fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
37,500 miles
Total Complaints:
24 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. not sure (14 reports)
  2. replace vtc actuator (6 reports)
  3. fix or stop selling a car that you know has a problem (2 reports)
  4. replace timing chain (1 reports)
  5. upgraded variable timing controller (vtc) (1 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Honda dealer.

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #4

Oct 292015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,235 miles

I bought this car new and pretty much immediately it would make a metallic grinding noise on start. Went to the dealer and they acknowledged the problem but indicated that there was no fix. I wrote to American Honda and they responded that they were aware of the problem and might working on a solution. I asked when the solution might be available and they couldn't provide that information. The noise is extremely annoying and embarrassing for a new car to be making. I think it will be difficult to sell with this noise, I certainly wouldn't buy it after hearing the grinding. I have lost a lot of respect for Honda over this issue. I have written another letter to American Honda and have asked them to fix the problem or buy back the car.

- virginian, Arlington, Va, US

problem #3

Nov 152014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,800 miles

My 2014 CRV began making the grinding noise on startup caused by the widely reported defective VTC actuator when the vehicle was just 10 months old. It started when the temperature was in the 30s. Continued almost daily through the winter. But it has happened as late as June 30 and as warm as 66 degrees.

I reported it to Wilde Honda dealer in December 2014, left the vehicle for a week so they could observe it. Service adviser told me Honda knows about it, that it happens to many Hondas, including his, but that it doesn't cause damage or affect performance. Basically a normal, harmless "rattle," so Honda is not doing repairs or recall.

I reported it to my dealer again in June 2015 when the noise continued in warm weather. A different service adviser said engineers are working on it, and that a service bulletin in 2010 instructed dealers to replace the VTC actuator. But since the part was still defective, it would just fail again. Subsequently, Honda told dealers to stop replacing the part until there is a permanent fix.He said that should be coming "soon."

Well, Honda has known about this defect since 2008. Search "Honda VTC actuator" online and see how many people have complained over the years. Still nothing is being done because no one has died and customers have not gone to the media.

I messaged @HondaCustSvc on Twitter yesterday and was told: "this condition does not represent a defect in material or workmanship at this time. There is no impending failure associated with the condition you're experiencing. This is not a safety issue." End of contact.

I called Honda Customer Service at 1-800-888-1099 today to open a claim. She said Honda is aware of the problem but that it's not a safety or damage issue. Everyone should call customer service to file a case -- that way even if your warranty expires, you will have documentation of your problem. Maybe if enough people file claims, they can't pretend they didn't know how widespread it is.

The media really needs to investigate this. Knowingly selling vehicles for 7 years with a defective part should constitute fraud. Honda corporate knows; dealers know.Yet they continue selling thousands of vehicles with a part that fails after 6-10 months. Only bad publicity and public pressure, perhaps a social media shaming campaign, might prod Honda into taking action. Wouldn't their shareholders care?

I paid $30,000 for this brand new vehicle. It should not be making horrific grinding noises, regardless of whether it's safety-related or not. My old 1994 Toyota Corolla with 200,000 miles never had these problems.

This was my first Honda, and it assuredly will be my last. I've already warned everyone I know to steer clear of Hondas. They don't deserve loyal customers. Really, really bad business practices and horrible customer "service."

- mabelwi, BROOKFIELD, WI, US

problem #2

Oct 062014

CR-V LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles

I brought in my 2014 Honda CRV LX to the local dealer to have an oil change and also told the mechanic that a "grinding" noise occurs after turning the ignition key. The noise mostly occurs on cold temperature days (early in the morning to get to work) but in a few instances, it occurred on warmer afternoons when the car sat for a while. Of course, the mechanic said he would need to have it positively identified himself and as bad luck would have it, the noise didn't happen when I brought it in that day (the engine was already warmed up). And of course, the noise kept occurring ever since (here and there) and is definitely annoying but I do fear is symptomatic of a larger issue that needs to be addressed by Honda.

- tuanskie, Greenville, NC, US

problem #1

Dec 012013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles

Bought 2014 CR-V... new and the rattle started a few weeks later when below 35..found YouTube with 2012 CR-V.

Dealer replaced an actuator... Noise was gone but so was the cold weather,,,,no problem all summer ...cold weather returns as so is the rattle...

- Sharon K., Queensbury, NY, US