ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here. 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:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
98,929 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2005 Honda Pilot Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #46

Feb 012017


  • 220,000 miles


Starter/electrical the lights on the dashboard continues to come on and stay on. Also the starter does not want to start at times.

- Graniteville, SC, USA

problem #45

Apr 072018


  • miles
Faulty electrical issue. Car will just cut off and go dead especially when it rains. This was reported to Honda as a safety concern but no one ever followed up with the complaint. This should have been a recall. Car will just cut off and steering wheel locks. This occurs at any speed unexpectly without warning. Occurs while car is in motion without warning. Worsens with heavy rain. This was reported 10 years ago and even. Again about 8 years ago with no response from Honda. Occurred again today.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #44

Jul 212017


  • 240,000 miles
Unexpected for the the key ignition stop working. I never have any kind of problems with ignition key stop working with my other cars. This come to safety concern when if it happen when you on a long vacation trip and all the sudden your car ignition key just stop working and you are far from home and work or don't know anyone around there to help. How could anyone expected that this issue would happen to Honda.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #43

Jan 182017


  • miles


The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. While driving various speeds, the btm-4, bfa, ABS, and tpm warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, but hey were unable to duplicate the failure or diagnose the vehicle. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Lacrosse, WI, USA

problem #42

Sep 142016


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

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #41

Mar 012016


  • 174,000 miles
First issue. Honda is failing to make proper notifications concerning recalls and extended warrantees. A warrantee extension notice for my 2009 Honda Accord was forwarded to me by the person across town who received my notice. Last year the same person forwarded to me a takata airbag recall notice he received for my 2005 Honda Pilot. I purchased my 2005 Honda Pilot direct from Honda and my Accord from a private owner. Both vehicles are in the Honda service data base with my correct name, address, and VIN. I have no connection to that address, and the resident there does not have my name or any Honda vehicles. I have spoken to Honda service and the Honda recall center about this. Yet, in March the same issue occurred with my 2009 Honda Accord. Additionally, I have not received a notice on my 2010 Honda Accord (purchased from a Honda dealer), which, according to the notice, is part of the class of vehicles subject to the same extended warrantee. Honda's national service center could not explain to me how the mistake occurred and could not assure me that their records would be corrected for purposes of safety notifications since Honda has had my information correct in their service center database. Second issue: My notice of an extended warrantee on 2008-2010 Accord is for a corrosion issue with an internal component in the SRS electronic control unit that could potentially result in SRS failure. The notice stated that if the dashboard SRS light alerts you to an issue, you need to bring the vehicle in for inspection asap. The SRS light in my 2005 Honda Pilot illuminates intermittently. Honda said it is not covered, but they would diagnose it for $120/hr + repairs. For purposes of vehicle safety, can your office determine if the older Honda Pilot have the same SRS ECU issue as the 2008-2010 Honda Accord, and thus should be subject to a recall?

- Farmingdale, NY, USA

problem #40

Nov 242015


  • 160,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that after the vehicle was serviced for an unknown manufacturer recall, the front driver side air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the crash sensor failed and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 160,000.

- North Mankato, MN, USA

problem #39

Oct 162012


  • 120,000 miles
Airbag light came on intermittently. After I took it in for the recall, the dealer said the sensor was bad and needed to be replaced for $200. I had that done and the second day following, it was on again. It intermittently lit for about 3 months. Now it is almost always on. I see similar issues listed. God forbid they don't work when I need them. Not thrilled with the Pilot. Transmission light also intermittently lights (blinking D). I had this fixed years ago after the dealer said new trans for $3,000. I didn't bite on that one because the shifting was seemless. Seems that mechanics maybe rely on computer too much. Had switch changed out and it stopped for about 2 years. Now it's on intermittently again. Tire pressure is another problem. Electronics stink!

- Haverford, PA, USA

problem #38

Sep 102015


  • 148,300 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that there was a burning odor present inside the vehicle. The contact noticed smoke and flames coming from the driver side seat adjustment control. A police officer using a fire extinguisher extinguished the flames. A police report was filed. The contact sustained a burn on the right hand that did not require medical attention. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 148,300.

- Montauk, NY, USA

problem #37

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 #36

Oct 012014


  • 130,000 miles


When on high, the driver side seat warmer will literally leave burn marks on my right leg. It has worked normal until this fall when I was driving and it burned my leg. It can not be on more than a minute or will leave burn marks on the right leg. The left side still seems normal. I checked and there is not a recall on this, but in looking into it had happened to many others and the seat has started to smoke.

- West Chester, OH, USA

problem #35

Nov 252014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 165,300 miles
Electrical components of the car started to fail. Power windows didn't work for a while and then worked again. Now they all work but the main control panel in the driver's side works except for the rear driver's window. It does work if done directly from the door but not from the main control panel. Also, power locks stopped working. I changed the fuse but it blows every time we use the locks. There is some sort of short. Dealership is asking $500 to fix it. There are some other lights in the main panel that go on and off every so often. It just seems that the electrical side to the car is deteriorating by the day.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #34

Aug 232014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 122,100 miles
On numerous occasions during the ownership of the car, especially when it is raining, damp, or snowing while driving the car for no reason it loses power. The steering wheel locks, and the car acts as if the battery has been disconnected. This has happened more than 20 times. This is a defect. I am reporting, because I realize this needed to be reported. It is a safety issue. This loss of electrical power has occurred with the original battery, as well as two other batteries over the life of the car. It appears to be electrically related. The loss of power results in the steering wheel locking and no power. Luckily, each time this has happened, I was driving at 30 miles per hour. If this ever occurred on the highway, it could resulted in an accident.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #33

Aug 252013


  • 119,000 miles
I tried to turn my headlights on in my driveway and the low beams would not come on. I shut the car off and tried again, and the low beams came on. After the low beams started working again I tried to turn the high beams on, and they would not work, and have not worked since. I spoke to the dealer and they said that the recall for the headlight wiring harness only affects the low beams. They also said that I would have to pay the diagnoses fee. It is noted in the recall which is NHTSA recall campaign number : 12V136000 that the dealer will replace either the wiring harness or the lighting switch as necessary, free of charge. The dealer also said that they had never heard of this issue (which is clearly documented). Honda needs to let the dealers that they are obligated to fix this problem. The dealer also told me that I was not a customer of theirs because I did not buy the car there or receive regular services there, and that I should just pay the diagnoses fee so that they could pay their technicians. Needless to say the dealer was no help and is the only one in my area. Screw you Honda, and scholfield Honda as well.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #32

Jul 132014


  • 116,200 miles
Ignition switch failed when I tried to put the key in the slot it had some resistence. Almost like I was using the wrong key. Car was unable to start because the key did not go in properly. Tried to use WD40 to loosen the tumblers but did not work. Had to call a tow truck and take to mechanic. Key still worked on the door.

- Northborough, MA, USA

problem #31

Mar 182013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
Some of the A/C illuminated lights went out and back on again shortly afterwards. A few days later the lights for only some of the A/C controls are off and appear not to come back on. Fan speed, off, recirculate, rear defrost, and the mode buttons are the ones currently no longer on.

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #30

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 #29

Feb 212014


  • 127,000 miles
Seat heater was used on drivers side.. got very hot, smell smoked, leg had superficial burn. Smell plastic burning.

- Somersville, CT, USA

problem #28

Jun 122013


  • 152,000 miles
This incident has happened on a few occasions with me driving the vehicle and additionally with my wife driving (she drives it the most). I started the vehicle, placed it in gear and started to drive it up the street. As I approached a traffic light, I glanced at the speedometer, and noticed the maintenance required and SRS light on. This puzzled me because we never experienced any issues with the vehicle other than regular maintenance lights (filters, oil change, etc). I turned the vehicle off for a few seconds, restarted it and the light went out. Afew weeks later, it happened again. The difference was that this time I noticed it right after putting the vehicle in drive and driving off. Thinking it happened because of a possible glitch in the ignition, I immediately pulled over and turned the vehicle off and restarted it. Just like the first time, the light didn't come back on. The 3rd time it happened, it remained on the entire time I drove and to and from the grocery store. Now, it pretty much does it intermittently - cycling intermittent to steady at various times. After searching online for recalls, I read several complaints from drivers in various states (usa), they are experiencing the same problem and have voiced it to Honda but they haven't issued a recall; thus stating that the airbag may not deploy during an accident and they are not responsible. Instead Honda dealers are willing to charge approx. $120 for diagnostics and $300+ for repair - which is entirely unfair to us consumers. However Honda, issued a recall on the 2005 Honda Odyssey which had very similar (if not exact) problems with its SRS. Honda is aware of this issue and doesn't seem to care about the safety of the motorists. This is clearly a safety issue and need to be recalled on these vehicles.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #27

Sep 052012


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the transmission shifted gears in a jerking motion. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the contact was advised that the computer system would need to be reprogrammed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 110,000.

- Monroe Township, NJ, USA

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