— A Honda idle-stop class action lawsuit alleges the feature is dangerous because the vehicle fails to start once the engine shuts down.
While the plaintiff asserts the idle-stop systems make the vehicles defective, Honda markets the technology as a way to save money on fuel.
"The Honda idle-stop feature maximizes your fuel efficiency when your vehicle is idling. If you're stationary for more than two seconds, such as in stop-and-go traffic, the engine will shut off; many of the vehicle's functions, such as the A/C, will continue to power on smoothly. Merely release the brake to start up the engine again! This feature can be easily disabled." — Honda
The idle-stop class action includes these vehicles equipped with 3.5L engines and 9-speed automatic transmissions.
- 2016-2020 Honda Pilot
- 2015-2020 Honda Odyssey
- 2015-2020 Acura TLX
- 2015-2020 Acura MDX
North Carolina plaintiff Deneen Nock purchased a new 2017 Honda Pilot AWD Touring in December 2017.
When the vehicle was about two years old, the idle-stop failed to restart the vehicle numerous times, with some incidents occurring at intersections.
According to the idle-stop class action, the plaintiff's Honda Pilot stalled as she was waiting to turn left. She says she "narrowly avoided collisions with approaching vehicles. Each time that this has occurred, Plaintiff was placed in fear for her safety."
The lawsuit asserts the plaintiff contacted a Honda dealership about the idle-stop issues and told technicians she was afraid to drive the Pilot.
However, the class action alleges the plaintiff was told it was “just the way the car is made,” and she could manually override the idle-stop feature each time the Honda Pilot was driven. However, she was told there was no way to permanently disable the idle-stop feature.
More than 200 complaints have been filed about the idle-stop feature, with most complaints alleging the vehicles failed to restart once drivers released the brake pedals.
This will leave a vehicle unable to move forward at stop signs, intersections and in other conditions, something drivers said occurred without warning.
According to the class action lawsuit, Honda owners are stuck with towing expenses and allegedly paying for repairs and unnecessary replacement parts.
But the lawsuit alleges Honda doesn't know how to fix the idle-stop problems and even with repairs, the vehicles will continue to stop and stall.
Honda Idle-Stop Lawsuit References Federal Investigation
The idle-stop lawsuit alleges Honda knows about the problems because the automaker contacted dealers in 2018. Honda informed dealerships about idle-stop complaints about 2018 Honda Odyssey and 2018 Honda Pilot vehicles.
It's now 2023 and Honda hasn't issued an idle-stop recall or offered to extend warranties.
In June 2022, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an idle-stop investigation following more than 200 complaints about the feature.
The idle-stop investigation includes 2016-2020 Honda Pilots equipped with 3.5L engines and 9-speed automatic transmissions, but the government hasn't released additional details about the ongoing investigation.
The Honda idle-stop class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California: Deneen Nock v. Honda Motor Company Limited, et al.
The plaintiff is represented Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP.