really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,376 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.

2011 Honda Pilot drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2011 Honda Pilot Owner Comments

problem #10

Dec 162015


  • 72,000 miles


Purchased 2011 Honda Pilot ex-L new in mid-2010. For the past several months, we felt a shudder in the transmission at/around 25 mph when accelerating lightly from a full stop. Got progressively worse over time; even passengers noticed it. Car is just under 5.5 years old with 72K miles on it. Dealer checked, said the torque converter had failed and would cost $1,900 to replace. Stated the new T/C had a 'fix' that corrected an earlier, known problem?! after replacing the transmission and/or torque converter on my 2000 Acura TL three times and once on two previous Honda Prelude, I said I'd had enough with Honda and demanded for it be repaired for free. I've seen a plethora of complaints on-line about 2009-2011 Pilot and Odyssey transmissions and T/C's so Honda obviously hasn't fixed the transmission problems that plagued earlier models, including TL's, Accord and CRV's. we finally settled on $500 but this will be my last Honda/Acura product. Hellotoyota/Lexus and Mazda!

- Grayslake, IL, USA

problem #9

Oct 082015


  • miles
My '11 Pilot only has 65,000 miles on it and the tranny persists to jerk/hesitate/vibrate/stutter when shifting from one gear to another, either up and down, however, it is most noticeable at lower gear shift and at low acceleration. Aside from the annoyance it generate, the sudden pull or jolt in shifting at low gears renders an involuntary reaction from the driver which can lead to safety concerns.

- Byron, GA, USA

problem #8

Jul 192014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 37,000 miles
On July 19, 2014 I had an oil appoinmentat 1:30 to have my free oil change. Of course the dealership has to make money some how, so my service advisor offered that I have the transmission serviced. Since I was getting the free oil I felt as though I needed to buy for some service. So the did both oil and transmission service. Left the dealship no more than ten minutes later on my way home, my Pilot started smoking on the right side as I stopped and was praying the light turn gree N so I could go I turned and more smoke come up. I jumped out of the car and ran to my house which was not far away and got my husbanc to come back with me only to find my car completly engulfed in flames. My car was a total loss. I believe that this was something that occured from the dealership. I never had problems with my car. Now the fire inspector that was hired by my insurnce company stated that on the first inspection there was no transmission oil in the car it had all leaked out. Transmission is very flamable. I would could have died in that car. Nothing was salvagable. I would like very much for someome to check about this. I filed a claim with myt insurance comapny. I have also filed a claim against Honda directly and of course I have not been in contact with. This was a devastating accident/fire what ever that I have had to deal with. I know in my heart that this was something done at the dealership level and this has really put a scary situation for me. I am very hesitate about a lot of things now. I have lots of pictures that I took that you can see that my car was a total loss. Fire totally burnt my car. Please contact me [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Port St. Lucie, FL, USA

problem #7

Oct 012013


  • 45,000 miles


The transmission in the vehicle is shuddering or shifting abnormally when driving.

- Middleburg, FL, USA

problem #6

Jun 202014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
While making a 3 point turn in a driveway in order to parallel park on the street my 2011 Honda Pilot accelerated at a high rate of speed and hit a parked car. My 2011 Honda Pilot continued out of control hit a curb and almost hit a chain link fence which would have caused me to travel into a busy four lane road. My 2011 Honda Pilot stopped by pressing both feet on the brake. Five hours later my battery was dead. I had aaa roadside service replace it. I took my 2011 Honda Pilot to the dealership today where the service rep agreed that there have been acceleration problems with the Honda Pilot. He had me go to a body shop next door where the rep told me he would only work on the body problems. He advised me to go back to Honda because I wanted to know what may have happened and to be sure my car was safe to drive. When I went back to Honda the same rep told me he did not tell me that Honda had any acceleration problems.

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #5

Jun 052014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 75,760 miles
I was stopped in a drive thru with my foot on the brake and 2 vehicles in front of me. Suddenly, while my foot was still on the brake, my truck lunged forward hitting the truck in front on me and forcing that truck to hit the truck in front of them. But it didn't end there. When my truck originally lunged, the engine revved and after hitting the truck in front of me, my truck engine continued to rev up and down and my truck continued to bounce off and on the truck in front of me. After the initial impact I placed both feet on the brake and was pushing as hard as I could trying to make my truck stop. I was practically standing on the brakes, but I had no control. The revving and bouncing off and on the truck in front of me went on for several seconds. Finally, my legs got tired from pushing so hard on the brakes I just took them off and the truck just stopped moving and engine stopped revving. When all of this was happening, my sensors never went off. Although when my truck came to a stop, I put it in park and got out to see if the person in front of me was ok. I noticed that I was within 2 inches of her bumper and when I got back in my truck, the sensor was only beeping. I contacted american Honda who advised me to take it to Honda of bowie, where I purchased the vehicle. I was told that an inspector from american Honda and the service manager from Honda of bowie would inspect the truck thoroughly. After doing so, they informed my husband that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle and there was nothing they could do. I feel there is a safety issue with this truck and I am very nervous and anxious when driving it. I feel Honda has let me down and is refusing to take responsibility for a very serious issue.

- Dunkirk, MD, USA

problem #4

Mar 252013


  • 25,000 miles


Two incidents of sudden unintended acceleration. The first on January 31, 2014. The second on March 25, 2014. Both incidents occurred at a very low rate of speed of approximately 5 mph. In both situations the car was coming to a stop with the brake being applied. Suddenly, the rpms increased and the car moved forward with the break unable to stop the car even though both feet were applied to the brake peddle. In the first incident, the car was stopped by putting the gear sh*t into neutral and turning off the engine. In the second instance, the car was pulling into a parking space when the engine revved up, jumped a curb and hit a small tree, as soon as the tree was struck, the engine returned to normal speed. This has been reported to Honda of America as well as to the local Honda dealer. The car was brought to the dealer two times but the dealer was unable to diagnose the problem. Honda of America has opened a case but thus far has taken no action. This is a potentially very dangerous situation.

- Jupiter, FL, USA

problem #3

Apr 202013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 21,500 miles
I bought this used certified vehicle on 4/20/2013 and was driving home from the dealer. The gas pedal started to vibrate a little at speed between 40 and 50. And I also could hear a grinding noise from front right. Next day my wife was driving and I was sitting in the passenger seat and I could feel this vibration humming sound and could feel the vibration on the floor. I contacted the dealer I bought they did not have anybody to check it that time. Then I took to the dealer close by. They checked and told me I need a wheel alignment and new tires because they are warn unevenly. I did all that and after spending closer to 1000 dollars it is still doing the same thing. I have seen this complaint in the www.piloteers.org/ a lot. I told the dealer about the wheel bearing and brakes and they say they are all good. I am so frustrated now. This has only 21000 miles on it and this is giving this problem. Honda should take a good look at this.

- Goshen, IN, USA

problem #2

Dec 132012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 22,500 miles
Traveling at approximately 70 mph with the vsa (vehicle stability assist) off, the automatic transmission suddenly shifted into neutral. I lost power and forward momentum. I was startled and when I looked at the gear selector, the indicator showed the selector in the neutral position. I moved the selector to the drive position and immediately had forward momentum once again. I'm terrified to imagine what could have happened had I been passing another vehicle with oncoming traffic. The service technician said, " that couldn't happen. It is impossible for the transmission to move from drive to neutral without someone moving the transmission selector." I assure you it is possible, because it happened to me!

- Hurricane, UT, USA

problem #1

Sep 012011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • miles
Driving the car at a speed of 35-40mph and 45-50mph there is a shuddering and vibration feeling coming from the drivetrain. I took it to the dealer where I bought it and I asked for a tech to take a test ride with me and they said no one was available. I left the car with them. The tech called me later and said they did not notice the vibration and there is nothing wrong. Upon researching this issue, it appears it is a fairly common problem and Honda is doing nothing to address this. The vibration is very noticeable and it is getting worse. I bought the car new on 4/30/11.

- Sussex, WI, USA

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