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Honda CR-V problems include electrical faults and uncomfortable interiors


With the powertrain and solid construction to go the distance, many drivers will be disappointed with the discomfort felt in the CR-V’s cabin, from faulty air conditioning to faulty seats and a faulty infotainment system.

2021 Honda CR-V - Picture of Honda

Key points

  • CR-Vs from the early 2010s are plagued with recalls related to life-threatening airbags, numbering in the dozens.
  • The fourth-generation CR-Vs, introduced in 2012, have very few recalls in the NHTSA database, a testament to Honda’s manufacturing capabilities, but the problems it does have are alarming and include piston installation. inadequate.
  • The recently approved recalls affect the emergency brake sensing systems of nearly two million Honda vehicles manufactured between 2018 and 2019.
  • The CR-V’s interiors are said to be incredibly uncomfortable, with problems ranging from faulty air conditioning condensers to poorly made seats that leave your legs numb.
  • The CR-V’s electrical systems fall victim to underpowered alternators that drain the batteries to zero.

Honda CR-V 2021 - Honda Photo

The CR-V is a flagship of Honda’s longevity, and recalls are few

The Honda CR-V has proven to be one of the most durable vehicles on the road thanks in large part to Honda’s excellent SUV manufacturing. Since 2012, the CR-V model has averaged fewer than two recalls per year.

The early 2010s were a low point for Honda’s CR-V, with the 2010 and 2011 models each having more than a dozen recalls according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

These recalls focus on well-known Takata airbag problems, with each model year having fatal incidents with manufacturer-installed airbags resulting in twelve recalls.

But for 2012, Honda has completely redesigned the CR-V, launching the refreshed fourth-generation CR-V to great success, and the number of recalls has been drastically reduced along the way. zero for the 2014 model year although there are still issues such as the brake latch not engaging properly when parking the vehicle.

2016 Honda CR-V - Picture of Honda

CR-Vs of the mid-2010s struggled before Honda managed to get off the ground with the fifth generation

Interestingly, in 2015 and 2016, Honda installed the wrong pistons in several of its replacement engines in the CR-V. The mistake could lead to catastrophic engine failure and cast a shadow of doubt on Honda’s ability to produce a finished product.

With the introduction of the fifth-generation CR-V in 2017, Honda was hit with a series of minor recalls involving problems with the fuel pump and a magnet that was subject to detachment in the steering wheel. They are problems for sure, but not as deadly as the airbag problems earlier in the decade.

The 2019 model, despite being part of the fifth-generation CR-V, was actually a low point for Honda in terms of the number of recalls. with five issued for the model year.

The 2019 CR-V’s forward collision avoidance system tends to misread the road and brake hard. In a recent reminder issued in late February 2022, NHTSA recalled 1.7 million Accord and CR-V vehicles following reports of six accidents due to defective features.

The 2020 CR-Vs are relatively new and have some manufacturing issues aside from the alarming subframe separation on the 2020 model and a seat belt issue for 2021, although it often takes several years for issues to arise, as noted in the recent recalls of the 2019 model.

Honda CR-V 2019 - Honda Photo

Unlike its relatively reliable transmission, the CR-V’s interior has a number of comfort issues.

A deal-breaker in many places in warm climates, the most numerous of all CR-V complaints are problems with the air conditioning not blowing cold air.

This “black death” is usually due to air conditioning compressor failure, and has become so common with the CR-V and other Honda models that Honda has extended its warranty to ten years to cover the problem if it occurs in your vehicle.

If the heat wasn’t enough, many drivers complain about the incredibly uncomfortable seats in the CR-V that often make the legs of drivers and passengers numb, and an infotainment center often crashes and becomes unresponsive.

Despite the CR-V’s spaciousness, these issues could frustrate many owners with the overall SUV experience.

Honda CR-V 2019 - Honda Photo

Honda CR-V electrical problems are common and include dead batteries and soy wiring that attracts rodents

Likely due to an unreliable alternator, the Honda CR-V’s battery discharges quite frequently, and many owners report that their car won’t start or dies on the pavement. Alternators are known to be underpowered, but Honda has received very little attention when it comes to fixing the problem.

Other electrical problems involve the rise of soy-based wiring harnesses at motor vehicle manufacturers. Rats love it and often make a home for themselves, chewing on the wire harnesses of many eco-friendly vehicles that have eco-friendly soy-based wires powering their electrical systems.

Solutions are numerous, from Honda rodent tape mixed with chili, other solutions include commercially available sprays and parking the vehicle away from food stores and in a closed garage.

2019 Honda CR-V - Picture of Honda

The Honda CR-V is a reliable and affordable SUV, but comfort has become a major issue that hurts its overall likeability.

Nobody wants to pay thousands of dollars for an uncomfortable chair. That’s what makes the CR-V so disappointing because while Honda made sure to make a product that would last on the road, they forgot to make a product that people love to be in.

Most people would agree that the CR-V’s glory days came with the first and second generations. As things stand, the CR-V could reach those heights again, but it would take a serious refocusing of Honda’s efforts to go from a product that lasts to one that people love.

Whether it’s shopping or a cross-country trip, the problems that arise when sitting inside the CR-V are difficult to ignore, no matter how many reminders or problems with the SUV’s handling.

Photos: Honda

Frequent questions

By Stephanie Stephan | March 7, 2022

What are the problems with the Honda CR-V over the years?

2002-2008 Honda CR-Vs were the subject of a class-action lawsuit over door lock actuators and recalls for window switches and air conditioning compressors. The 2010-2011 models are notorious for excessive oil consumption and Takata airbag recalls.

What common problems are associated with owning a 2014 Honda CR-V?

The 2014 Honda CR-V has 494 NHTSA complaints for airbags, electrical systems, and engine failures, but 0 recalls. The CR-V’s battery drains and requires repeated starts, and a faulty VTC actuator can cause premature timing chain failure.


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