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:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
1,700 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Honda Pilot Owner Comments

problem #8

Dec 272012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 3,000 miles


Driving back from Illinois to Texas and started to feel vibration when the engine's vcm would activate. I was going about 65mph and slowly eased off of the gas, when I slowly pushed on the gas to speed up again I felt a vibration on the floor board that would not stop until I gave it more gas. This has been going on ever since. Even yesterday when I drove to san antonio and today when I drove back to houston, I have taken the car to the dealership 4 times in has not been fixed even though the head mechanic did a ride along and agreed there was vibration. The dealership states they cannot fix the problem. They say they are waiting on Honda to give them instructions on how to fix it.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #7

Mar 032012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 34 miles
Every since I purchased this new car - the A/C is so so loud!!! you can hear it click on and it almost sounds like its going to blow up!!! I took my new car for its 1st oil chg on 7/14/2012 and asked them to check it out. They did and said that noise is normal. Its so loud - I shut it off at times - because its competing with the radio with volume!! this is not normal.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #6

Jun 032013


  • miles
2012 Honda Pilot. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle sudden vibration at any speed. The dealer informed the consumer, that Honda was aware of the problem, and they were in the process of trying to find a fix. The consumer stated several months have gone by, with no results.

- Aberdeen, SD, USA

problem #5

Mar 042011

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 5,000 miles


2012 Honda Pilot making an annoying humming vibration noise when the A/C or its compression starts. I've bring it in for dealers total of four times, they have change the ac compressor but problem did not go away, I have contact Honda customer relations but its been almost a year but no solutions to my issues, all they tell me is to wait for the problem is being work on, then I ask for time frame they say it might be sooner but no more then another year. Please help I don't know what else to do, the last time I bring the car in dealer say they don't know how to fix it then tell me to go home and wait for Honda hotline to tell them what to do, now I have to deal with ac and heat everytime I drive the car please help.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #4

Oct 042012


  • 300 miles
I recently purchased a 2012 Honda Pilot to replace a 2010 Pilot that had some uncharacteristic issues. Weeks after driving it off the lot, I began to notice a noise when the ac fan kicked on. I took the Pilot to the dealership and was told this was just the sound the fan makes when it kicks on. For those who have experienced this issue, they know this sound is anything but normal. It is a quite loud whining noise that changes it's pitch while you are sitting idol with the ac on. A second issue I have seen is the vibration when driving at a constant speed. The Pilot drives well when increasing or decreasing speed, but a constant speed causes a vibration similar to that of a manual transmission vehicle running in too high of gear. This issue is terribly annoying and the only way to avoid is to constantly change your speed. Both of the issues can be found in reports online with a consistent answer: Honda knows about the issues but has no current fix. I wish I had never bought this vehicle. Two Pilot at this point and no luck. There needs to be a recall on these issues and support from Honda.

- Brownsburg, IN, USA

problem #3

Mar 292012


  • 200 miles
I purchased my 2012 Honda Pilot on Tuesday March 27, 2012 with 113 miles on it. Within 2 days I experienced for the first time when trying to start the vehicle it times out after 7-10 seconds and I have to try again. Now, 8 days after the purchase it has happened 6 times. I did research on the new model and it seems to have been a known issue since the fall of 2011. If I would have known I would have never signed on the dotted line and I want the issue rectified. I contacted the dealership immediately and they said it was a new issue that has no fix currently. After a the 3rd incident I filed a formal complaint with Honda in California and I haven't heard anything. No offer to take the car back, no offer for a safer vehicle that works properly. I just want a working car-- I am paying money for a vehicle that is known to be faulty and no one seems to know what to do about it. I was told I was the 5th person in the dealerships district to have this issue but still I have this faulty vehicle that is unreliable.

- Columbia, PA, USA

problem #2

Mar 172012


  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Honda Pilot. While traveling 45 mph, the contact noticed that the vehicle had suddenly shut off without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealership where the camshaft assembly was replaced. The current and the failure mileages were 5,000.

- Ellington, CT, USA

problem #1

Feb 082012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 63 miles
2012 Honda Pilot - does not start consistently. Consistently has a rough start, and often stalls. Within days of owning my brand new 2012 Honda Pilot, the car stalled when I attempted to start it in my garage. I immediately brought the car into the dealership. The dealer's service department could not find a problem. They kept the car for the day, then reported to me that Honda of America is aware of the problem and trying to fix it. They promised to keep me posted on the status of the Honda of America engineers progress on the issue. Six weeks went by, and the problem persisted with intermittent calls from my local service manager. I was told not to bother to bring it in for service each time it stalled because they were waiting for a recall/fix from corporate. After six weeks, multiple stalls, which were all reported to my dealer as requested, I was then advised, by my dealer to contact Honda of America myself get some results. I spoke with Honda of amercia's nice, but useless customer service representative for two weeks, and got fed up with her inability to do anything other than agree that my problem was unacceptable. Then I called the GM of the dealership, explained my frustration & continued problems with my brand new Honda Pilot. He claimed to not have heard of my problem before, and quickly agreed to fulfilled my request to trade my vehicle in for a different car, same model - 2012 Honda Pilot in the hopes that my car was a lemon. Within less than 24 hours of owning this second 2012 Honda Pilot, my new car stalled. I have recently been on youtube and discovered that this is a common problem with the 2012 Honda Pilot, and has also been reported with some 2011 Honda Pilot. This is unacceptable for a new car to be so unreliable.

- Sharon, MA, USA

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