,710! all other vsa modules were on back order. We were on vacation and could not stay an additional week. Nor did it make sense to us to replace the vsa module when salisbury Honda said it was "working as designed". I have a legal formal complaint registered with Honda America. I urge you to do the same. Winston salem, nc Honda feels it is the yaw sensor. However, they have had my car for 5 days and are unable to duplicate the problem or show a code. I feel a recall should now be made for a yaw sensor. Better yet, Honda America should replace all vsa modules for free before someone is killed!!.

- Kernersville, NC, USA

problem #55

Jun 042015


  • 73,200 miles
This is an addendum to complaint #10734361 the incident date was not correct. It was 2015 not 2014. And since the original complaint, we took the vehicle to auto parts store & they came up with 2 error codes. 25-1 yaw sensor malfunction & 61-1 battery voltage malfunction. These error codes seem to be a common thread with a lot of the complaints filed. Also, we have had to replace our alternator & battery since the recall service. Coincidence?

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #54

Jun 042014


  • 73,500 miles
1st incident-I was traveling at a slow rate of speed (approx. 25-30 mph). Heard a growling sound & car suddenly braked on its own. I also felt as if I had lost steering ability. The vsa light flashed on then off during the incident. 2nd incident- same as above only a week later. 3rd incident- about 2 weeks later. My wife was driving the car. Had slowed down to enter the ramp to get on the highway. Again the car made a grinding sound, the vsa light came on momentarily while the car applied the brakes on its own. All of these incidences occurred after the car was serviced for the vsa recall(13-026) on May 6, 2015. Previous to this service, we had never had any issues with the vsa. We believe that by having this recall performed, has caused another malfunctioned as a result. I have read some much more frightening incidences than ours on your site. So we are now driving our car with the vsa off! please investigate before someone seriously gets hurt.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #53

Apr 282015


  • 126,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. While driving approximately 60 mph, the brakes engaged independently. As a result, the vehicle swerved from left to right and the vehicle stability assist warning light illuminated. The vehicle was serviced under NHTSA campaign number: 13V092000 (service brakes, hydraulic, traction control system); however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the yaw rate sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 126,000.

- Arlington, WA, USA

problem #52

Mar 052015

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 220,000 miles
Sitting in a parking lot and the vsa light came on. Looked it up and saw the recall on the vsa so intended to get it checked out. A couple days later I'm tooling along at freeway speed and for a brief second it felt like someone slammed on the brakes and released, and the vsa light came on. Took it to the dealership and the codes they found were for some sort of a power drop and blamed it on a possible power outage or drop at some point. Maybe alternator, battery or something, but they didn't find anything wrong with any of those, but it cost me $125 to be told they don't know. The vsa recall was completed in 2012 for the wiring harness. Today (a week later) I'm going about 25 on a surface street and the exact same thing happened, so I took it to the dealership without turning off the engine and possibly clearing any codes. What they came back with was a faulty yaw sensor code, but they want to keep it for a couple days to do further research. I'm told it is connected to the main computer and if it is the yaw sensor then the main computer has to be replaced, at a cost of $1650 (they will credit toward the repair the $125 I paid last week for the non-answer). In reading online, I'm not the only person who has had this issue. Also reading online a quick review seems to lead me to believe that the sensor can be replaced by itself, separate from the main computer, at a much lower cost.

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #51

Feb 032015


  • 162,680 miles
My daughter was driving our family's 2005 Honda Pilot. She applied the brake lightly which resulted in excessive breaking in the left front wheel and then appearance of the vsa light. I brought the vehicle to the Honda dealer who first indicated there was no recall and then indicated there was a vsa wire harness recall (NHTSA 13V-092) but that it did apply the vsa light going on and therefore had nothing to do with the recall. A vsa light diagnostics which I independently paid for indicated a yaw rate failure code (25-01). This light vsa light has continued to intermittently go on and off with an intermittent contemporaneous relationship to braking. On 2/25/15 my daughter was driving the vehicle on the highway (no vsa light on), applied the brakes lightly and the car braked severly even once her foot was off the brake and pulled the car in the same front right direction as before forcing her to swerve along side a passing truck. The vsa light went on after the event occurred. Calling the Honda dealer today, the service manager indicated that Honda does not have a recall on this matter once the part for the 13V-092 recall was replaced. In reviewing safer NHTSA campaign id number DP12002 it describes well what has occurred twice and which has not been corrected by the recall service performed. I have also contacted Honda usa. I believe Honda has inadequately evaluated the relationship of similarly reported events regarding unexpected car brake assist with mild application of the brake since the vsa wire harness recall repair did not resolve the unexpected and inappropriate vsa/ESC/ba system logic response. It is not clear why Honda is not addressing my matter under this recall (NHTSA 13V-092) and the referenced NHTSA DP12002, and further investigating under a known safety recall.

- Altavista, VA, USA

problem #50

Nov 182014


  • 108,000 miles
This is an addendum to my November 21, 2014 report regarding the vehicle stability system on my 2005 Honda Pilot engaging the brakes on its own: On one of the occasions that the stability system engaged the brakes on its own, the car swerved to the left into the adjacent lane.

- Brookline, MA, USA

problem #49

Apr 222008

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 52,016 miles
Vehicle stalled and will not accelerate, vtm, vsa and engine lights on. Problem started in 2008 before Honda issued a recall. Problem ongoing as of present. Seems like temporary fixes each time, Honda can't seem to find a permanent fix. Keeps getting the run around. Very frustrating.

- Snellville, GA, USA

problem #48

Oct 152014


  • 112,000 miles
I heard a loud thumping or grinding sound from the front of the car and the brakes engaged on their own. At the same time the vehicle stability warning light came on (yellow triangle). Over next three weeks this happened three times, seemingly randomly. On one occasion the "yaw sensor" code was triggered. The vsa recall in 2013 was performed by the dealer in 2013.

- Brookline, MA, USA

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