Last post on Nov 14, 2013 at 4:08 PM
You are in the Honda Pilot
What is this discussion about?
Honda Pilot, SUV
Oct 27, 2008 (11:23 am)
Since we got our Pilot back around July or August 2008 (had to wait for parts), it has been running okay. Honda changed the modulator and brake switch. When the problem started happening last year, we brought the Pilot to be checked but every time the Honda could not find anything wrong with it. The last time it happened, the VSA light came on, we DID NOT turn off the ignition this time. We drove slowly home (with VSA light on). According to the Honda technician, whenever we turned the engine off, the vehicle’s computer sorts of reboots and fixes itself. So every time we brought it to them, they checked the computer and nothing wrong registered. However, this last time, there was enough information in the vehicle’s computer for them to work on.
In June 2008, we called the 800 number and filed a complaint with Honda. They are aware of this problem because they documented our problem. We even have a case file # that they provided to us. Be persistent with them and inform your service center of the dangers of driving an unsafe vehicle. The second to the last time we brought our Pilot to them and they could not find anything wrong with, I refused to take it back and drive it home. I was totally afraid to ride in it. They ended up diagnosing it as a problem with the transmission (which they replaced with no charge). The manager assured me 99.9% that it wouldn’t happen anymore that the problem was fixed. But lo and behold, it happened again 2 weeks after. That was when the VSA light came on again and we drove home with it on. I hope that you do not have to go through what we have gone through. It is very stressful and dangerous for your family.
#6801 of 6895 Re: [ca1aa]
Oct 31, 2008 (3:30 am)
Thanks for your reply. The car has been in the svc center for a few days and they have found nothing wrong. Additionally Honda Cust Svc has indicated that there is no other complaint like this. Could you supply us with the case number supplied by Honda and the dealership you worked with? We appreciate your assistance.
#6802 of 6895 '05 Honda pilot EX-L brake malfunction
Nov 04, 2008 (8:22 pm)
I own this vehicle and we have driven about 24000 miles. I note that seven owners have listed this potentionally life-threatening malfunction. Does anyone have any ideas about identifying a commonality of the vehicles? Perhaps the plant of assembly combined with the month could be a starting point. Will the seven people with this problem please list this information.
If anyone has any other suggestions for getting common information please also post that suggestion. I have just gone from believing that I own a safe reliable vehicle to an owner with worries about my wife's and my safety.
#6803 of 6895 Re: '05 Honda pilot EX-L brake malfunction [ralphuco]
Nov 05, 2008 (5:59 am)
As an additional couple of ideas, what was the odometer reading at the time of the first occurrence and what difference in the braking system or other associated system in the "05 model from the '04. Ralph
#6805 of 6895 Re: 2005 honda pilot ex-l brake malfunction [jselm123]
Nov 06, 2008 (1:44 pm)
Complaints about the brakes should be filled with NHTSA, not with Honda !
NHTSA can force Honda to recall / fix / redesign the VSA.
#6806 of 6895 Re: 2005 honda pilot ex-l brake malfunction [rodut]
Nov 06, 2008 (1:54 pm)
I hope that's what the owners who had this problem have done. There are seven who indicated the problem in this discussion. It does seem to be a safety issue which warrents the attention of NHTSA. Ralph
Nov 07, 2008 (5:23 am)
I don't think NHTSA would issue a recall because of 7 complaints. It will be hard to convince them that it is an inherent defect with the vehicle given that 7 vehicles are not even an atom in the bucket compared to the number of Honda Pilots sold.
Worth a try, but you are better of trying to work things out with Honda in this case.
#6808 of 6895 VSA, the "safety system", will kill people !
Nov 08, 2008 (7:11 am)
There are only 7 vehicles probably because the problem just started to show up. 2005 was the 1st year when VSA was installed on Pilots, so 2005 Pilots have the oldest VSAs, so the most likely to fail.
Years ago I predicted that VSAs will kill people. I even had lots of posts removed from this web site (Edmunds accused me of SPAM, because I posted my post on about 50 discussion groups, if I remember correctly). Also the local newspaper accepted to publish my article about the dangers of a malfunctioning Stability System (January 2006). I also sent my article to NHTSA (January 2007).
At that time I was predicting that when malfunctioning VSA will steer the cars randomly all over the place because of applying the brakes on one side of the vehicle (to correct for an imaginary skid, when the computer would receive a wrong information from a bad sensor). Well ... it seems that these days it applies the brakes on all wheels, not just on one side as I was predicting.
The following is the letter I had sent to NHTSA (in January 2007), and their confirmation of receipt:
Thank you for contacting the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Vehicle Safety Hotline Information Center.
We appreciate the time you have taken to contact us and value your opinion. Your comments have been forwarded to the appropriate NHTSA personnel.
However, if you need additional information on our services please feel free to contact us at 1-888-327-4236.
NHTSA.dot.gov Response Team
Disclaimer: "This response is for information purposes only and does not constitute an official communication of the U.S. Department of Transportation. For an official response, please write U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 7th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20590.
> Dear NHTSA,
> In my opinion you expose yourself to huge lawsuits by making the ESC mandatory (49 CFR Parts 571 and 585 - Electronic Stability Control Systems; Proposed Rule). Please, in the name of mankind, read carefully my letter. I am a 42 years old Electronics Test Engineer, so I know a lot about electronic systems. I understand that you have good intentions and want to protect us. But you don't see the whole picture. By only looking at the technical performance of new VSC systems you miss some major points:
> 1) You miss the fact that these systems will kill people when they will become defective (because of age, vibrations, thermal cycles over many years, hardware bugs, software bugs, etc). You authorize a computer to steer a car ... well it will do it when needed, or when not needed (if defective). So some family somewhere in America will drive in straight line, on a sunny summer day, on dry pavement, and suddenly the old and defective steering sensor will send to the computer the wrong information (let's say "steering wheel turned max to the left"). The computer, thinking that the driver turned the steering wheel to the left, will apply the left side brakes to abruptly steer the car to the left (let's say in the path of an incoming 18 wheeler). Fortunately for you all of them will die, so it will be nobody to sue you. BUT after many people will be killed, some other family, another sunny day, could escape alive. And those people will sue you.
> 2) The 2nd fact you miss is the impact of such systems on people's health. For instance my heart skips a beat (or a couple of beats) when the ESC system activates. Do you think that is "safe" for me ?!? It's because I don't expect somebody else to steer and brake my car. I never had any health problems when skidding on ice !
> 3) The 3rd fact you miss is that you create dumber drivers. Overconfident too. For 10 years I drove a rear wheel Volvo 240 wagon. It was skidding on snow all the time, but that was never a problem, because by instinct I was turning the steering wheel to the right position. New drivers, driving these ESC cars, will never have that instinct. So they will become dumber drivers. But they will be overconfident too, because they will trust the damn computer, which will let them down when they will try to break the physics laws (so they will go into the ditch). Do you think that the dumb&overconfident combination is safe ?
> 4) In 10 years these 2007 cars will be owned by modest-income people, so it's likely they won't spend thousands of dollars to fix fancy electronic systems. Nobody will care about warning lights ! They will keep driving them and put all of us (your children too) at risk.
> 5) Very limited testing. Testing of such a complex system (supposed in good health) cannot be done for an infinity of scenarios. Testing will be limited to a small number of road scenarios, and will also be done on young, properly functioning systems. No test engineer or designer will be able to know with 100% certitude that those systems will be safe. BUT I can tell you with 100% certitude that those systems will become older, and will malfunction, at a certain point in time. Isn't that obvious ? Do not believe that the diagnostic system will pick up any malfunctions. I spent my whole life debugging electronic systems, and I can tell you that there is an infinite number of possible malfunctions in such a complex electronic system (sensors, modules, wiring, connections, rusty grounds etc). A designer can't imagine and predict an infinite number of problems and scenarios.
> In my opinion your ESC regulation should either disappear from the face of the Earth, or it should require manufacturers to install a separate fuse for the ESC system. With such a fuse available, any car owner would be able to PERMANENTLY disable a system authorized to kill him and his family (if defective), without disabling any other car electronic system (ABS, braking etc). Also if in 10 years a certain manufacturer realizes that it manufactured a million of dangerous cars, that manufacturer could issue a cheap recall (to remove that fuse), so cheaply convert a million of dangerous cars into a million of safe cars (ESC free).
> Final comments:
> What nobody at NHTSA seems to notice is that for the 1st time in automotive history, the computer has been given the right to kill. And you want to make it a mandatory feature!
> Can't you see the lawsuits against you ? Can't you see our lives at the mercy of a damn aging computer ?!
#6809 of 6895 Re: VSA, the "safety system", will kill people ! [rodut]
Nov 10, 2008 (12:52 pm)
Since this subject is of great interest to you, have you done a study across all manufacturers to see how many of these stabity systems are malfuntioning? Have most manufacturers installed these systems for more than 3 years? It might be an interesting study which could support your belief that the system is inherently subject to malfunctioning after a period of time. Ralph