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:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
88,589 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2005 Honda Pilot:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2005 Honda Pilot Owner Comments

problem #13

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 #12

Sep 292016


  • 116,250 miles
Curry Honda in chambler ga has baited me in for airbag recall twice, most recently today, and then performed other work and damaged parts requiring even more repairs.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #11

May 022016


  • 138,000 miles
When accelerating at approximately 35-40 mph the cars shakes and vibrates. If you let off the accelerator the shake will go away.

- Oklahoma, OK, USA

problem #10

Apr 162016


  • 120,000 miles


I experienced a sudden involuntary unintended acceleration, while I was slowly pulling into a perpendicular parking space in at a medical center parking lot. This happened on a nearly empty tank of gas at about 3:15 pm on Saturday 4/16/16. It was a hot day. The parking space was at a slight incline. I was moving very slowly nearly stopped, yet once I was about a third of the way into the space, while still gently breaking, my car suddenly lurched forward with tremendous force if I had completely floored the gas pedal. I reacted fast pushed the breaks hard with all my strength. Which engaged the antilock braking so I heard a "thud-thud thud" a loud repeated clunking-locking sound. My Pilot did stop before hitting a tree and the vehicle in the facing parking space. I did not hear the engine rev to the degree of the sudden forward motion. Nor did I hear revving resolve once it stopped. It was a very odd and frightening experience that baffled my mind. I tried to sort out the cause for a while to see if maybe I had without knowing it put my foot on both pedals. But I don't think so. I had sandals on, and in trying to reproduce the situation, or the position my foot would have to have been in to do that, was awkward and I would have felt the pressure on my foot of putting on the gas. And I was only slowly pressing the break not jamming on the break until I braked to stop the speed of it lurching forward. The degree of acceleration was as if the gas pedal was put to the floor which was not what my breaking foot was doing. The car did come to a stop just in time to not hit what was at the front of the parking space. I did not hear the engine noise rev at all. My best guess at the time was something went terribly wrong with the mechanics or electrical signals of the fuel injection to move so suddenly forward. Now I am worried about the safety of this vehicle.

- Palo Alto, CA, USA

problem #9

Jun 152015


  • 85,850 miles
While driving on the road at speeds betweeb 35-40 miles per hour the car begins to shudder intermitently. Also when driving between speeds of 75 to 80 miles per hour the same shudding occurs. I first thought may be it was the tires, but I purchased the vehicle with 85000miles on it with brand new tires. After several occurrences I took it back to the dealer for service. The service dept informed that it was the torque converter needed to be replaced and my 30 warranty had expired. After researching this I found out this problem exist with many Pilot owners but no recall was done.

- Scotch Plains, NJ, USA

problem #8

Sep 082015


  • 140,000 miles
On 9-9-15, our 2005 Honda Pilot abruptly stopped on emerald parkway - police assisted. Leaking fluid was clumpy red/brown and vehicle hot. Shop today says radiator and transmission and possibly engine need replaced and instructed us to contact a Honda dealer. This is our second safety complaint on this vehicle - 1st was dangerous "phantom braking" or inadvertant application on brakes in 2012, which Honda subsequently recalled in 2013. After reading thru complaints, I see the exact same problem - transmission line in radiator suddenly came loose and transmission fluid leaked into radiator and coolant leaked into transmission, ruining both has occurred numerous times. We anticipate a very expensive repair.... we are thankful this did not occur on the highway, during rush hour or with any of our 3 kids in the vehicle, and are angered at Honda's failure to recall this as well - as some said they did for 2003 and 2004 models?

- Dublin, OH, USA

problem #7

Aug 222015


  • 206,500 miles


Was having trouble with the tailgate not registering as closed. Upon inspecting I discovered that the latch on the tailgate was moving freely in the tailgate. It was unsecured. Upon removing the plastic tailgate trim, I spotted three specialized machine bolts. These were trapped by the tail gate trim loose unconnected. I determined that these bolts held the latch in position. I was able to properly secure the tailgate latch to the door and restore proper functionality. I believe that more locks will reveal to be improperly secured from the factory. My vehicle has never been rear ended or had any post factory repairs. The risk of injury due to defective torquing of these machine bolts is real as in the event of a crash the tailgate could come open ejecting people from the rear of the vehicle.

- Sherborn, MA, USA

problem #6

Nov 082013


  • 185,000 miles
I was driving at normal or crusing safe speed in neighborhood very close to my own. Without cause, collision or the means to activate, all front airbags deployed. The result was a fractured spine, requiring multiple surgeries. This incident needs to be heard.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #5

May 212011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
My 2005 Honda Pilot brakes have automatically seized up a total of 5 times in the last year but 4 times in the last 3 weeks (May 2012). All 4 times it has happened have been at low speeds (10-20 mph, thankfully!!!) and within 5 minutes of starting up after it has sat for an extended period of time. I have taken it into the Honda dealer twice in the past three weeks (May 2012) the day after it occurred and both times they could not duplicate or find a problem. The first three times the vsa light came on but no code tripped in the computer system. The last two times it happened no dashboard indication occurred. It occurred 3 weeks ago, 1 week ago and yesterday back to back so the problem seems to be intensifying. So far, for a temporary fix, I have turned off the car and restarted it and the problem seems to stop for a while. As mentioned previously, yesterday the brakes seized up as I was driving but no dash indication came on. Because I was in the middle of an intersection, once the brakes released, I a decided to drive forward to try and get it out of the intersection only to have them seize up again about 100 meters later. I quickly turned off the car and restarted it and was able to safely return home where it sits currently.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #4

Jan 112012


  • 70,000 miles
Driving and noted motor not running good. Looked down at temperature and say overheating past the H mark. No warning lamp on. Got out found spill of gray fluid under engine. Oil level ok but trany fluid dry. Tow to garage. Working on it. States failure of tranmission cooler located in radiator that sucked out trany fluid into radiator and out of overflow. No warning at all of problem at all. Not sure yet if transmission damaged. Right now over$12oo oo repair bill to replace radiator and flush all out. Wanted this vehicle for at least 200,000 miles. Maint. Up to date and well maintained.

- Feeding Hills, MA, USA

problem #3

Apr 072008

(reported on)

Pilot 6-cyl

  • miles


Consumer question about 2005 Honda Pilot recalls. Consumer would like to know if her vehicle is included in the two recalls for the fuel tank and the misalignment of the steering column.

- Unknown, DC, USA

problem #2

Jul 212005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 50 miles
Sustained vibration when driving at speeds about 45 to 75 mph. Multiple trips to dealer, was told this is a "characteristic of the vehicle". started the first day I drove the vehicle off the lot with 50 miles on it.

- Park City, UT, USA

problem #1

Feb 152005

Pilot 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle: Honda Pilot 2005 ex-L, purchased on 12/2004 whenever I drive my Honda Pilot I have pain in my right ear. A week from today, I stopped by my dealer and test drove the exact same model from the dealer, and I did not have nay pain in my ear. I went to see an (ear, nose and throat specialist, and according to my doctor, I have no problem with my ear at all. Doctor suggested there could be some kind of chemical in my car that probably caused some reaction in my ear. I have a Honda, Accord that I drive regularly, I do not have any ear problem with Honda Accord.

- Pflugerville, TX, USA

Not what you are looking for?