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2016 Honda Pilot Recalls, Safety Notices, & Complaints

in Reliability
White 2016 Honda Pilot

Source: Flickr

Midsize three-row SUVs are some of the most popular vehicles in the market, especially with families. Thanks to their roomy cabins, ample storage spaces, and overall utility and comfort. With that said, the Honda Pilot is certainly one of the more appealing choices when it comes to midsize SUVs.

If you’re interested in the 2016 Honda Pilot, you’re probably wondering about its track record of recalls, safety notices, and complaints. Unfortunately, at a high level, the 2016 Pilot is one of the less reliable years of the SUV and has received plenty of complaints from owners.

Today, we rounded up the 2016 Honda Pilot recalls, safety notices, and general complaints regarding the vehicle. We hope this information lets you decide if this model year of the Pilot is worth it.

2016 Honda Pilot Recalls & Safety Notices

The 2016 Honda Pilot has been subject to six recalls by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), including:

1. Engine Stall Risk

A recall was issued due to the risk of the engine stalling while the vehicle was being driven. This condition could increase the likelihood of a crash or fire. A total of 248,999 vehicles were affected by this recall, which was announced on November 13, 2023.

How It Affects You

Imagine you’re driving, and suddenly, your Pilot loses power. The steering and brakes become harder to manage, making it tough to control your vehicle. This scenario isn’t just inconvenient; it’s dangerous, especially in traffic or high speeds. An engine stall could also leave you stranded.


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2. Hood May Open While Driving

This is one of the most widespread 2016 Honda Pilot recalls. The safety recall affecting 724,826 vehicles was due to the risk of the hood unexpectedly opening while driving, which could obstruct the driver’s view and increase the risk of a crash. It was announced on November 29, 2021.

How It Affects You

Now, picture your hood flipping open unexpectedly. Your view is completely blocked, and you’re left driving blind. It’s a scary situation that could lead to panic and potentially an accident as you struggle to pull over safely.

3. Fuel Tank May Leak

A recall for 136 vehicles was announced on March 30, 2017, due to a risk that the fuel tank could leak, increasing the risk of a fire if an ignition source were present.

How It Affects You

A leaking fuel tank poses a significant fire risk, especially if the leaked fuel comes into contact with an ignition source. If it leads to a fire or explosion, this situation could endanger you, your passengers, and others nearby.

4. Fuel Tank May Have Insufficient Welds

Another fuel tank-related recall was issued for 39 vehicles on June 9, 2016, because the tank may have insufficient welds, potentially resulting in a fuel leak and, subsequently, a fire risk.

How It Affects You

Like the fuel tank leak issue, insufficient welds could lead to fuel leaks, which is a potential fire hazard. This could compromise the safety of the vehicle’s occupants and others on the road by increasing the likelihood of a fire.

5. Improper Software To Module FMVSS 126,135,138

On October 16, 2015, a recall for 35,406 vehicles was announced due to improper software that could delay the warning to the driver when needed, potentially increasing the risk of a crash.

How It Affects You

This one’s a bit technical, but it boils down to your car’s computer not alerting you to problems like it should. Whether it’s an issue with stability control, brakes, or tire pressure, not knowing puts you at a higher risk of a crash.

6. Rear Seatbelt May Be Trapped

This recall was issued for 1,358 vehicles on July 6, 2015, because the third-row seatbelt could become trapped, preventing it from being used properly and increasing the risk of injury in the event of a crash – severely hampering the 2016 Honda Pilot safety rating.

How It Affects You

Safety for everyone in the vehicle is paramount. If the seatbelt in the third row gets trapped, it means someone can’t be properly secured. In the event of a crash, this increases the risk of injury, adding stress and concern for you as the driver.

If you haven’t already, check if your vehicle is affected by these recalls by visiting the NHTSA website and entering your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).


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2016 Honda Pilot Complaints

Besides the 2016 Honda Pilot recalls, this model year has received many consumer complaints. CarComplaints has logged over 1,000 complaints for the 2016 Honda Pilot, with the “Beware the Clunker” designation – making it one of the least reliable models of the midsize SUV.

Below are some of the most common 2016 Honda Pilot problems:

Fuel injector malfunction

The 2016 Honda Pilot has been reported to have significant issues with fuel injector malfunctions, as highlighted by complaints on Some car owners were surprised and frustrated to find out that they had to replace their fuel injectors at low mileage. One owner didn’t anticipate having to replace fuel injectors and was shocked by how common and expensive the issue is.

The malfunctioning fuel injectors led to various performance issues, including poor fuel economy, reduced power, and, in some cases, the vehicle failing to start. 

Transmission jerking and failure

The 2016 Pilot’s transmission system is one of the most prominent sore spots for owners. For instance, owners have expressed frustration over the jerking sensation, which some describe as a “bucking” or “jerking” motion that is not always consistently noticeable but can be pretty disturbing when it occurs.

On the flip side, owners have shared their experiences of sudden transmission failure, sometimes within months of purchase or at relatively low mileage. The average repair cost for transmission failure is $750 at 50,500 miles, but some owners have faced much higher quotes for repair or replacement. Oddly enough, there’s no 2016 Honda Pilot transmission recall to address these complaints.


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Electrical system problems

These electrical problems have reared their ugly heads in several ways, including keyless start warnings, malfunctioning batteries, and sporadic behavior of the vehicle’s alarm and lighting systems. Notably, some owners have encountered situations where the car alarm would activate without apparent cause, or the headlights and taillights would turn on by themselves, leading to drained batteries and the inability to start the vehicle.

Overall, the 2016 Honda Pilot is a somewhat problematic model year with several noteworthy recalls, and it may be due to being the debut model of the Pilot’s third generation.

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