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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,264 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2012 Honda Pilot Owner Comments

problem #9

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 #8

Nov 292015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Honda Pilot. While driving approximately 20 mph, the power steering failed and the contact crashed into a telephone pole. The air bags failed to deploy. No police report was filed. The contact sustained injuries to the lower back, which did not require medical attention. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage and VIN were unknown.

- Hampden, MA, USA

problem #7

Apr 302015


  • 45,047 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Honda Pilot. While driving at 60 mph, the vehicle pulled to the right and the steering wheel jerked violently. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 45,047.

- Westbury, NY, USA

problem #6

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 #5

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 #4

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 #3

Sep 092013

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 24,000 miles


Vehicle pull to one side on flat surface. Honda dealer claim that it is due to road curve. They perform the following: Wheel alignment and tire rotation. Did not fix the problem. When driving and hit a bump, vehicle shift from left to right or right to left. The blame the tire is bad but the vehicle is less then 1.5 years old. They perform the following: Wheel alignment and tire rotation. Did not fix the problem. Steering wheel is loose. I can turn the wheel more than 3 inches before the wheel turn. They perform the following: Wheel alignment and tire rotation. Did not fix the problem. Knocking noise in front of vehicle when rocking the steering wheel left and right. Dealer apply grease. Vehicle vibration at around 40-45 mph and 20-25 mph. Feel like something with the drive train. They stated it was a common Pilot all of these issue the dealer dismiss because they stated it was all in Honda specific. I believe that for a vehicle that is less than 1.5 years old, this is just [xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Yonkers , NY, 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

Jun 272012

Pilot 6-cyl

  • 66 miles
Driving home from the dealer in a brand new 2012 Honda Pilot, 4WD, ex-L w/res on 6/26/12. At approximately 62 to 65 mph the transmission is lurching as it appears to be shifting back and forth between 4th and 5th gear. This causes a jerking motion and can be felt in the steering. Took vehicle back to dealer on 6/28/12 and a Honda technician drove the vehicle as I was in the passenger seat. The technician confirmed the issue and indicated it was exactly as I had described. He says this is a known problem but there is no fix. He said it's due to the torque converter. He said it is the same on the Odyssey models but Honda released some software updates but they weren't successful. He said if it happens just speed up or slow down (he really said this). He said if Honda releases any software updates they'll contact me. Wow.

- Chagrin Falls, OH, USA

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