Honda Pilot

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The Honda Run Around and Lemon Law Violation
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WESTMINSTER, COLORADO -- We bought our new 2009 Pilot on February 2, 2009 and on February 20, 2009 we took the car back to the Honda dealership service department to have our brand new car serviced because we had trouble with the car starting properly. The problem that was occurring is when you get in the car and put the key in the ignition, sometimes the car starts absolutely perfectly, other times the car will crank, like it's trying to turn over to start for a range of 5-15 seconds, which then the car with eventually start up. This does not happen every time we start the car it's very sporadic. We took the car into the dealership to get looked at on the 20th of February and they said that they could not find anything wrong and to take it home and if it does it again to bring it back. On that trip into service they reset the entire battery and rewired it and also had the alarm people make sure the alarm was not causing the problem. We were told that if we can just get the problem to reproduce in front of them that's what they need to see happen so that they can hear it and know what they are dealing with.

The 2nd time we took the car back to the dealership was on February 23, 2009. This time into the shop they were advised by Honda to completely reset the entire computer system in the car. We were given a rental car, a Kia Spectra. They reset the computer and the next day sent us home with the car again and said if the car did it again to bring it back.

The 3rd time, for the same problem, on March 3, 2009, the car went back to the dealership and they decided to hook a computer up to the car, the Honda Interface Module or HIM. They put us in a rental car, a Chrysler Town and Country Mini Van and we had the dealership cover the insurance as well, and then had us return the next day, March 4th, to take the car home with the computer on it to have the computer track every time we start the car and it will record what the car does every time it is started. This time we were leaving on vacation after getting our car back and we had the starting issue happen 2 times before we left, so in less than 12 hours from leaving the dealership. Our friends started the car everyday while we were gone to get the problem to happen and they had it happen 4 times and the 5th time they attempted to start the car the battery was completely dead! So from my vacation I got to call the dealership and tell them the problem, then I got to call and arrange for a tow truck to come and get our car out of our garage while we are gone, and also had to arrange for friends to be there at 7am on Friday, March 13th.

The 4th time to the dealership was when the car got towed there on Friday, March 13th. We got home from the airport and the dealership was supposed to have a rental car for us at the airport and they failed to do that. So we had to call the dealership and get the rental car taken care of ourselves just to get home from vacation! This time we said we required them to give us an SUV so we were given a Ford Expedition and the dealership covered the insurance as well. Then back to the dealership the next day to get car. When we got there they told us that they had to put a brand new battery in the car because it was completely dead. They said they think that their computer (HIM) had completely drained the battery and when the battery died all the information from the HIM was completely erased. So they wanted us to take the car home again with the HIM on it to track each start so that they could get their data if it happened again. So we left with the car from the dealership at 12:30pm and headed home. The car had the problem when starting at 7pm and 8:10pm that night, March 13th. The service at the dealership closed at 7pm so we couldn't take the car back that day and they are closed on Sundays so we took the car back to them on Monday morning, March 16th.

This is the 5th trip to the dealership now for the same problem on March 16, 2009, and they downloaded the computer and said there was no information on it. We talked with the General Manager, who has been working with us on the car and all the difficulties we have been having and asked him what they were going to do about it. He said we can't do anything until we have data. We said that the problem keeps occurring and their computer is not recording any data and how is that our fault? So he wanted us to leave with the car again to get the car to reproduce the problem for the computer to try to record again and we told him no. So he put us in a rental car again, the same Ford Expedition that we had just returned and they are covering the insurance again on it. The 5 hours that we were there at the dealership that day trying to get [snip] to do something for us got us nowhere.

During this time we were there my husband, Robert, was going down to service, where our car was located, and was working with our service provider, [snip], on starting the car every once in a while to see if the problem would reproduce. They had it happen in a very minor fashion while we were there and their computer showed nothing again. So as we were leaving my husband started the car again one last time before we left in the rental and the car had the problem the worst we had ever experienced it! We yelled to get everyone's attention that was in the service area and it was heard by many people, including our service provider [snip] . As the car cranked and cranked to start for about 20 seconds or so at the end of that the cranking trailed off and the car never started up. The battery was completely dead again!! In 2 days the brand new battery was completely dead! So the [snip] had his crew immediately get a back-up power source and extract the information from the HIM to get the data. Once again, they said there was no data. So [snip] said, I know exactly what it sounds like and what was happening so go ahead and take the rental and go home. Having this happen right there in the service area is exactly what they told us they needed on time 1 into service for this problem. So they have their information or data as [snip] keeps asking for. But this is not satisfactory for them it seems. [snip] said that he was going to have his Area Service Rep come out the next day as well as his Head Training Service Tech to work on the car.

On March 17, 2009 we called to [snip] in service and asked what was going on with the car. He said that they jump started the car and the battery is holding a charge for now, the Head Training Service Tech was there working with the car trying to get the problem to reproduce again to get data on the HIM. So during all of this [snip] was taking our car out and driving it and then parking it and waiting for approximately 2 hours and then starting it. Problem did not occur so he took it out and drove it again and did the same things all over in a cycle. No problems all day. So when my husband got off work from the Navy for the day he drove up to the dealership to find out what was going on. The Area Service Rep had only been there a couple of hours and then left so my husband did not get to meet with her, he talked to [snip] while up there and said he wanted to talk to the Head Training Service Tech to brainstorm or hear what he thinks is going on. [snip] never took Robert to talk to him. [snip] said that he wanted Robert to take the car home with the HIM attached again to get the problem to reproduce so they can get the data. He said no, I am not going to keep doing this. He asked them to try something else if they are not going to proceed with the Lemon Law and Magnesson Moss Warranty Act for us and [snip] said no, this is what we are going to keep trying. We have to have data on that computer before we will do anything else. So Robert told [snip] to keep the car there, drive it wherever he wants to and to call us when they have either found the problem and completely fixed it to 100% or when he has a replacement car. So the Pilot is still at the dealership as of today and the General Manager is driving it during the day and also driving it home at night.

Basically we are tired of going in circles on this, we fully qualify under the Lemon Law and the Magnesson Moss Warranty Act but have been trying to give the dealership time to fix the problem. This has been going on for far too long with no results or anything from the dealership. They are not willing to budge on what they are going to try to how they are going to help us and we are really fed up. We are paying $649 a month for a car that we don't even have! We bought this car 7 weeks ago and have had nothing but problems and headaches with it. We live 40 miles from the dealership and that is where all the mileage on the car has come from. When we drove it off the lot it had 17 miles on it and as of yesterday it had 1386. I do not work so this car should have about half of that mileage on it. All the miles are driving to and from the dealership the 9 times we have driven up there in it. We are wasting a lot of our time with our daughter in this and also away from our home, which we are in the process of trying to sell, and also expecting another baby. We don't need this stress and lack of sleep, first for health reasons for me and the unborn baby, but also for our 14 month old daughter and my husband who is in the Navy and having to work 12 hours a day!

We bought a brand new car for peace of mind and reliability and having something very nice to drive and we have yet gotten to really experience that. All we are looking for is getting a replacement car and to move on with our lives and be happy! We absolutely LOVE the Honda Pilot and just want a working model of what we are paying for and what we are responsible for through our insurance.
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Anonymous on 03/25/2009:
I hope not, but this sure sounds like an anti-theft system problem that is found on many domestic vehicles. The vehicle will start fine several times and suddenly refuse to start. When a diagnostic computer is hooked up to it, the computer will generate a code that blames the ignition switch or some other perfectly fine part. The only fix, is to replace the entire logic module. Good luck. Pilots are nice vehicles.
dan gordon on 03/25/2009:
you certainly are good a writing a novel. I don't know why this is such a crisis? Did you add an aftermarket alarm system? I'm sure they will get the root of it. The dealer has been very accommodating to you thus far.
Anonymous on 03/25/2009:
I know I'd be more than pissed if I paid 30+ K for a new car and 51 days later the vehicle never has and still doesn't function properly or reliably. That's messed up. I keep hearing from members on here that Honda makes a good car but now I have to wonder if that's true.

Good luck and I hope it all works out for you. Good review!
Anonymous on 03/25/2009:
Dan, I am not sure why you feel that the OP is making this a crisis. They paid good money for a vehicle that is a POS. Wouldn't you be a bit peeved off too?? Did they mention an after market alarm system? No. I am thinking that since this post is so detailed that would be a piece of information that would have been included. The dealer has been accommodating giving them a rental vehicle, but how is it the OP's fault that the data is not being retained on the HIM and the problem with the vehicle still hasn't been diagnosed and the problem not yet fixed? Give me a break. The lemon law should be used in this instance. The OP has made every effort to get the problem resolved and all they have gotten are rental vehicles and the run-around.

To Masterzman, The detail in this review was helpful. Honda's are generally good cars, but if they are not going to take care of you, a customer that spent good money on a vehicle that has never run properly then they need to be taken to task. I hate saying this but I think you have exhausted every other option. I would get a lawyer that works on lemon law cases and spend the money and have them write a letter to the dealership letting them know that they want the vehicle replaced and reimbursement for writing the letter. The letter should also state if the dealership doesn't comply, then filing a lawsuit will be the next step.
dan gordon on 03/25/2009:
Yes I'd be upset but the issue was it sometimes taking 15 seconds to start. Its not like they have been stranded 15 times due to it not starting. Is it not reasonable to expect to duplicate the problem? I don't think it takes 2 pages detailing the brand of rental cars they were rented to make the point. The poster specificlly stated she asked the 'alarm people' to make sure it wasn't causing the problem.--Read the first page, that's why I'm skeptical.
Anonymous on 03/25/2009:
This particular Honda comes with a factory equipped security system. The OP was referring to the dealership 'Alarm People' or that's how I read it.
masterzman on 03/25/2009:
Thank you all thus far. Yes the Alarm is the one that came with the car. The reason we stated the types of rental car is having Honda care is that they replace with something equivalent. Johninsocal thanks for the advice, we have since then filed a claim with the BBB, Attorney General for Colorado, and filed paperwork with a lawyer. The HIM is still attached ont the car and it has had the starting issue 2 more times and the dealer was contacted and they want us to bring in the Car and HIM and have it downloaded again and see if there is DATA, I am really beginning to hate that word. Dan yes I haven't been stranded anywere yet, but why should it have to come to that. I did pay 36K, and the car has about 1900 miles on it now and still doesn't run properly. When I bought the car I would hope that it would be in perfect condition, here I am 7 weeks later 7 trips to the dealer later and the car still does not run up to spec, but the dealer needs data!
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StarStarStarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Not the Quality I Expected From Honda
Posted by on
Rating: 3/51
Apparently the Pilot isn't made to travel on dirt roads. I live on one and at a little over 60,000 miles both control arm compression bushings started leaking causing a vibration when braking. ($ 390. for each part not including installation). Agree with another review, .. I packed the cargo area with luggage on a trip and also carried some heavy cargo from a home improvement store. Camber on the right rear suspension went out. Tire dealer said it may be a weak spring. Got new tires,... one wheel will not balance,... tire dealer tried 3 different tires to no avail,... something wrong with the wheel. With less than 3 years on the car the driver side arm rest split exposing thin cheap vinyl material,.. definitely not what I expected as Honda quality. Surprisingly not covered under warranty but dealer replaced. The longer I own this car the less I'm impressed with what should be Honda quality and warranty. Ever heard of a dome light going out in less than 3 years,.. mine did.
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Honda Pilot 4WD leaking rear axle fluid. Honda poor quality. Honda dealership poor services.
Posted by on
Just make quality car as they did in the 90s. New 2007 car from dealership, after 9000 miles, had axle leak!

Hello fellow Pilot owner.

So the leak has gotten worse (only 16K mileage) and the car is due for an oil change, so I took it to dealer and to get oil change and tell them about leak. The advisor, wrote this down for technician to check...

When I went to pick up car and on paper work, they put not leak found! OMG, all you have to do is bend over and can see leak residue on axle; I can't believe they said no leak found.

This time I show the advisor where leak is. So dealer keep the car there and finally called back later and said there is leak on rear axle seal. Today car is done and they said seal was replaced. It looks clean to me now... wonder how long this will last.

We all trust these people to do their job properly, but this time I'm really pissed. Anyone with a 4WD I suggest you check this out for yourself. It not difficult at all, just look under rear of the car, next to muffler, at the center is axle. If you see any oil residue around this area, you might have a leaking axle seal.

This could be a potential fire hazard if not discover and taken care of, as axle is above muffler and some of the fluid does get on muffler.

I have photo if anyone is interested to see location of leak or where to look. Also paper works on this if needed for class lawsuit.

> Sent: Friday, October 3, 2008 11:20:45 PM
> Subject: [hondapilot] 2007 Pilot 4WD leaking rear axle fluid, anyone?
> Just wondering if anyone else with a 4WD model have this problem or
> not... So I saw dripping on the garage floor then was able to trace it
> back to the center of the rear axle near.
> BTW my pilot have less than 10K on it; really didn't expect this from
> a Honda.
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Alain on 05/13/2010:
Since I have a '99 Honda (which has served me well) that eventually will need replacement your complaint was of interest to me. I found several sites that I may use in the future which may be of interest to you, too.,, and have information on Honda complaints including the 2007 Pilot.
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Check Gas Cap notification on dash.
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Recently I got a Check Gas Cap light on my dash. I checked it and it was on tight. I hadn't gotten gas for 3 days but it just appeared. I went to the dealer and 44 dollars later they informed me that if it did it again I would need a new gas cap. 22 dollars. First time in my life I ever had to replace or pay for a gas cap problem. I am 72 yrs old. The service clerk wanted to order a new cap right away and I said OK but later reading the maint. sheet it said to get one if it happened again. I may go Hyundai for the guarantee.
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madconsumer on 11/25/2009:
with all the new controls on vehicles, the gas cap plays an important part of the system. something to do with the pressure in the gas tank.
old guy on 11/26/2009:
I understand all the new controls but what I don't understand is how a gas cap can wear out after 3 years at a cost of 66 dollars for test and cap. Not installed!
skel on 12/09/2009:
My Honda gas cap failed the annual Arizona emissions test. Then I talked to my Honda mechanic. He says gas caps that fail the Arizona emissions test usually pass the Honda test for good gas caps. In other words, Honda has no way to know if their gas caps are usable.
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Cargo Space Design
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CLEAR LAKE, TEXAS -- I was told by my Honda Dealer that the Pilot was not intended to carry anything but groceries, in the rear cargo space. I had been using it to carry my bowling bag (about 35 pounds). Some of the plastic cracked. Apparently it was not intended for use as a cargo transport. So why do they advertise the large cargo space if you can't use it for anything heavier than a grocery bag. I have been very disappointed in the way this vehicles cargo space was constructed. It's thin plastic with nothing under it. They need to change their advertising. It's definitely not a rugged vehicle.
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Sparticus on 03/11/2007:
I'd be ticked off too. 35 pounds is not excessive. Interestingly I was unable to find any images online from Honda that show the cargo area being used for more than small items. They must be aware of this design limitation and avoided exposing it in their marketing. Perhaps the best solution is to buy some sort of liner for the cargo area to help re-enforce the floor?
MRM on 03/11/2007:
See if there are auto custom shops in your area that will customize your cargo space so that it can support more weight. If you enjoy riding in your new Honda Pilot, why not spend more money on cargo space reinforcement? Toodles...
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