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Lawsuit: 2018 and 2019 Honda Odyssey-Is Your Family At Risk?

Here we go again. The Honda Odyssey was issued a recall just last month for over 1.6 million of the minivans. But that was for something unrelated to this lawsuit filed yesterday. The recall was for faulty backup cameras, dashboard displays, and sliding doors not latching. What is going on with Honda’s Odyssey? Is your family at risk in one of these?

The filed class-action lawsuit alleges that the nine-speed ZF 9HP automatic transmission has serious issues. These include delay in shifting, loud noises coming from the transmission, rough shifting, harsh acceleration and deceleration, and sudden loss of power. The lawsuit covers 2018 and 2019 Odyssey minivans with the nine-speed transmission and takes in all current and former owners and lessees. 

Within the first few hundred miles, the Odyssey transmission went through a litany of issues

a silver Honda Odyssey parked on a picturesque seashore
2019 Honda Odyssey | Honda

The lawsuit says that Honda went with the nine-speed transmission to increase fuel economy. But the suit claims that any savings from fuel economy are more than offset by expensive transmission repairs. One plaintiff says she bought a new 2019 Odyssey and within the first few hundred miles, the transmission went through a litany of issues. 

Hesitation, shuddering, jerking, lurching, and sometimes power loss were some of the issues. In taking the Odyssey into the dealership to address the issues they have been unable to fix the continuing problems. Now, she doesn’t feel safe in the minivan. At 8,447 miles she took the minivan to the dealer and they test drove it before returning it to her. They said they couldn’t find anything wrong with it so no repairs were made.

About 1,000 miles later she returned it to the dealership with the same jerking, shuddering, hesitation upon acceleration issues. The dealer said it worked as designed and was returned without anything being done to it. 

“After each visit, Ms. Browning’s Odyssey was returned to her with no permanent repair”

2018 Honda Odyssey | Honda

RELATED: The 2020 Honda Odyssey Has Some Quirky Family-Friendly Features

From the lawsuit, “During one service visit, Ms. Browning drove the vehicle accompanied by a service technician to demonstrate the problem. During the drive, the vehicle exhibited delayed acceleration followed by a bang, which the service technician acknowledged he heard. In response, the service technician kept the vehicle for further inspection and a software update. However, after each visit, Ms. Browning’s vehicle was returned to her with no permanent repair.”

Soon after she traded it in on another vehicle “at a large monetary loss.” The lawsuit says that Honda issued numerous technical service bulletins for the ZF 9HP automatic transmissions to correct problems customers were experiencing. It also alleges Honda started a customer service campaign because of the transmission issues, but drivers continue to experience issues.

According to the lawsuit Road and Track magazine said the nine-speed transmission, “uses an electronic shifter…that takes an eternity to engage Drive, its shifts are clunky, and it is painfully slow to react to manual commands.” The lawsuit says that Honda refuses to extend warranties or issue a recall even though it has knowledge of customer complaints, service campaigns, technical service bulletins, and dealer repair orders.