Notes: The 2012-2013 Honda Pilot have a small complaint trend of owners reporting the engine hesitates sometimes when accelerating.

While it's not a widespread trend with the Pilot, it's a little concerning because of the possibly safety ramifications. While it's certainly something to keep in mind, most Pilot owners are not experiencing this problem.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,341 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.

2012 Honda Pilot brakes problems

brakes problem

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2012 Honda Pilot Owner Comments

problem #20

Dec 222016


  • 45,000 miles


My 2012 Honda Pilot rotor warp prematurely resulting in loss of control and increased risk for crash when driving at moderate to high speeds. After being shook to death after heavy breaking, I took my Pilot to the dealership. They said they are aware of the problem but rotors carry a 12K mile warranty. They say that the rotors are not properly designed for the weight of the vehicle. In fact, they updated the new Pilot because of this issue. Also, the have a replacement for the Honda Odyssey because of this issue but nothing for the Honda Pilot. Thus, I am force to change out my rotors every 15K miles because of Honda's poor design. Loss of control of the vehicle due to improperly design rotor should be recalled. This on top of Honda knowingly and admitting that there is a problem that affects safety, is pure negligence.

- Winston-Salem, NC, USA

problem #19

Dec 032012


  • miles
Brakes are very soft from new. Dealer never fix problem. Always said is normal.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #18

Jul 062016


  • miles
Rear brake pads rusted solidly to calipers. Inoperative. Front brakes pads rusted but still operating. Only 23,000 miles on vehicle. A loud screeching noise alerted me to a problem as I backed out of my garage. Took vehicle to mechanic who test drove car and knew what problem was. He took off all 4 wheels, pried pads loose from calipers, sanded off rust, lubed and reinstalled parts. He informed me that I needed new calipers, pads and hardware. I called dealer and was told that being out of warranty, that they could do nothing for me. I then called Honda motor co. I was told that vehicle was out of warranty and they could do nothing for me, this seemed a safety issue more than a warranty issue.

- Lake Pleasant, NY, USA

problem #17

May 172016


  • 60,000 miles


On May 17, 2016, in my driveway, I was trying to move my 2012 Pilot from beside my husband's vehicle to behind it so my son could pull into the driveway. I pressed the gas pedal to move behind my husband's truck and it moved up a little before it accelerated to a high speed slamming his truck into the garage and crushing it. I hit the brakes, but it didn't help. The engine was revving and tires were spinning as fast as they could. The airbag hit me in the face causing me to jerk the steering wheel to the right, which then caused the Pilot to drive across my front yard at a high speed crashing into my neighbor's tree with my foot still on the brake! the engine only stopped when my husband ran out of my house and turned off the Pilot. At that point, I didn't know what was happening because I had been hit so hard in the face by the airbag. The Pilot was inspected today by Honda corporate at a Honda dealership against my better judgment. Of course after a thorough inspection, "no cause was found for unintentional acceleration." There seems to be a pattern of this same thing happening to other people and Honda not taking responsibility. Something needs to be done before someone is seriously hurt!

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #16

Feb 102016


  • 8,000 miles
Pilot with 8K miles -driving 50mph + on the highway when applying break the vehicle shakes. Power steering makes whining noise when turning wheel.

- Lincolnwood, IL, USA

problem #15

Apr 072016


  • 64,000 miles
I am so tired of my front brakes shaking. I have had the rotators turned, or rotated twice and it keeps on happening. I bought this car brand new.the whole car shakes and it is the most frustrating and annoying thing to deal with. 98% of the time when I go to brake, my car shakes, shimmers, and just seems to be unsafe. Just braking at stop lights can change my mood. This is my second Honda Pilot and my first 2008 Pilot did not do this. Something needs to be done. I will not buy another Honda Pilot.

- Renton, WA, USA

problem #14

Dec 042014


  • 20,000 miles


Warped rotors due to issues with front suspension rear lower arm bushings that are currently leaking and crached. I took my car into the dealership several times and was never told about this issue, but did complain of vibrating, yet nothing was said or done. Had to go to another mechanic to find out what was wrong. Honda needs to cover this issue as I can see from the other complaints that I am not the only one with this issue. These are faulty parts on a vehicle that costs over $30,000. This is my second Honda Pilot and I did not have this issue with the last Pilot. Car violently shakes when braking. It however the whole front end vibrates when driving. Now my window rattles and I believe it is loose because I can hear the air

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #13

Feb 042015


  • 33,050 miles
2012 Honda Pilot certified pre owned purchased from hendricks Honda, bradenton, fl. I purchased 1/27/2015. Original in service 4/19/2012. In Florida. Vehicle has not been in winter weather or on salted roads since original in service date. Appr. 1 week after purchase I brought to the attention of used car dept. Personel that all 4 brake rotors were showing rust on all non braking surfaces. I was told this was normal and they would not address this issue. I subsequently returned with vehicle to my home in mass. Rust on rotors progressed to point of looking like it would affect the integrity of the rotor. Upon rreturning to my home in mass. I brought it to the service dept of orleans auto, as subsidiary of the authorized Honda dealer; hyannis Honda, and was told that Honda would not address this issue. Aug 4.2015, I brought the vehicle to hyannis Honda to be inspected by service manager; norman lamarre, and service director, rene eansereau. Both confirmed that this is a commonly seen problem on recent Honda vehicles and a known Honda problem, they have dealt with many times over many years and have had many complaints. However american Honda will not cover rust on rotors as a warranty. This is unacceptable as this is a safety issue that american Honda is refusing to address. I am requesting your assistance in the matter. I am convinced that the the integrity of these brake rotors is presently compromised, in the cooling van area and the hub area. I am requesting your assistance in the matter. Updated 10/06/15

- Harwich, MA, USA

problem #12

Jan 262015


  • 43,000 miles
2012 Honda Pilot has vibration/shaking in the steering wheel when braking from 50+ mph. Not noticeable at lower speeds, but very noticeable above 50mph. Steering wheel shakes and makes it seem as if the car wants to lose control or not brake as it should.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #11

Dec 172014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
I have been driving my Honda Pilot 2012 LX since Nov 2012, though have been visited Honda about 03 times for brakes, the current miles are approx 37400 miles and already resurfaced the front brake rotors 2 times, this is due to the vehicle weight per Honda, it seems the issue is with rotors, even after driving really conservatively the rotors get uneven really fast, I sincerely believe the rotors need to be of better quality and hence replaced by Honda.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #10

Apr 302014


  • 40,000 miles


On April 30 2014 my wife [xxx] entered the children's hospital of philadelphia campus in the 2012 Honda Pilot. She approached the guard booth and came to a complete stop. This can be verified as the guard stopped her and they had a brief conversation about where to park. [xxx] then accelerated out of the guard booth while making an immediate low speed right turn down a ramp into a parking garage. From this point the Honda Pilot continued to accelerate down the ramp as she applied the brakes. The car accelerated out of control and failed to brake. It jumped a small median and eventually hit a concrete block wall at the bottom of the ramp. [xxx] maintains that she was applying the brakes during the descent down the ramp up the moment of impact and the car was still continuing to accelerate and brakes did not respond. I contacted Honda and submitted a written request that the event data recorder (edr) be tested. A representative from Honda called me on September 6 (I was only given a first name of [xxx]) he explained that on or about August 19 a technician examined the vehicle and determined that no pre accident data could be recovered. He explained that while the 2012 Honda Pilot has an edr only some of these vehicles have the ability to record pre accident data and that mine did not have this ability. He also said that I would not receive a report or any confirmation in writing about the incident or subsequent examination of the vehicle. The owner manual indicates that edrs has the ability to record data up to 30 seconds prior to the accident it will report if the accelerator or brake was being activated at the moment of impact. It will also indicate the vehicle speed. My request is that Honda follow through and test the edr to determine if the brakes and or accelerator malfunctioned as [xxx] maintains and supply the results to me. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Manahawkin, NJ, USA

problem #9

Sep 032014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 25,563 miles
When driving on the highway and braking the steering wheel shakes. Confirmed by dealership: Warped rotors/ limited brake pad use: To be precise 2 millimeters of brake pad use. Mileage is under 26,000, 2 & 1/2 year old car. I am an average driver. In my opinion to have the rotors warp with limited use on the brake pads leads me to believe that the rotors were defective from the start. However the dealership is stipulating wear and tear with a $600 bill including replacing my limited worn brake pads. I'm sure I am not the only owner with this defect. Absolutely absurd!

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #8

Jul 042014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
The check engine light and vtm4 light come on after over an hour of driving. Sometimes the whole inside of the car smells has while driving and the fuel consumption is not efficient. In addition when the car sits in the garage for a few days, maybe 2-3, and I start driving, the wheels make some deep brushing noise. This gets worst when I brake. Sometimes it smells like something is burning under the hood or around the engine.

- Arlington , TX, USA

problem #7

Apr 212014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
When I purchased the vehicle new in May 2012, there was a severe 'pulsing' vibration when braking from speeds > 60mph. I took the vehicle back to the dealer, they said this was because it sat on the lot without being moved, and 'machined' the rust off the rotors, which seemed to have fixed the problem. Now the problem has reappeared at approximately 35000-40000 miles. Again the dealer says it is a problem with the rear rotors, and they need to be resurfaced and the brake pads replaced. I owned a 2004 Pilot and never experienced this problem with it in the 100,000 miles I drove it. My driving habits have not changed. There seems to be some sort of problem with the brake rotors on this model - braking distance is longer than my prior model and the vibration/pulsing is significant enough to cause a concern for safety.

- Goffstown, NH, USA

problem #6

Nov 202013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
When braking at speeds above 50 mph, there is a vibration at the steering wheel. I brought the vehicle to a Honda dealer and was told the front rotors should be refaced when the car needs new brake pads. I have had a 2006,2009, and 2012 Pilot. My driving habits have not changed, the mileage per year is consistent, and there has been no hard or excessive braking. I have not had this problem with the other model years. So, what's the problem" are the current rotors thinner or inferior"

- Rocky Point, NY, USA

problem #5

Feb 192014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 1 miles
Power went down, all doors not operative, trunk also non operative, could trap passenger and driver and cause death. All windows are not operative, all doors are non operative, trunk is not operative.

- Calabasas, CA, USA

problem #4

Dec 042013


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that while entering a parking spot, the contact attempted to decelerate but the brakes failed to respond. The contact then crashed into the rear of another vehicle. There were no injuries. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure could not be diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 15,000.

- Ashland, KY, USA

problem #3

Apr 102013


  • 18,500 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph and depressing the brakes, she felt a vibration without warning. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was advised that the brake rotors needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 18,500 and the current mileage was 19,000.

- Worcester, MA, USA

problem #2

Jun 142013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 6,700 miles
Purchased this vehicle in January 2012. We hardly driven this car till this year in 2013. As of June 28th of 2013, the Pilot has 7046 miles. In early June we took it down to baltimore when I noticed that there is something wrong with the brakes or steering problems when I applied some braking over 65mph and going down hill was extremely apparent. The steering would vibrate when applying the brakes. I took it to the dealership on 28th. The dealership told me I was " hard braking" and that was causing the rotors to warp. I asked them to clarified " hard braking." It was just a general answer that no abrupt force on the brakes. I have driven Toyota, Buick, Oldsmobile, and Chevy. I never had a rotor warped that early in mileage. I believed there is a major defects in the Pilot 2012 braking mechanism. I wish some Agency can perform more rigid tests to confirm this. I am no expert mechanic, but I have driven many miles due to my sales position both in highway and mostly city driving. And I know that a rotor should not warped that much due to " hard braking." I am a parent of two children, age 2 and 1. and I fear this is going to be an ongoing problem with the Pilot brakes/ rotors problems and it is not cover under warranty cause the company/ dealership thinks it normal wear and tear. So if anyone that has Pilot 2009 or newer, please pay attention and file a complaint to dealership and the company before a tragic might occur. Being proactive is much better than the latter. In the end, after I got my car back from the dealership. I drove and I realized when I apply the brakes under 20mph less than 20 yards to ease the braking, I feel the Pilot "jerk" back and forth. This is not normal after a re-surfaced of the rotors. I guess back to the dealership again.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #1

Sep 102012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 4 miles
Purchased the vehicle on 9/10/12. Over the next week, noticed that brake pedal travel was excessive and the feel was soft - like there was air somewhere in the brakes lines. Took the vehicle back to the dealership. The service manager drove the car and then indicated that he had received similar complaints from other customers; that on some of the other vehicles with the same complaint, they had bled the brake system with no resultant improvement; that my particular vehicle was not abnormal in this regard; and that Honda had not issued any service bulletins on this subject to date. Wrote a complaint on this to Honda usa, customer service on 10-09-12. Received a phone call from a Honda usa customer service case manager on 10-26-12 to say that they were not aware of this problem on other 2012 Honda Pilot vehicles, that they had contacted the dealership where I purchased the vehicle and concluded that my vehicle was operating per design, and that if I was unsatisfied I should contact the local Honda district parts/service manager. Will attempt to do this next week, but this sounds bogus to me since there are at least two other NHTSA complaints already on the same issue.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

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