really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
9,001 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.

2016 Honda Pilot drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2016 Honda Pilot Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Jan 112017


  • 23,000 miles


I was driving around town running errands. As I pulled out of a parking lot, my display panel showed emissions system problem and the engine light came on. Called dealer and they said it's not a big concern unless engine light was flashing and to bring it in after the weekend (was a Friday afternoon). Drove it 30 minutes home at 55-65 mph and noticed no problems. Drove it that distance and speed to take it to the dealer as well with no problems. Picked it up a few days later. Service notes indicate: Code P0328, knock sensor failure, replaced knock sensor and retested, ok at this time. After picking it up, was about 10 min away and trying to go from 60 to 68 and set cruise. Speed began to jump around, not staying at a speed for more than a second 70-60-65-68-63, etc. Engine light now flashing took off cruise and it continued. Turned around to head back to dealer. Car working fine for a bit, but then continued to jerk at different speeds (60, 40, 25). Was stopped at light and engine was still revving at 4 RPM. Stepped off brake and car accelerated on own to 25. Dealer notes: Code P2638, idle relearn, torque management feedback, performed relearn. Today, 6 days after picking it up, I was stopped at a stoplight. Eco button is on, engine idle is running, seat warmer and heater on. While I was still applying brake, the engine idle sounded like it was trying to kick off and the whole car shut off on me. All indicator lights came on, but the engine was off and nothing was running. Turned car off and back on, drove the 2 miles to the dealer, and left it with them.

- Blair, NE, USA

problem #20

Oct 012016


  • 24,000 miles
I have the Honda AWD 2016 touring model with Z transmission. Since purchase, the vehicle will acceralte by itself when driving down the slope between 25 -30 miles per hour, the break will not stop the speeding, and actually will reduce the speed and it appears transmission will force the speed goes up against the break. During the drive, at this range, when accelarate, the vehicle will make a squik sound by the tire level, almost feel the tire is trying to catch up with the speed of transmission and won't turn as fast as it could and hence the squik sound, the vehicle is about 24 K miles and very challenging in driving this car. Need this to be replaced as the Z transmission recall is starting by other manufactures.. the worst is the speed of the car at drive down slope and could kill anyone due to it actually automatically start speeding even though my foot is on brake.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #19

Dec 122016


  • 4,046 miles
Car is throwing fault codes for transmission, check engine, electrical. The car suddenly goes to "engine limp mode". hard shifting, shuttering and loss of power. Random occurrences. Has been to dealer 3 times for same issue. Issue occurs from a start or at low speeds 20-35mph while in motion. The hard shifting is causing long term damage to the drive train.

- Incline Village, NV, USA

problem #18

Dec 112016


  • 12,500 miles


Vehicle mileage 12500 miles transmission replaced, but the new transmission is having the same problem as the first. Chirping and grinding when shift up or down from 3 to 4 or at 30 miles per hour while moving

- Spring Lake, NC, USA

problem #17

Nov 082016


  • 5,000 miles
I backed out of a parking space at work, and when I braked and pressed the drive button, the car did not shift. After several tries the car went into drive. I drove out of the parking lot onto a side street. However, after accelerating up to the 20 mph limit, the car apparently jumped down to 2nd and had to be shifted back into drive. After a block or two, I stopped at an intersection, waited for the light to change and accelerated after turning left onto a city street. After about six blocks I braked, turned left, then right in to a parking lot. I continued across the parking lot at about 10 mph until I neared a parking space. As I began the left turn into the space, I applied the brake and slowly entered the space. I continued to turn at a slow speed with light brake pressure when suddenly the car surged forward and crashed into the front of a parked vehicle, damaging the front of both vehicles.

- Deer Park, TX, USA

problem #16

Dec 072016


  • 200 miles
We bought a new 2016 Honda Pilot ex-L AWD in November 2016 (manufactured in Oct-2016) and experiencing some transmission issue when eco button is on. When driving around in about 30 mph, seems the transmission has difficulty in shifting gears as if it cannot decide if it needs to move up or down the gear. Then it seems to get stuck in the lower gear and feels like as if the gears are grinding. I can also feel the gears grinding in the acceleration pedal. At this point, I am able to smell metal burning through the air conditioning - seems like the transmission is getting overheated. With eco off, I have observed that the gear shifts smoothly and swiftly.

- Eden Prairie, MN, USA

problem #15

Oct 212016


  • 800 miles


We bought a new 2016 Honda Pilot AWD ex-L in October 2016 and are experiencing some pretty serious transmission issues. The first incident happened about a month ago before the vehicle even had 900 miles on it and it has re-occurred numerous times since then and we only have 2,000 miles on it. It appears that if you decelerate rather quickly from let's say 50 mph+ to zero, that when you re-start from zero, the transmission is all out of sorts. When you hit the gas at zero (after the fast deceleration) the vehicle will be very hesitant/slow to start (almost as if you¿re starting in a higher gear than 1st) and then when you get to about 25-30 mph, the vehicle will slam into that gear and shake the entire vehicle. That 'slamming into gear¿ issue will continue every time you drop down or accelerate to that 25-30 mph range during that driving session. The only way to get the issue to stop during that driving session, is to stop the vehicle and re-start the engine. It's almost like it resets the transmission or the computer that runs the transmission¿ there are no check engine lights/warnings that come on and it's a hard issue to duplicate, but the only thing that seems to make it occur sometimes is fast deceleration from a high speed down to zero (I.e. coming off an off-ramp and hitting a stop light, or driving on a 50mph type road and then hitting a stop light). There's obviously a major transmission flaw and the continued "slamming into gear" when this issue occurs, can only be doing more damage to the transmission and feels like the engine is on the verge of locking up.

- Barre, MA, USA

problem #14

Feb 052016


  • 11,000 miles
While the car was in motion on a country road, warning messages came on stating that the car should not be driven, and then the engine suddenly shut off. Car coasted to a stop. Could not restart the car for 5 or 10 minutes, but it finally started again. After taking it to the dealer twice, the diagnosis was that coolant had mixed with transmission fluid, thus the transmission had to be replaced.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #13

Nov 112016


  • 19,000 miles
2016 Honda Pilot touring - chirping sound appeared at 19,000 miles followed by shuddering and difficulty shifting between 28-32 mph. Got diagnosed at the dealership - transmission cooling unit failed, leaking transmission coolant into the transmission unit. Dealer is currently replacing with a remanufactured part. The transmission manufacturer zf friedrichshafen ag has recalled the transmissions. Honda usa is now responsible to recall the vehicles which they have not done. Honda is unsympathetic and can only recite the warranty. I feel my vehicle is unsafe to drive and the value has been substantially impacted.

- Cocoa Beach, FL, USA

problem #12

Sep 112016


  • 839 miles
While merging onto the highway going approximately 20mph, the car seized up, brought the car to a near stop and would not accelerate. It did this 3 times. No warning lights on the dash, no notice of something malfunctioning. This car was built on August 19,2016. I purchased it on August 25 only 839 miles on it when incident occurred.

- Purvis, MS, USA

problem #11

Sep 022016


  • 22,500 miles


On September 2, 2016 while ascending up a winding 2-lane highway (highway 18) to lake arrowhead, our year old 2016 Honda Pilot touring (with a zf 9-speed transmission) began decelerating rapidly from 55 mph to 20 mph. My wife was driving with our 4 children and was able to pull to the side of the road. She pulled over, turned the car off and a sheriff stopped. The sheriff recommended she try to continue to drive to get the car off the highway since they were in a very dangerous area. My wife started the car and proceeded to ascend to the nearest off ramp and when numerous warning lights came on and the car rapidly decelerated once again. This is the second time something like this has occurred. In December 2015, a similar issue occurred while driving straight up a hill on a 4 to 5 lane freeway from san diego to los angeles. In that case, the 2016 Honda Pilot jerked violently before decelerating. My wife immediately pulled the car to the side of the freeway and had the car towed to pacific Honda. Honda determined that our Pilot was unsafe to drive and needed an entirely new transmission and replaced the transmission in the 4-month old vehicle. Honda reassured us the car was now safe. It is now 8 months later (our car is just 1 year old), and our car is now sitting at rock Honda in fontana, California. Honda is now determining the next course of action. We have the name and badge number of the sheriff who assisted my wife if helpful. This is a very dangerous situation and should be rectified immediately.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #10

Sep 022016


  • 5 miles
Vehicle has a lurching jolt when at a stop and go into 1st/2nd gear. Very noticeable downshift when breaking as well, with more lurching jolts.

- Copperas Cove, TX, USA

problem #9

Jul 282016


  • 20,055 miles
Transmission was making a beeping, whistling noise when shifting gears on city street. My car was not a year old and transmission was replaced with re-manufactured. It is still not running as before problem. I am hearing noise such as sounding like rake being drug on concrete and whistling noise. Dealership says there is nothing that they can do. No lights are on, nor were they on before. Only 12,000 additional miles given with part.(not exceptable to me).

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #8

Jul 012016


  • 1,750 miles
The vehicle started making noises when shifting gears and the local dealer asked me to stop by a week later for diagnosis. This made me believe that it may not be a big issue as the dealership did not find it alarming after knowing about the symptoms the car was displaying. When I was driving the next day, the dashboard started displaying error messages like emission error and transmission error, started jerking and slowed down abruptly coming almost to a halt. While on the highway with 70 mph as max speed, I managed to take the vehicle to the side and on the shoulder. I was traveling with family, including children, and it was a very agonizing experience. A few days later, the Honda dealership where I left the vehicle fixed the issue by replacing a cap which was causing leak from the transmission. Part number 06233-5J4-000 was replaced.

- Bloomington, IL, USA

problem #7

Apr 222016


  • 132 miles
I have a 2016 Honda Pilot touring auto with the 9 speed transmission. When coasting downhill or when down shifting using the paddle shifters the car abruptly accelerates. This is a serious safety issue as acceleration should not be the result of downshifting when approaching a curve or going downhill.

- Poncha Springs, CO, USA

problem #6

Feb 042016


  • 1,700 miles
2/4/16: Backed out of garage, put car in park, lowered garage door. Was about to exit vehicle to adjust passenger side mirror, car surged forward, crashing through garage door. Brakes would not stop vehicle as it was crashing through the garage; immediately applied emergency brakes, car finally stopped against shelving in garage and wten became wedged in garage. Car experienced severe damage to front, hood, top, sides and could not be removed from garage until garage doors were removed by garage door company the next day. On 2/5/16 took car to Honda dealer. Said they needed time to investigate, would need until Monday, 2/15 when manufactuere's rep could be there; gave loaner vehicle to use in interim. Car still had dealer tag, one month old. On 2/17, received a call from service manager stating that Honda rep's investigation found nothing wrong with vehicle and that I would need to look to my insurance company to repair vehicle. I was told to return loaner vehicle that day, which we did. There was over $2,000 damage to home; and $8,836 damage to vehicle. I find it amazing that Honda could find nothing wrong with vehicle. I know for a fact that the car was in park and nothing would make it stop. The car is brand new - Honda knows that something is wrong; there are other vehicles that have had the same problem. I will not feel safe in the car for one minute when the repairs are completed (taking 24 days to repair). And, it is a damaged vehicle with the dealer tag still on it!

- Lilburn, GA, USA

problem #5

Feb 032016


  • 600 miles
2016 Honda Pilot surge while trying to stop on a city street and 2 times ended up part way in the intersection. No warning lights on dash. Had Pilot about a month. Only drove about 500 miles. Concerned, so keep longer distances in traffic. Setup an appointment today with local dealer to inspect per his schedule in 4 days.

- Frankfort, KY, USA

problem #4

Jan 312016


  • 19,000 miles
9-speed transmission in the "touring" trim level of 2016 Honda Pilot has an electronic push-button shifter. This shifter intermittently fails to respond to firm button pushes. This is especially problematic when shifting from forward to reverse or vice versa in parking situations. On several occasions, after coming to a complete stop and firmly depressing the shifter button to reverse direction, the vehicle has accelerated in the original direction upon release of the brake. This has necessitated emergency braking to avoid collision. No warning message or chime is generated during these failures, the vehicle simply fails to acknowledge or respond to the button press. Dealer service has been unable to replicate or repair the problem.

- Verona, WI, USA

problem #3

Jan 312016


  • 19,000 miles
Vehicle surges forward when 9-speed automatic transmission shifts during coasting or light braking. Surging routinely occurs at moderate speeds ( 35-45mph ) when coasting downhill on a secondary highway. Surging has also occurred at parking lot speeds, and has necessitated emergency braking to avoid collision. Honda motor company has acknowledged similar behavior in another model that shares identical engine and transmission with this vehicle ( aside from differences in tuning ), the 2016 Acura MDX, and a software repair campaign is underway for that vehicle. At this time, no software repair has been announced for the 2016 Honda Pilot touring. Several repair attempts have been made by a local Honda service department, with no improvement.

- Verona, WI, USA

problem #2

Nov 012015


  • 900 miles
The contact owns a 2016 Honda Pilot. The contact stated that the vehicle would not start. The vehicle had to be towed to a Honda dealer where the failure could not be diagnosed. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer and the failure recurred six days later. When the failure recurred, the transmission failure warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it could not be diagnosed or repaired. The vehicle was given back to the contact, but the vehicle stalled a few days later and all the warning indicators illuminated. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 900.

- Bronx, NY, USA

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