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:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
95,189 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 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #59

Mar 142014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles


While driving around a bend towards a red light, without my foot on the pedal my car made a weird shutter or brake pulsing, I thought I had gone over some ripple strips. When the light changed, I proceeded to make a right turn in a busy intersection, when going almost 30 & out of the turn, my Pilot came to an unassisted abrupt stop! im so lucky the person behind me didn't rear end me! it sounded like the transmission was grinding & the tires were locked. I waited a few seconds let go of brakes & the vehicle began to move but in 5 ft it did it again. Towed to dealer who cant seem to find or recreate the problem. Multiple brake, ABS, vsc & electrical alarms were reported by dealer but still no solution. This car is unsafe to drive and by multiple reports this is a widespread problem.

- Hoboken, NJ, USA

problem #58

Feb 072014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 109,440 miles
As I was approaching a left turn lane I applied the brakes gently and the left front brake momentarily grabbed causing the vehicle to swerve into the oncoming traffic and the vsa lights activated. This has occurred 9 times in the last 300 miles. I took the vehicle to the dealer immediately and they told me they could not duplicate the problem and they found no problems with the car. Never had a problem until the "recalled" vsa module was replaced less than 6000 miles ago. The dealer tells me that the vsa module is not under warranty.

- Santa Maria, CA, USA

problem #57

Dec 142013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 153,099 miles
I had let the car warm up for about 20minutes before I left. About 8:30am Saturday Dec. 14th 2013 my 2005 Honda Pilot started to accelerate on its own at a very high rate of speed. I tried to push on the brakes but it would not stop. I started praying to jesus and saying out loud god please! god please! god please! I know this sounds a little dramatic but it was very scary! I got off on the side of the road and by the grace of god something gave way. Either the accelerator stopped accelerating or the brakes finally worked but I was able to get the car to stop. From one worried car owner to another who may have had this problem or that might have this problem. I now know that I could put it in neutral and maybe turn the key off to also to get it to stop.

- Lander, WY, USA

problem #56

Nov 202013


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, the vehicle stability assist (vsa)warning indicator illuminated as the steering wheel seized. The steering wheel independently released after several seconds and the vehicle resumed normally. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 13V092000 (service brakes, hydraulic, traction control system) however, after the recall remedy was performed the failure recurred twice and the vehicle was taken back for repairs each time. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000.

- Whittier, CA, USA

problem #55

Oct 012013


  • 93,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that while driving 10 mph, the vehicle stalled and the vsa warning lamp illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 93,000.

- Valley Stream, NY, USA

problem #54

Jun 262013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
While driving on the highway, the vehicle's vsa engaged locking up the brakes. We were very lucky to have not caused a serious accident. It happened again why leaving the highway for side streets. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection. We are extremely concerned as the vehicle had just been to the dealership for the recall involving the involuntary command of vsa engagement. This is absurd that these vehicles are allowed to still be on the road with such a serious flaw that could result in loss of life.

- Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA

problem #53

Jun 062013


  • 84,236 miles


After the recall of vsa it happens that the SUV experiencing the symptom of excessive braking and vsa light comes out... before the recall we haven't experiencing this vsa problem.. I don't know in some reason why it comes out after the recall had been made..first occurrence I bring it to the dealer and advise that they been check, fixed and inform it won't come out any more.. after two weeks it happened again and my SUV will bring again to the dealer for the second time... I feel they make me feel worse this recall that been made... is there any advice "??"

- Hayward , CA, USA

problem #52

Apr 252013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
The vehicle would apply additional brake force on the driver's side front wheel while the driver use the brake to slow the vehicle on a downhill road. The extra brake force only last 1 second or 2 but it caused the vehicle steer to the left and the vsa come on. In several occasions, the vehicle crossed the lane to the oncoming traffic. The vsa light will come on until I turn off the ignition. The Honda dealer initially suggest it was related to the vsa recall but after performing the recall work 4 times, the issue still exist. They finally determined the yaw sensor was causing the problem and replace it.

- Englewood, CO, USA

problem #51

Sep 012011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 89,100 miles
The vehicle in question, a 2005 Honda Pilot ex shudders at or between 35 to 40 has almost cost me to lose control and possibly my life. This is a "known" torque converter problem to Honda, yet they refuse to address their negligence. Sudden, unexpected braking, without brake application is terrifying and also due to manufacturing defects. The steering controls often veer to the right without any apparent cause.

- North Wales, PA, USA

problem #50

Sep 142011


  • 120,000 miles
TL - the contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that after the vehicle received repairs for NHTSA campaign number: 13V092000 (service brakes, hydraulic, traction control system) every time the ignition was turned on all of the warning lamps in the instrument panel illuminated. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 120,000 and the current mileage was 160,000.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #49

May 012013


  • 72,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that while driving at unknown speeds, the brakes engaged independently and the stability assist warning light illuminated. The vehicle was repaired under a recall associated with NHTSA campaign number 13V092000 (service brakes, hydraulic, traction control system) but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 72,000.

- Jamaica , NY, USA

problem #48

Apr 302013


  • 124,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. The contact was driving approximately 55 mph and engaged the brakes. The vehicle came to a abrupt stop and then began to accelerate uncontrollably. The contact was unable to maneuver the uncontrollable vehicle and crashed into two cement barriers. The contact sustained minor back injuries. A police report was filed of the incident. The vehicle was destroyed and towed to a salvage facility. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number:13V092000 (service brakes, hydraulic: Antilock: Control) and stated that the recall notification was received after the consequence of the recall had been experienced. The approximate failure mileage was 124,000.

- Joppa, MD, USA

problem #47

May 092012


  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. The contact was driving approximately 30 mph when the vsa warning indicator illuminated and the vehicle began to brake independently. The failure recurred sporadically when the contact was traveling at various speeds or when attempting a turn. The vehicle was previously serviced under NHTSA campaign id number 13V092000 (service brakes, hydraulic, traction control system). The failure recurred numerous times after the recall service was performed. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Farmersville, CA, USA

problem #46

Mar 122011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
The brakes suddenly applied while cruising along the interstate at 75mph. The vehicle was able to be directed off the road then the brakes locked up and vehicle would not go forward. Vsa light came on. This happened several times later at lower speeds and the brakes would lock up and vsa light would come on. Mechanics could not determine the problem, since it was an intermittent problem. Honda dealer told me that no recalls or alerts were on vehicle. The front brake rotors were machined in Feb 2012 because they were "warped" and then had to be replaced a year later because the brakes were pulsating. Since Nov. 2009 I have had to machine the rear brake rotors that were "warped" twice. I am now using the vehicle with the vsa off.

- Venice, FL, USA

problem #45

Mar 202013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 104,000 miles
Brakes went to floor when applied to slow down forward motion in driveway/garage. Took vehicle out for test drive and could not replicate.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #44

Mar 182013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 87,200 miles
While driving I went to apply my brakes to begin slowing down, I only applied a very small amount of pressure when a grinding noise started and lasted only a few seconds then a slight jerk as if my car was braking on its own and then a warning light turned on (exclamation inside a triangle and the vsa letters appeared) this stayed on until I turned off the car. This has occurred now 4 times. Fortunately I only have to drive 5 miles to work. Firstly, I am afraid to drive any distance especially on the highway should this get worse and secondly I have grandkids that I Transport and am concerned that I could possibly be putting their lives in jeopardy!! I do hope that something is done or a recall is made so that this can be fixed.

- Jeffersonville, IN, USA

problem #43

Oct 142012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 143,000 miles
Long story but I believe it is all related. Based on my understanding the anti-lock brake system and vsa are all part of the same system in a 2005 Honda Pilot. We were having a "noise" that was believed to be caused by a random anti-lock brake system self check. This would happen at any speed and appeared to be activated by any small bump in the road. This was more of a nuisance than anything but we thought we would have the dealership look into it. More on this later. In addition we also had the vehicle stability assist (vsa) engage once and the results were a little scary or violent at best. The problem occurred when traveling at approximately 70 mph under windy conditions. The vsa system engaged, the brakes were heavily applied, and the vehicle was put into a control mode that pulled the vehicle left and right. We had very limited control of the vehicle when all of this was happening. We were able to pull the vehicle over without incident and deactivate the vsa to finish our trip. What our dealership found was a cracked electrical connector on the main engine wiring harness where it connects to the anti-lock brake and vsa module. The connector is located under the engine shroud in an area that isn't accessible during normal or routine maintenance and we have never had any service done on anything in this area. Our guess is that it was cracked during the original installation or it fatigued over time. The Honda technician thought the root cause of the problem was moisture entering the control module via the damaged connector. This in turn caused damage to the printed circuit board that controls the braking and vsa system. We stopped investigating the repair at this point because of cost. It was over $2000 to get the harness and control module replaced. I wanted to share this because of all the recent news on 2005 Pilot.

- Bridgman, MI, USA

problem #42

Feb 022012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
The vsa light and warning light come on within a minute of the first movement of the vehicle. When the light comes on there is a loud clunk noise and the front brake and steering locks for a fraction of a second. It has happened more than once on the highway nearly causing me to be hit from behind.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #41

Apr 102012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 100 miles
Braking and steering problems happened several times in a 11 or 12 month time frame took it to dealer 4 times and they could not get problem to duplicate and no repairs done. Accident occurred due to these problems a month ago Honda will not take ownership of problem.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #40

Mar 012007

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 18,000 miles
In March of 2007, my wife was traveling at approximately 55 miles per hour when our 2005 Honda Pilot started braking on its own as if the ABS system had been activated. We did not think much of it until the summer of 2012 when the vehicle did it again about 5 times in a week. We took the vehicle to the Honda dealership in staten island when they told us that we needed four new tires, and to replace the catalytic converter. With that diagnostic I told them that they had no idea what they were talking about since a catalytic converter has nothing to do with the braking system. Since we could not afford to buy a new vehicle, we had the ABS system disabled, and the problem has not resurfaced. The only bad part is that we are driving the vehicle on the traditional braking system with no ABS capability. Can you please provide any updates on your investigation on the subject matter? [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Staten Island, NY, USA

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