Honda Ridgeline Backup Cameras Are at Risk According to This Class Action Lawsuit

In June 2021, three Honda Ridgeline owners filed a class-action lawsuit centered around the failure of certain safety components that the popular truck offers. The failure is serious enough, according to these owners, to put the truck’s occupants, other people, and surrounding property in danger. The problem even impacts the backup cameras.

What is at the heart of this serious issue?  Which safety components are impacted, and what do Honda Ridgeline owners need to know? We have all the details.

The tailgate woes of the Honda Ridgeline

The infotainment screen of a 2021 Honda Ridgeline pickup truck displaying the backup camera function
2021 Honda Ridgeline camera display | American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The class-action lawsuit is centered around the Honda Ridgeline’s tailgate in the model years 2017 to 2019. The suit claims that a faulty wiring harness is causing the electrical failure of multiple safety components, including the truck’s backup cameras.

The tail-gate offered on Honda Ridgeline has two-way functionality. It can open vertically like any traditional tailgate. It can also open horizontally for convenience. Operating this mechanism is a wiring harness that employs several different wires to send data and power to the truck’s backup camera. 

According to consumer site CarComplaints.com, the lawsuit explains the presence of defects in the wiring harness insulators, strain reliefs, and metal conductors inside the wires that tend to break. The lawsuit alleges that, as a result of the premature wiring failure, short circuits cause the backup camera only to work sporadically, if at all.

How does this happen? When the tailgate opens horizontally, it supposedly crimps the wiring harness located at the tailgate pivot. In a short period of time, the damage from tailgate usage breaks down the coating on the wires and eventually the wires themselves. According to the plaintiffs, the wiring setup isn’t designed to weather the wear from tailgate usage.

It’s not brand-new information

Allegedly, the automaker is aware of the problem with the 2017 to 2019 Honda Ridgeline tailgates. Technical service bulletins (TSBs) were issued to dealerships regarding the issue. It’s also alleged that Honda was aware of the problem before the trucks ever left a dealership lot.

There have been reports of Honda dealers explaining to Ridgeline owners that the issue is common with replacement wiring harnesses for the tailgates on backorder. With Honda supposedly refusing to recall the popular trucks to address the issue, owners are left footing the bill for repairs.

The lawsuit explains that while Honda has done nothing to help Ridgeline owners deal with the issue, dealers have been told Honda is collecting affected Ridgeline parts for investigation.

Overview of the 2021 Honda Ridgeline

The latest Honda Ridgeline might right the wrongs of its recent predecessors. It’s the only truck Honda offers and is quite different from standard pickup trucks. It might not be an off-roading warrior, and it doesn’t have a diesel powertrain option, but it’s spacious and comfortable.

The latest Ridgeline offers good acceleration thanks to a potent 3.5-liter V6 engine that puts out 280 hp.  It can only tow about 5,000 pounds, but its payload rating is decent, and it offers a refined and composed ride.

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline also still offers the versatile tailgate and other innovative features that have earned it good reviews and a coveted Editors’ Choice award from Car and Driver. The fact that the complaints about the tailgate issue dropped after the 2019 models would suggest Honda has been working behind the scenes to correct the problem.

Additionally, there’s a new Honda Performance Development package that you can get with all trims of the 2021 Honda Ridgeline. It gives you black over-fenders, HPD graphics on the truck bed, a blacked-out grille, and eye-catching bronze wheels. You also get all-terrain tires and distinct 18-inch wheels.

There’s an updated infotainment system, and all-wheel drive is now standard. With a bold new look, an impressive list of driver-assist features, and a comfortable, spacious cabin, the 2021 Honda Ridgeline is definitely an improved truck. 

RELATED: Despite This Major Flaw, People Still Love Their 2017 Honda Ridgelines