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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
11,930 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2012 Honda Pilot Owner Comments

problem #10

Aug 112016


  • 54,000 miles


When backing up using the backup camera the camera display will sometimes go black on the screen. I have almost on two occasions almost hit someone backing out of a parking lot. This is a intermittent problem that comes and goes. I feel it's a safety issues to have your vision suddenly cut out with no warning.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #9

Aug 012012


  • miles
My 2012 Honda Pilot ex-L has had issues with vibration when driving at consistent speeds between 40-50 and 60-70 (I.e. not accelerating). Local dealer initially tried to update control software with no impact, then replaced the torque converter under warranty, also with no impact. Honda service manager now says that this is a known issue with the variable cylinder management program that is designed to increase fuel economy - and the only way to correct this is to drive with the overdrive turned off (thereby significantly lowering fuel economy). The vibration can be best described as a sort of "stuttering" that typically occurs during highway driving while moving at a consistent speed, almost as if it were misfiring and goes away once the accelerator is pushed harder, only to return once consistent speeds are again reached. The issue has been non-stop since purchase in January 2012, and the vehicle now has approximately 55,000 miles. Had Honda initially explained the issue I would have applied for the North Carolina lemon law program, but instead they were less than up front about a known issue.

- Monroe, NC, USA

problem #8

Jan 012014

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
The keys for the 2012 Honda Pilot are very cheaply made. Our vehicle was purchased in December 2011. After two years of normal driving, the plastic key fob part of the key started to crack and eventually broke in half. The key is now useless. Replacement keys are $200 at the dealer which requires an hour appointment to program a new key. Keys should last the life of the vehicle, not two years.

- Crofton, MD, USA

problem #7

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 #6

Jun 122013


  • 5,200 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that the key fob would not function when attempting to access any of the doors. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer but was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 5,200.

- Idaho Falls, ID, USA

problem #5

Jan 072013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 18,000 miles
From a dead stop or slow roll, the engine fails to respond immediately to the accelerator pedal. There is a slight delay from the pressing of the accelerator to the engine responding, creating a very dangerous situation when trying to clear intersections, turning on to a highway, turning from a blind curve and many other situations. I have experienced several near crashes. The vehicle was taken back to the dealership for a computer update but the problem has not been corrected, leaving the vehicle in an unsafe condition.

- Highlands, NC, USA

problem #4

Dec 212012


  • miles


I purchased a Honda Pilot 2012 ex-L 4WD in Nov 2011. Since day one I noticed that there has been a problem with the vehicle's A/C system. Specifically, I hear a loud humming noise from the engine compartment when the A/C compressor turns on. The noise is very annoying and was dismissed by the dealer as "normal" without diagnostic works. Having owned many other vehicles over the years, my experience tells me that the noise definitely cannot be characterized as "normal". after online research, it seems that Honda is aware of the issue and had promised a solution since last year. To date, other Pilot owners and I have not received any official notification from corporate Honda regarding the fix on the issue. I'm hoping that more potential buyers are at least aware of this issue when they compare vehicles and that Honda hears our collective concerns and take responsible actions.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #3

Oct 312012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 5,500 miles
My wife pulled the vehicle into our driveway and exited the car just a she noticed white smoke coming out from under the hood. She called me out of the house to look and I saw there was a fire in the engine compartment. I tried to put it out with a fire extinguisher but it spread too fast. The end result is the entire vehicle was burnt with not much left. I am assuming it was something electrical due to the nature of the initial smoke and the location of the fire origins.

- Guilford, CT, USA

problem #2

Jun 012012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
This is first summer for my brand new Honda Pilot 2012 LX car and I notice when ac in on and car is not moving there is some kind of moaning very loud noise coming from the engine. I took my car to the dealer from where I purchased this vehicle. I was informed that Honda Motors is aware about this issue in 2012 Pilot. I am very surprise and upset that despite Honda motor is aware about this issue, till the date Honda Motors did not solve this problem. The noise coming is very loud when ac is on and when car is not moving. This noise is very annoying. I am having migraine almost every day because of this very load moaning noise coming from the car. I already contacted Honda but they did not solve this problem as of yet or there is no recall. It is almost been one year Honda Pilot 2012 model came out. Please help urgently. Thanks

- Forest Hills, NY, USA

problem #1

Jan 122012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 600 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that he heard a grinding noise while starting the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and the contact was informed that the grinding noise was due to the starter engaging. The contact was also informed that there was no repair for the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 600. Updated 05/11/12 updated 05/21/12

- Hubert, NC, USA

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