2019 Honda Odyssey Top Complaints and Problems – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Fuel system, electrical, brake, engine and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

When it comes to finding a family vehicle, many drivers turn to the 2019 Honda Odyssey. After all, the Honda brand provided numerous years of quality workmanship, which is why many of the older vans are still on the road. With the promise that the newer Odyssey has “something for everyone,” it’s easy to believe the 2019 Honda Odyssey will also exceed expectations. Sadly, that’s not the case for many owners. From the faulty electrical system to the malfunctioning engine, this van has more problems than anyone wants to deal with. Maybe the tagline should have been some defects for everyone instead.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2018

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Electrical System

Modern vehicles are filled with sophisticated electrical systems and tech features. In a family van, these amenities are designed to keep everyone entertained on the road. From the radio to the rear entertainment system, owners can’t seem to keep their equipment in good working order.

Just look at what this person said on Edmunds. “We have had to take our brand new Odyssey into the dealership for repairs 4 times now since October 2018. The dealership and Honda Manufacturing have been working together to resolve the issue but can’t seem to find the solution. We are starting to discuss the lemon law and how we can get out of the car. It started at only 800 miles on the car with the radio along with the instrument panel cutting in/out along with a static and popping noise coming from the dashboard. They have replaced several items and performed software updates which seems to resolve the issue temporarily. It works for a week or so and then we are completely inconvenienced of having to schedule a time to drop off the car, remove and transfer car seats to the loaner vehicle, and take time out of our schedule. We went with a brand new vehicle to make sure we had a reliable van for our family. I have always thought of Honda as reliable but not anymore.”

While this is quite the hassle for this family to deal with, some electrical problems create dangerous situations. Take, for example, the recall labeled with NHTSA Campaign Number 19V299000. It appears that a loose battery terminal connection leads the TCU to reboot spontaneously. When this occurs, the van might shift itself into Park and damage the parking rod. This just proves that Honda didn’t get any part of the electrical system right – from the minor conveniences to the critical battery connection. This van needs a complete rewiring to be right. What’s worse, a van that shifts itself into Park or crying kids because the entertainment center isn’t working correctly? It’s hard to tell.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Honda Odyssey Electrical Problems:

THREE HOURS AWAY FROM HOME AND THE INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM WENT COMPLETELY OUT. ALL OF THE SAFETY FEATURES ATTACHED WERE OFF AND WE WERE UNSURE OF THE IMPACT TO OTHER FEATURES. IT WOULD NOT TURN OFF EVEN AFTER THE CAR WAS OFF. IT CONTINUED TO DRAIN THE BATTERY WITHOUT ANYWAY TO TURN IT OFF. CALLED HONDA SUPPORT AND ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE AND NO ONE COULD HELP ME OR REASSURE MY FAMILY THAT WE WERE SAFE TO DRIVE THE VEHICLE. THREE DAYS LATER THEY HAD TO CONNECT TWO WIRES AT THE DEALERSHIP TO RESET THE SYSTEM. APPRECIATE THIS IS A REOCCURRING ISSUE BUT NO ONE HAS GIVEN US DETAILS OF WHAT CAUSE THE ISSUE OR THE OVERALL IMPACT ON SAFETY FEATURES.

THE INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM IS DEFECTIVE. WITHOUT WARNING THE ENTIRE UNIT BLACKOUTS OR LOCKS UP RENDERING IT USELESS. THIS IMPACTS NAVIGATION, ALL AUDIO, THE BACKUP CAMERA AND BLUETOOTH CONNECTIVITY. THE VEHICLE WAS PURCHASED NEW IN LATE MAY AND HAS BEEN RETURNED 2 TIMES FOR THE SAME PROBLEM WITHOUT RESOLVE. IT IS GOING BACK A THIRD TIME IN THE MORNING. WE’VE PROVIDED SCREENSHOTS AND VIDEO TO THE DEALER. THIS MALFUNCTION OCCURS WHILE DRIVING AND IS A MAJOR DISTRACTION FOR MY WIFE AND I PARTICULARLY WHEN YOU CONSIDER HIGHWAY TRAFFIC CONDITIONS IN HOUSTON METRO. WE’VE DRIVEN THE VEHICLE WITHOUT CELLPHONES IN THE CABIN VICINITY AND THE MALFUNCTION STILL OCCURS.

INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM FREEZES CAUSING BATTERY TO DRAIN TO ZERO WHEN PARKED. RADIO STOPS, NAVIGATION STOPS, PHONE STOPS WORKING, BACKUP CAMERA STOPS WORKING. EVIDENTLY A COMMON PROBLEM BECAUSE CLASS ACTION SUIT FILED IN MARCH IN CALIFORNIA. TOOK TO DEALER, THEY CHANGED BATTERY, TOLD ME IT WAS FIXED. FROZE AGAIN THE NEXT DAY. VEHICLE WAS IN MOTION WHEN SYSTEM FAILED. THE NEXT MORNING CAR WOULD NOT START BECAUSE BATTERY DRAINED.THIS WAS ON A FEDERAL HIGHWAY. HAPPENED AGAIN AFTER THE BATTERY WAS CHANGED. *TR

Engine

The heart of any vehicle is the engine. If it’s not durable and built to last, the entire vehicle suffers. That’s what many Odyssey owners find with this newer model.

One NHTSA user wrote, “Engine lurches and stalls while in motion. Stalling causes potential risk for accident.”

While this seems like an ongoing issue this customer faced, there’s a more serious concern with the Odyssey. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V298000 discusses a recall on the timing belt because the teeth might separate. When this happens, the van stalls and put occupants at risk for a crash. Aside from that, it can cause severe damage to the engine itself. The automaker is willing to replace any broken parts as a result of this problem, but who wants to deal with this? It seems that the timing belt was manufactured up to the same standards as the van’s wiring.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Honda Odyssey Engine Problems:

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2019 HONDA ODYSSEY. WHILE STOPPED, THE VEHICLE HESITATED WHEN ATTEMPTING TO SWITCH TO A HIGHER GEAR TO ACCELERATE. OCEAN HONDA OF NORTH HOLLYWOOD COULD NOT DUPLICATE THE FAILURE AND RETURNED THE VEHICLE TO THE CONTACT. THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE FAILURE WAS INTERMITTENT AND THE VEHICLE WAS DRIVEN DAILY. THE MANUFACTURER WAS CONTACTED AND PROVIDED A CASE NUMBER. THE CONTACT WAS WAITING FOR A CALLBACK FROM A CASE MANAGER. THE CONTACT BELIEVED THE MANUFACTURER DID NOT FEEL THE FAILURE WAS A SAFETY ISSUE. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 3,000.*BF

UPON STARTUP OF THE VEHICLE, A STRONG BURNING SMELL WAS SENSED. THE VEHICLE WAS BRIEFLY PUT INTO A SLOW REVERSE TO TAKE IT OUT OF THE GARAGE AND A VERY ROUGH IDLE STARTED, BLACK SMOKE APPEARED OUT OF THE TAIL PIPE AND EVERY POSSIBLE ERROR MESSAGE APPEARED ONE AFTER THE OTHER ON THE DASH. THE VEHICLE WAS THEN BRIEFLY PUT INTO DRIVE FOR A COUPLE INCHES FORWARD BACK INTO THE GARAGE WITH VERY LITTLE POWER ON ACCELERATION AND AN EVEN STRONGER BURNING SMELL. THE DEALER WAS CONTACTED AND ADVISED HAVING THE CAR TOWED IN TO BE EVALUATED. UPON EVALUATION THE DEALER ADVISED THAT THE ISSUE WAS A LEAKING FUEL INJECTOR CAUSED BY A FAULTY FUEL RAIL DESIGN FROM THE FACTORY. THE INJECTOR LEAK CAUSED TOO MUCH FUEL TO BE PUT INTO THE CYLINDER CAUSING THE SPARK PLUGS TO FOWL OUT. THE DEALER STATED HONDA WAS AWARE OF THE ISSUE ALSO IN 2018 MODELS AND THEY ASSUMED THEY WOULD HAVE CORRECTED THE FUEL RAIL DESIGN FOR THE 2019 MODEL. THE DEALER THEN ADVISED THAT THEY COULD NOT MAKE ANY REPAIR UNTIL THE REDESIGNED FUEL RAIL WAS RELEASED A MONTH FROM NOW. THE VEHICLE WAS PURCHASED NEW 2 MONTHS AGO AND CURRENTLY HAS APX 5,000 MILES. THE FACT THAT THIS WAS CAUSED BY AN ERROR IN THE FUEL RAIL DESIGN FROM THE FACTORY INDICATES THE PROBLEM LIKELY HAS BEEN CAUSING DAMAGE AND POSING A SAFETY RISK OF POSSIBLE ENGINE FIRE FROM THE LEAKING FUEL INJECTOR THE ENTIRE 5,000 MILES OF OWNERSHIP. ALSO, IT IS UNKNOWN HOW THE LEAK MAY AFFECT THE ENGINE IN THE FUTURE DUE TO THE LEAK AND DESIGN FLAW PERSISTING SINCE IT WAS SOLD NEW FROM THE FACTORY.

Powertrain

What is a powertrain? It’s all of the components that transfer power from the engine to the wheels. It what makes the van move. When one part doesn’t operate properly, the entire system suffers.

One Edmunds reviewer wrote this about being an Odyssey owner, “Have a 2019 ex l with res. Previous van was a Toyota Sienna that provided us years of problem-free driving. The transmission on our odyssey is the major problem. At 1500 rpm, there is a noticeable hum, slight vibration in the steering wheel and the tachometer has a slight oscillation. Took to the dealer and the service manager saw/heard the problems I described during a test ride.   Came back and took another van out and it had the same problem…. so he said it was “normal”. Called the Honda customer service and they contacted the dealer. Their final resolution was there isn’t a problem… seriously????????? Spend that kind of money and get a noise, vibration and oscillation. Totally unsat!”

It seems this is one of many powertrain issues that Honda is dealing with. Three of the major service bulletins discuss some crazy situations. One (A16-087) addresses how the transmission end cover leaks on vehicles with a nine-speed automatic transmission. It appears that during assembly, the transmission end cover sealing gasket was torn. Another bulletin (A19-071) points out that the PCM incorrectly calculates battery current, which prevents auto idle stop from working. A third bulletin (A19-047) discusses how the TCM reads the incorrect drive pulley oil pressure. What does this powertrain do right? Not much of anything. It could win awards for being the biggest dud of the century.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems.

HAVE A 2019 HONDA ODYSSEY THAT IS EXPERIENCING HARD SHIFTING INTO 3RD GEAR. IT HAS LESS THAN 4K MILES ON IT AND WHENEVER IT REACHES 25 IT JERKS THE CAR QUITE NOTICEABLY. BROUGHT IT INTO THE DEALER AND THEY ACKNOWLEDGED THERE WAS A “SOUND” WHEN IT SHIFTED INTO THIRD GEAR BUT COULDN’T REPLICATE THE “HARD SHIFT” THAT I’VE NOTICED. THEY SAID IT’S OPERATING AS NORMAL.

AFTER A WEEK OF DRIVING A BRAND NEW HONDA ODYSSEY 2019, WITH 177 MILEAGE, THE CAR HAD TRANSMISSION PROBLEMS, BLIND SPOT INFO SYSTEM PROBLEM, AND EMISSION SYSTEM PROBLEM. AS I WAS EXITING THE FREEWAY, I NOTICED THE CAR WAS NOT ACCELERATING WHEN I PUSHED THE GAS PEDAL. WHEN THE GAS PEDAL WAS PUSHED, I SAW THE RPM INCREASED TO 5000-6000R/MIN AND I HEARD LOUD VROOM NOISE COMING OUR FROM MY CAR. WHILE THE CAR STILL HAD SOME MOMENTUM RIGHT OFF THE FREEWAY, I MADE TWO RIGHT TURN AND CAME TO A COMPLETE STOP AT THE STOP SIGN NEAR MY APARTMENT. THIS INCIDENT HAPPENED AT AROUND 8:30PM, AND OTHER CARS HAD TO DRIVE AROUND US. MY WIFE AND TWO TODDLERS WERE IN THE CAR WITH ME. WE WERE VERY FRIGHTENED BY THIS INCIDENT AS WE COULD NOT BELIEVE AN ENGINE/TRANSMISSION FAILURE CAN HAPPENED TO A BRAND NEW HONDA CAR WITH ONLY 177 MILEAGE.

Service Brakes

Maybe the brakes work the way they were intended? Let’s see what the users have to say in hopes that we will receive some good news about this van.

One NHTSA complaint reads, “Van randomly slammed on the brakes, with nobody in front of me, while I was going 75mph on the highway. Van will sporadically not accelerate when pressing gas pedal, then slowing start to move but not fast enough to pull into traffic on city street, causing me to almost be t-boned five times, then decide to start rapidly accelerating and make me fish tail. After putting vehicle in park, it rolls 6”-12” (depending on incline).

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that there are two brake-related recalls on this van. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V213000 discusses how the rear wheel speed sensor harnesses may have been routed to the incorrect rear wheels. When the anti-lock brake system can’t recognize the speeds, it might not engage. With NHTSA Campaign Number 18V777000, it seems that some rear brake caliper pistons don’t have sufficient coating. This reduces brake performance and makes it challenging to stop correctly. Again, Honda is willing to fix the problems, but why did they get it so wrong in the first place? Were the assembly workers sleeping while putting this van together?

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Honda Odyssey Brake Problems.

NEW ODYSSEY WITH 3K MILES MY BRAKS MAKING GRINDING NOISE AND UNABLE TO COME TO FULL STOP AS NORMAL TIME AND DISTANCE

Fuel System

The fuel system is responsible for providing gasoline to the engine for propulsion. If something breaks down, it’s expected that the van won’t drive properly. As with most systems in the Odyssey, this is another area that was clearly not designed correctly.

One NHTSA user wrote, “Upon startup of the vehicle, a strong burning smell was sensed. The vehicle was briefly put into a slow reverse to take it out of the garage and a very rough idle started. Black smoke appeared out of the tail pipe and every possible error message appeared one after the other on the dash. The vehicle was then briefly put into Drive for a couple inches forward back into the garage with very little power on acceleration and an even stronger burning smell. The dealer was contacted and advised having the car towed in to be evaluated. Upon evaluation, the dealer advised that the issue was a leaking fuel injector caused by a faulty fuel rail design from the factory. The injector leak caused too much fuel to be put into the cylinder causing the spark plugs to fowl out. The dealer stated that Honda was aware of the issue also in the 2018 models and they assumed they would have corrected the fuel rail design for the 2019 model.”

If Honda is aware of it, there are no Service Bulletins we can find about it. Maybe the automaker decided it would be best to deny one of the problems in hopes to save face. It’s a little late; they have already buried themselves in a mountain of other issues.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Honda Odyssey Fuel System Problems.

TL THE CONTACT OWNS A 2019 HONDA ODYSSEY. WHILE DRIVING VARIOUS SPEEDS, THE CONTACT NOTICED A STRONG FUEL ODOR INSIDE THE CABIN OF THE VEHICLE THROUGH THE VENTS. WHEN THE FAILURE OCCURRED, THE ODOR WAS DETECTED FOR 72 HOURS. THE CONTACT ALSO MENTIONED THAT THE PHONE CHARGER PORT IN THE REAR OF THE VEHICLE OVERHEATED AND CAUSED THE CELL PHONE TO ALSO OVERHEAT. THE VEHICLE WAS TAKEN TO HONDA WEST (7615 W SAHARA AVE, LAS VEGAS, NV 89117, (800) 249-9504) WHERE THE CONTACT WAS INFORMED THAT THE FAILURE WAS A KNOWN ISSUE, BUT THE CAUSE OF THE FAILURE WAS UNKNOWN. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT DIAGNOSED OR REPAIRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS MADE AWARE OF THE FAILURE. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 13,658.

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