really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,758 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Honda Pilot Owner Comments

problem #15

Aug 162016


  • 100,000 miles


Excessive oil consumption resulting in spark plug malfunctions. Problem has occurred during all driving conditions as well as while being stationary with vehicle running.

- Rio Rancho, NM, USA

problem #14

Jan 012016


  • 84,000 miles
The car stutters when you hit the gas. They told me it is the spark plugs and that there is a recall but not for my VIN# "???" same car and year as the recall states. It is the same issues as the cars that have the recall VIN#.

- Saint Cloud, FL, USA

problem #13

Jul 252016


  • 66,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Honda Pilot. Half an hour after the contact parked the vehicle in the garage, it caught on fire. The fire department extinguished the fire and filed a report. There were no injuries. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where it was awaiting inspection. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 66,000.

- Hiawassee, GA, USA

problem #12

May 102016


  • 168,000 miles


Honda issued technical service bulletin (tsb #11-033) related to excessive engine oil consumption and the make and model of my car and VIN was in the range of the vins affected. I had to replace piston rings and spark plugs to fix the problem. When I contacted Honda, I was told that my particular VIN was not included in those affected even though I was experiencing the same exact problem because my parts were not listed as coming from the same manufacturer. If I'm still having the same issue; maybe there is more than one Honda manufacturer that is at the root of this problem!

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #11

Sep 042015


  • 29,800 miles
While slowing to yield onto a highway I was behind another vehicle which was stopped to the oncoming traffic. As I slowed to a stop, the Pilot quickly accelerated to 5000 RPM while I'm pushing the brake to the floor and came within inches on crashing into the rear of the vehicle in front of me. I was able to get the vehicle in to park. It then dropped down on its own to normal idle. This is a 2011 Honda Pilot touring with 29,800 miles.

- Union Bridge, MD, USA

problem #10

Jul 102015


  • 126,700 miles
My 2011 Honda Pilot touring had to have all 3 engine mounts and the transmission mount replaced. The whole front end of the vehicle would shake uncontrollably on acceleration and especially at high speeds. I bought the vehicle brand new. I do a lot of highway driving and put a lot of miles on my vehicle. Currently I have 128,000 miles on my vehicle. I realize that a vehicle with a high number of miles will experience some wear tear, I never thought I'd have to replace mounts that hold my engine in place. Also, I had to replace both bushings as they were both ripped. Needless to say this SUV has cost me a lot money in the last few weeks. Everything seems to be failing at the same time. I will have to reconsider my next Honda purchase.

- Rockaway, NJ, USA

problem #9

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 #8

Apr 082015

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 41,000 miles
While doing routine driving the check engine light, vsa light, and vtm-4 light all came on and stayed on. The vehicle seemed to be running normally so I pulled over, turned off the vehicle and restarted it. Then only the check engine light stayed on. I continued to drive and about 10 minutes later the vsa light and vtm-4 lights came on again. I called my dealership and made an appointment. They said the vehicle could be driven with the check engine light on. I researched the issue online and found that a possible cause was a known issue regarding rings and pistons on V6 Honda engines from 2009 to 2013 that allows the oil to seep past the rings and foul the plugs and that there was no recall from Honda. When the dealership looked at the issue they said the vehicle was reporting that cylinder 2 had misfired once (they did not state that it was due to oil fouling the spark plug but my adviser implied that was the cause when he mentioned to keep an eye on the oil levels and change the oil at 5000 miles). They replaced all of the spark plugs and updated the vsa software per a tsb (technical service bulletin??) from Honda. The service adviser told me the issue might never reoccur, or it might, and that I should keep an eye on the oil level monthly, and change the oil every 5000 miles max (I've used mobil 1 fully synthetic since the vehicle was purchased new... and super unleaded gas). If it happens again I'll attempt to push the dealership to replace the rings and pistons as they are doing for some customers. If it doesn't happen again I'll need to sell the vehicle in the next 3 years before the extended 8 year warranty on this issue expires, which is too bad because it's been mostly a great vehicle, in great condition, and with low miles. Honda really should be doing a recall on this, but instead it seems they would rather lose customers and future sales.

- Hopkinton, MA, USA

problem #7

Nov 232014


  • 33,000 miles
I purchased a 2011 Honda Pilot in October 2014. From the first day of driving it, I noticed a vibration coming from the drive train/engine/transmission when the engine was switching into "eco" mode. The vibration can be felt through the steering wheel, gas pedal, and floor board. It becomes worse when cruising at a low RPM, or when climbing a hill (no matter how steep the hill is) when the eco mode is engaged. The vibration only stops when the car is required to increase the RPM, either from manually depressing the gas pedal, or the computer deciding it needs more power. The vehicle does not experience this vibration until the engine warms up and the eco mode engages. When the engine is cold, the eco mode does not kick in, and there is no vibration. The problem seems to be getting worse. Vehicle constantly vibrates/shudders as engine run in eco mode and as vcm kicks in/out or is in use. I see hundreds of same complaint on Honda message boards and all have gotten the same response from Honda. They indicate it is normal operation and nothing they can do. Anyone that's driven a vehicle for more than a few hours can tell you it's not normal for a vehicle to vibrate like that. In my driving, I find it to be not only annoying, but very distracting as I'm constantly trying to change speeds/RPM, etc. To make the vibrations go away. This constant distraction is a safety concern. I implore you to get Honda to own the situation and find a fix.

- Covington, LA, USA

problem #6

Oct 012013


  • 45,000 miles
The transmission in the vehicle is shuddering or shifting abnormally when driving.

- Middleburg, FL, 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

May 162012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
Vehicle purchased new in 2011. No issues until mid 2012. When attempting to start car, the starting sequence works but engine does not turnover. The starter clicks, but nothing else happens. The first time this happened, car had to be jumpstarted to get started. Battery test was conducted with no issues. The second, third and fourth times it happened, the car eventually stated with no issue. The vehicle is located in southern ca, so cold weather is not a factor. Battery checks each time indicate no issue with the battery. Most recent time, on 2/23/14, same exact problem.

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #3

Jul 172013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 26,100 miles
Our 2011 Honda Pilot stalled in traffic and had to be towed to the closest Honda dealership. After several days of sensors and a starter being replaced it was determined that engine failure came from a shredded timing belt. Service department put on new belt and could not find root cause of belt failing at 26,000 miles.

- Glenside, PA, USA

problem #2

Oct 122011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that the engine was consuming oil excessively and several months later, the check engine warning light was illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the short block needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 3,000 and the current mileage was 69,000.

- Mount Pleasant, NC, USA

problem #1

Dec 282012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 40,008 miles
When I started the car this morning, I heard a high-pitched grinding noise - something I've never heard before. Driving at 30mph, the car suddenly accelerated as I applied the brakes rounding a corner. I could hear the engine revving up so I quickly shifted it into neutral until it went back to normal. Then shifted it into drive and continued on.

- Lakewood, CO, USA

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