Certain 2016-2020 Honda Pilot vehicles with 3.5L engines and 9-speed automatic transmissions could experience a problem with the automatic Start/Stop feature. The Honda Pilot Touring and Elite vehicles are equipped with Auto Start/Stop capability to help improve fuel efficiency. When the driver enables the system and certain operating conditions are met, the Auto Start/Stop system will automatically shut off the engine when the vehicle comes to a complete stop. The engine should automatically restarted when the driver releases the brake pedal.
The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has received 221 complaints and several field reports claiming that there is an issue with the Auto Start/Stop feature on certain 2016-2020 Honda Pilot vehicles. The complaints say that the Auto Start/Stop function fails to restart the engine on its own after it has come to a complete stop at a traffic light or road intersection. Some of the complainants allege that a jump was required for the vehicle to be restarted.
The ODI met with Honda on several occasions on this issue. Honda indicated that per the information provided from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) complaints and TREAD (Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation) reports, they have found a correlation with customers’ allegations for the Auto Start/Stop failure to restart the vehicle when the system is activated. Honda also indicated other Honda models (Honda Odyssey, Acura TLX & Acura MDX) with the 3.5L engines equipped with the 9-speed automatic transmissions experience the same failure mode.
ODI is opening this Preliminary Evaluation (PE) to determine the scope and severity of the potential problem as well as to fully assess the potential safety-related issues.