Dear Mr. Honda,

I have a bone, of sorts, to pick with Honda.

It’s about the LOCKS that I didn’t think I had on my 2008 Honda Pilot SE.

Automatic LOCKS, to be specific.  This feature has had my chassis in a tizzy for over a year now.

Let me backtrack for a moment.  When I began to look for a new car in May 2008, I had in mind a couple of features that I could not live without.  These features included all-wheel drive for our New England winters and the fact that my house is at the bottom of a rather steep hill; 8 seats to accommodate any number of my 9 grandchildren at any given time; and ease in driving and parking.  I have owned everything from a Volkswagon Bug to a GMC Yukon, a BMW convertible to a Chevy Avalanche, a Jeep Cherokee to a Chevy Equinox, a Mustang to a Corvair (OK, these were my mother’s cars when I was a teenager, but still…), so I knew what I wanted and why.

After visiting just about every showroom and driving just about every vehicle, I settled on the Honda Pilot.  I loved the way it handled both in-town and highway driving. I loved its fuel efficiency. And it had every feature I had in mind.  The model I purchased even came with a DVD player, which I have no idea how to use, but anyway…

My Pilot also came with a moon roof and all kinds of other cool stuff that I truly don’t care about, but one thing I didn’t even think about asking about, or think about thinking about, was automatic locks.  I haven’t owned a car in decades that didn’t come standard with automatic locks.

I remember the first time I asked for automatic locks when looking for a car.

I remember it well.  All too well.

It was 1986, and I was looking for a new Jeep.  I had an old gray 1980-something Jeep Cherokee that we had bought used.  It was a great car that got me anywhere I wanted to go.  One place I had gone was a hospital to visit a friend in a not-so-good neighborhood.  When I left the hospital, at dusk, I was headed to the highway when I stopped at a traffic light.  All of a sudden I heard the back door open, right behind me in the driver’s seat.  I instantly saw, in my rear-view mirror, a very disheveled man sitting in my car.  Behind me. In my car.  I screamed.  My scream must have frightened the daylights out of the man because he bolted from the car as fast as he had entered it.  I have no idea what was in store for me that day with that man directly behind me in the back seat… but I shudder to think about it.

From that moment on, I vowed to never own a car without automatic locks, the kind that lock as soon as you turn on the ignition… or at least soon after.  And I never did.  Especially when my kids began to drive, I always made sure our cars had automatic locks.

But that was decades ago.  There came a time when it seemed that automatic locks were as standard as a steering wheel… or, at least, I thought.  The “automatic locks” phrase was not even on my list of necessary features anymore.  It just was.

Until my 2008 Honda Pilot.  I discovered soon enough after getting the car that the locks did not lock automatically. Barry studied every syllable of my owner’s manual for an automatic locks feature.  We called the dealership.  I even tossed out the possibility of getting rid of the car.  I drive a lot, and I drive at night.  I drive with grandchildren, and my daughters borrow my car. I want automatic locks.

I know.  I know.  You are probably thinking, “JUST PUSH THE LOCK BUTTON.  NO BIG DEAL.”

But to me it is a big deal.  I even drew a big L and taped it to my steering wheel to remind me to lock the doors before I drive.

So anyway… last night I was bitching about contemplating how it’s getting dark earlier and I feel very unsafe with my no automatic locks, and Barry (God bless this man) did a little google researching on Honda Pilots and came across a bunch of customers who have the same problem with the automatic locks status.  Ah, ha! There seem to be ways to set the function, but many different ones.  Barry called our dealership back this morning and asked again about the locks… and it does seem that the automatic locks feature can be implemented.  Go figure.  The last time we asked, it was not possible.

I’m bringing the car in tomorrow morning for a check-up AND TO GET MY AUTOMATIC LOCKS SET TO GO.

But I’m asking the question… shouldn’t AUTOMATIC LOCKS be set from the get-go, or is it just me?

Dear Mr. Honda, was last modified: February 9th, 2010 by Sharon Couto
SHOWHIDE Comments (0)
  1. If you’re me, you’d say YES YES YES, why wouldn’t they be set? But if you’re my husband, who once locked Luke in the car due to automatic locks, you’d probably say NO.

  2. What dummy wouldn’t set the automatic locks???? Isn’t that the whole point of having them? To have them lock. I’m sure some man had something to do with this. How scared you must have been when that man got in your car!!!! I would have screamed bloody murder!

  3. I agree with you, they should have already been set. Maybe the man who was setting them on the assembly line that day was on a break. When I get in my Dodge mini van they automatically lock and that’s a good feeling to hear that click. I always had that fear of someone getting in my back seat. How frightened you must have been.

  4. Let me update anyone who may be checking back.


    I scream bull-shit. Just check the internet with complaints about this non-feature in Honda Pilots. I have had the run-around on this topic for more than a year… and I am sick of it up to my roof-rack. Barry is going to take the car to another dealer to see if this information is accurate, and try to set the locks himself from the how-to on the internet.

    I will keep you posted. For now, I would NEVER recommend a Honda Pilot to anyone. And as fate would have it, yesterday my niece, who has 4 kids, asked me about my Honda because she is in the market for a new car. I say, “SAY NO TO HONDA.”


  5. Go girl! I know this is a huge safety feature for all who drive especially in this day and age!

Dear Mr. Honda, was last modified: February 9th, 2010 by Sharon Couto