Are there Issues with the Honda Speaker and Audio Systems?

Honda has confirmed that there are significant issues with the audio systems in their Odyssey, Passport, and Pilot models. Common symptoms that Honda drivers have experienced in affected vehicles include popping or crackling sounds from the speakers, loss of sound from the audio system, network loss messages, and errors in the display screen.

To address these issues, Honda has made information available to the public in the form of dealer messages, service news articles, technical service bulletins (TSBs), and owner notification letters. This information is documented as manufacturer communications on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website.

Some of these communications refer to a single model, while others address two or three. The symptoms and potential causes are generally the same, with a loose connection in the MOST (Media Oriented Systems Transport) bus network being the most common culprit of audio-related issues in affected Honda cars.

As a result of extensive audio problems, American Honda has extended the warranty for certain 2018-20 Odyssey, 2019-20 Passport, and 2019-20 Pilot vehicles. A dealer message dated on February 18, 2021 stated that this warranty extension covers communication problems in the MOST bus network, including popping or crackling sounds from the speakers, no sound from the audio system, network loss messages, and display issues.

honda pilot crackling noise recall

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    Which Honda models have Audio, Sound or Speaker Problems?

    Certain Honda Odyssey, Passport, and Pilot models manufactured from 2018 to 2022 may have speaker or audio defects. Numerous complaints regarding audio issues in Honda vehicles have been reported on NHTSA’s website. These problems include speakers that produce popping or crackling sounds and audio systems that fail or shut down altogether.

    Honda has been aware of these issues since at least March 2019, when they sent out a Service News Article as part of a NHTSA campaign with ID Number 10155369. This article asked dealers if they had received any reports of “popping or crackling from the speakers” in the following models and years:

    • Honda Odyssey 2018-2019 (excluding the LX model)
    • Honda Pilot 2019 (excluding the LX model)
    • Honda Passport 2019 (excluding the Sport model)

    The article warns that these problems may be caused by a connection issue in the MOST Bus network of certain Honda vehicles, which can be identified by the distinctive red and green connectors in each component of the infotainment system.

    2018-2022 Honda Odyssey Speaker Problems

    Multiple drivers have filed formal complaints of their Honda Odyssey audio not working with NHTSA.

    “There is a crackling sound coming from the dashboard. There was a recall regarding this issue, however, I took the car in to have this recall fixed. The issue has persisted even after the recall fix. I took the car into the dealership 4 times since and the issue still has not been fixed.”

    – 2019 Honda Odyssey Driver

    “We bought the vehicle new, and it was fine for the first 1,800 miles. Then, the entertainment system started randomly powering down, usually first displaying a message “network communication lost”. Sometimes it will come back on, sometimes it cannot be restarted for days at a time. (When it does come back on, there usually is a popping sound coming from the speakers).”

    – 2020 Honda Odyssey Driver

    2018-2022 Honda Passport Speaker Problems

    2018-2022 Honda Passport cars appear to be prone to issues involving their speaker systems:

    “When using the audio system (Apple Airplay, Bluetooth, Sirius or FM Radio), the speakers at some point will begin crackling and making popping noises, similar to static noises, which causes the music to interrupt and cut out. Even when you turn the audio off, the speakers continue to make the crackle and pop sounds. You have to turn the car off and open the door to completely cut off the audio. It happens randomly and is a complete distraction while driving. The display screen also cuts in and out while in use.”

    – 2019 Honda Passport Driver

    “The Radio started to “crackle or skip” while using apple CarPlay. The crackle noise continued after the audio had been paused. Our safety was at risk because the noise was very distracting. I needed to take my hand off the wheel to unplug my phone to stop the noise.”

    – 2021 Honda Passport Driver

    2018-2022 Honda Pilot Speaker Problems

    Many drivers mention their Honda Pilot radio not working in their formal complaints to NHTSA:

    “Our Pilot is brand new – we started noticing popping and cracking sounds from the dashboard. It is pretty loud. We thought it was possibly the radio but it continues with the radio off. We thought it was the dashboard contracting/expanding but it happens in all weather. It has become increasing loud and consistent and now any sounds from the stereo, regardless of input, skip and glitch and we turn it off and the popping and cracking sound continues seemingly from the speakers. We took it to the dealership for repair but they said they can’t repair it.”

    – 2021 Honda Pilot Driver

    “There is an issue with the electrical system in this car. The radio has intermittent static on any station and hands free calls drop after a short period. I have Googled this and it is a very common complaint on this type/year vehicle. I am concerned there are other electrical issues that may be more safety related. The dealer did a hard reboot of the computer, but nothing changed.”

    – 2021 Honda Pilot Driver

    What should I do if my Honda has audio or speaker issues?

    If you are experiencing persistent audio or speaker issues with your Honda vehicle, you may be entitled to relief under the California Lemon Law. The  Lemon Laws provide a remedy for consumers who have purchased vehicles that repeatedly fail to meet the manufacturer’s standards of quality and performance.

    In order to take advantage of California’s lemon law, you will need to show that the audio or speaker problems with your Honda vehicle are substantial and have not been repaired after a reasonable number of repair attempts.  What is a reasonable number of repair attempts depends on the nature and frequency of the issue. In some situations this can mean the vehicle has been presented for repairs at least two or more times for the same or similar issue, or that the vehicle has been out of service for at least 30 total days due to repairs.

    If you suspect your Honda vehicle is a lemon, you should keep detailed records of all repairs, including the date of each repair, the nature of the problem, and any communication with the manufacturer or dealership. You should also consider consulting with a lemon law attorney who specializes in automotive lemon law claims to discuss your legal rights and options.

    How the Lemon Law Experts can help

    As a California consumer, you are protected by the state’s strong lemon law, which provides you with the right to seek a remedy if your vehicle repeatedly fails to meet the manufacturer’s standards of quality and performance.  If your Honda is deemed to be a lemon, you will be eligible for a refund for your lemon vehicle, or a replacement vehicle, or cash compensation.  As the prevailing party, Honda will have to pay for your reasonable attorneys fees and costs, which makes hiring our firm the right and an easy decision.

    If you believe your Honda vehicle is a lemon, the Lemon Law Experts can help you.

    The Lemon Law Experts are a team of experienced attorneys who specialize in helping California consumer with their automotive lemon law claims. Our team can provide you with the guidance and support you need to navigate the complex legal process and achieve the best results possible for your case. The Lemon Law Experts have the experience and expertise you need to win.

    honda pilot crackling noise

    Honda Lemon Law Remedies

    The California Lemon Law covers new, use, purchased and leased vehicles.

    If your vehicle is a lemon, you may be entitled to a refund, replacement vehicle, or cash compensation.

    A lemon law refund consists of the reimbursement of all monies you spent towards your vehicle (down payment, monthly payments, taxes) minus a usage fee (the value for when you drove the vehicle without any issues), reimbursement of all incidental expenses related to the lemon (examples: tow truck or rental car expenses), plus the payment of any remaining loan balance or remaining lease payments on the vehicle.

    A lemon law replacement is where you would swap the lemon vehicle for one that is substantially similar.  With this option, you may be responsible for any difference in price and the usage fee.

    Cash compensation, aka a cash and keep, is where you retain possession of the vehicle and get cash compensation as a result of the issues you experienced with the vehicle.

    As the prevailing party, the California Lemon Law obligates the auto manufacturer to pay for your reasonable attorneys fees and costs. As a result, legal representation does not cost you anything out of pocket as the manufacturer will pay for your legal fees.

    Call the California Lemon Law Experts Today

    Whether you are dealing with persistent audio or speaker issues, or any other problems with your Honda, the Lemon Law Experts can help you assert your rights and get the relief you deserve. Our team can help you build a strong case, communicate with the manufacturer on your behalf, and represent you in court if necessary.

    If you are facing audio or speaker issues in your Honda vehicle, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Lemon Law Experts for help. We can provide you with a free consultation and help you determine the best course of action for your case, at no obligation to you. Call us today at  877- 885- 5366 or fill out an online form on our website.