The Element is an offbeat utility vehicle with plenty of interior space. But it seats only four, the low weight-carrying capacity limits its utility and large roof pillars compromise outward visibility. Interior noise is pronounced and the ride is stiff and jittery. Handling is fairly nimble, but in emergency maneuvers, the tail tends to slide out, even with stability control.
Alerts
There are 9 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
The 2009 Honda Element has been recalled 9 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years *Redesign year
Worse Better
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01
02
03*
04
05
06
07
08
09
10
11
12
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14
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19
Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
Potential Trouble Spots
Engine Major
NA
Engine Minor
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
Transmission Major
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
Drive System
NA
Fuel System
NA
Electric System
NA
Climate System
NA
Suspension
NA
Brakes
NA
Exhaust
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
Body Integrity
NA
Body Hardware
NA
Power Equipment
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 420,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2019 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Recalls
PROVIDED BY
VEHICLE SPEED CONTROL:ACCELERATOR PEDAL
Oct 10 2019
If the accelerator pedal binds, the engine may not quickly return to idle after the pedal is no longer pressed, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Dorman Products, Inc. (Dorman) is recalling certain Accelerator Pedal Assemblies part numbers 699-114 and 825-5029-1, sold as replacement parts for 2003-2006 Acura MDX, 2004-2008 Acura TL and TSX, 2003-2007 Honda Accord, 2005-2006 Honda CR-V, 2007-2011 Honda Element, 2005-2008 Honda Pilot and 2006-2014 Honda Ridgeline vehicles. The rotating portion of the accelerator pedal assembly may bind. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 124, "Accelerator Control Systems."
What should you do:
Dorman will notify owners, and qualified service facilities will replace the affected accelerator pedal assemblies, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin by December 2019. Owners may contact Dorman customer service at 1-800-523-2492, using option 5. Dorman's number for this recall is AS1019XXXX.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 19E068000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 3744
AIR BAGS:PASSENGER SIDE FRONTAL
Jun 27 2019
An inflator explosion may result in sharp metal fragments striking the driver or other occupants resulting in serious injury or death.
Summary:
Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain 2003-2006 Acura MDX, 2005-2012 RL, 2003-2007 Honda Accord, 2001-2005 Civic, 2003-2005 Civic Hybrid, 2001-2005 Civic GX NGV, 2002-2006 CR-V, 2003-2011 Element, 2007-2008 Fit, 2002-2004 Odyssey, 2003-2008 Pilot, and 2006-2014 Ridgeline vehicles. The vehicles are equipped with passenger frontal air bag inflators assembled as a recall remedy part or replacement service part, that may explode due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to high absolute humidity, temperature and temperature cycling.
What should you do:
Honda will notify owners, and dealers will replace the passenger frontal airbag inflator, free of charge. The recall began August 12, 2019. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda's numbers for this recall are E5D and X5C.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 19V501000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 1657752
AIR BAGS:FRONTAL:DRIVER SIDE INFLATOR MODULE
Jun 27 2019
An inflator explosion may result in sharp metal fragments striking the driver or other occupants resulting in serious injury or death.
Summary:
Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain 2003 Acura 3.2CL, 2002-2003 3.2TL, 2003-2006 MDX, 2001-2007 Honda Accord, 2001-2005 Civic, 2003-2005 Civic Hybrid, 2001-2005 Civic GX NGV, 2002-2006 CR-V, 2003-2011 Element, 2002-2004 Odyssey, 2003-2008 Pilot and 2006 Ridgeline vehicles. These vehicles are equipped with driver frontal air bag inflators assembled as a recall remedy part or replacement service part, that may explode due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to high absolute humidity, temperature and temperature cycling.
What should you do:
Honda will notify owners, and dealers will replace the driver frontal air bag inflator, free of charge. The recall began August 12, 2019. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda's numbers for this recall are Q5A and Y58.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 19V499000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 3947
AIR BAGS:FRONTAL:DRIVER SIDE INFLATOR MODULE
Mar 06 2019
An explosion of an inflator within the driver frontal air bag module may result in sharp metal fragments striking the driver, front seat passenger or other occupants resulting in serious injury or death.
Summary:
Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling specific 2003 Acura 3.2CL, 2013-2016 ILX, 2013-2014 ILX Hybrid, 2003-2006 MDX, 2007-2016 RDX, 2002-2003 3.2TL, 2004-2006, and 2009-2014 TL, 2010-2013 ZDX and 2001-2007 and 2009 Honda Accord, 2001-2005 Civic, 2003-2005 Civic Hybrid, 2001-2005 Civic GX NGV, 2002-2007 and 2010-2011 CR-V, 2003-2011 Element, 2007 Fit, 2002-2004 Odyssey, 2003-2008 Pilot, and 2006-2014 Ridgeline vehicles. The affected vehicles received a replacement driver air bag inflator as part of a previous Takata inflator recall remedy or a replacement driver air bag module containing the same inflator type as a service part. Due to a manufacturing error, in the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the driver frontal air bag, these inflators may explode.
What should you do:
Honda will notify owners, and dealers will replace the driver's air bag inflator with an alternate inflator, free of charge. The recall began April 10, 2019. Honda owners may contact customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda's number for this recall is O41. Acura owners may contact customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Acura's number for this recall is U40.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 19V182000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 1101534
AIR BAGS:PASSENGER SIDE FRONTAL
Jan 09 2018
An inflator explosion may result in sharp metal fragments striking the driver or other occupants resulting in serious injury or death.
Summary:
Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain 2010-2012 Acura RL, 2010 Honda Element, and 2010-2013 Honda Ridgeline vehicles ever registered in the states of Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan), and the U.S. Virgin Islands or "Zone A." Additionally, Honda is recalling certain 2010 Acura RL, 2010-2011 Honda Element and Honda Ridgeline vehicles ever registered in the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia or "Zone B." If not included in zones A or B above, Honda is recalling certain 2009 Acura RL, Honda Element, and Honda Ridgeline vehicles ever registered in the states of Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming or "Zone C." These vehicles are equipped with certain inflators assembled as part of the frontal air bag modules, and used as original equipment or replacement equipment (such as after a vehicle crash necessitating replacement of the original air bags), may explode due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to higher absolute humidity, temperature and temperature cycling.
What should you do:
Honda will notify owners, and dealers will replace the passenger frontal air bag inflator, free of charge. The recall began February 16, 2018. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda's numbers for this recall are U0H, and G0I.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 18V041000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 24945
AIR BAGS:PASSENGER SIDE FRONTAL
Jan 10 2017
An inflator rupture may result in metal fragments striking the vehicle occupants resulting in serious injury or death.
Summary:
Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain 2005-2006 Acura MDX and Honda CR-V vehicles, 2005-2011 Honda Element vehicles, 2005-2012 Acura RL vehicles, 2006-2012 Honda Ridgeline vehicles, 2007-2008 Honda Fit vehicles and 2005-2008 Honda Pilot vehicles originally sold, or ever registered, in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan), and the U.S. Virgin Islands, or "Zone A." Additionally, if not included in "Zone A" above, Honda is recalling certain 2005-2006 Acura MDX and Honda CR-V vehicles, 2005-2009 Acura RL and Honda Element vehicles, 2007-2008 Honda Fit vehicles, 2005-2008 Honda Pilot vehicles and 2006-2009 Honda Ridgeline vehicles originally sold, or ever registered, in Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, or "Zone B." Additionally, if not included in "Zone A" or "Zone B" above, Honda is recalling certain 2005-2006 Acura MDX and Honda CR-V vehicles, 2005-2008 Acura RL, Honda Element and Honda Pilot vehicles, 2007-2008 Honda Fit vehicles and 2006-2008 Honda Ridgeline vehicles originally sold, or ever registered in Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. These vehicles are equipped with certain air bag inflators assembled as part of the passenger frontal air bag modules used as original equipment or replacement equipment. In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the front air bags, these inflators may rupture due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to absolute humidity and temperature cycling.
What should you do:
Honda will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front passenger air bag inflator, free of charge. The recall bagan March 2017. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda's numbers for this recall are KD9 and KE0.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 17V029000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 308884
AIR BAGS:PASSENGER SIDE FRONTAL
May 24 2016
An inflator rupture may result in metal fragments striking the vehicle occupants resulting in serious injury or death.
Summary:
Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain model year 2003-2006 Acura MDX, 2005-2011 Acura RL, 2005-2006 Honda CR-V, 2003-2011 Element, 2007-2008 Fit, 2003-2008 Pilot, 2002-2004 Odyssey, and 2006-2011 Ridgeline vehicles originally sold, or that have ever been registered, in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan), and the U.S. Virgin Islands, or "Zone A." Additionally, unless included in "Zone A" above, Honda is recalling certain model year 2003-2006 Acura MDX, 2005-2008 Acura RL, 2005-2006 Honda CR-V, 2003-2008 Element, 2007-2008 Fit, 2003-2008 Pilot, 2002-2004 Odyssey, and 2006-2008 Ridgeline vehicles originally sold, or that have ever been registered, in Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, or "Zone B." Lastly, unless included in "Zone A" or "Zone B" above, Honda is recalling model year 2002-2004 Odyssey and model year 2003-2004 Acura MDX, Honda Element, and Honda Pilot vehicles originally sold, or registered, in Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. These vehicles are equipped with certain air bag inflators assembled as part of the passenger frontal air bag modules, and used as original equipment or replacement equipment. In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the front air bags, these inflators may rupture due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to absolute humidity and temperature cycling.
What should you do:
Honda will notify owners, and dealers will replace the passenger frontal air bag inflator, free of charge. The recall began June 27, 2016. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda's numbers for this recall are KA0, KA1, KA2, and KA3.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 16V344000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 1790894
AIR BAGS:FRONTAL:DRIVER SIDE INFLATOR MODULE
May 28 2015
In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the driver's frontal air bag, the inflator could rupture with metal fragments striking the driver or other occupants resulting in serious injury or death.
Summary:
Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain model year 2001-2007 Accord, 2001-2005 Civic, 2001-2004 Honda Civic GX, 2003-2005 Honda Civic Hybrid, 2002-2006 CR-V, 2003-2011 Element, 2002-2004 Odyssey, 2003-2008 Pilot, 2006 Ridgeline, 2003 Acura 3.2CL, 2003-2006 Acura MDX, and 2002-2003 Acura 3.2TL vehicles. The affected vehicles are equipped with a dual-stage driver frontal air bag that may be susceptible to moisture intrusion and other factors, including manufacturing variability that, over time, could cause the inflator to rupture.
What should you do:
Honda will notify owners, and dealers will replace the driver frontal air bag inflator, free of charge. The recall began on July 1, 2015. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Owners may contact Acura customer service at 1-800-382-2238, select option 4. Note: Vehicles that have had their driver frontal air bag replaced previously as part of a recall remedy prior to September 12, 2014 need to have their air bag replaced under this recall as well. Vehicles that, on or after September 12, 2014, received a remedy for a prior driver frontal air bag inflator recall already received an inflator of a different design, and therefore are not included in this recall and do not require additional servicing. Note: This recall fully supersedes recalls 08V-593, 09V-259, 10V-041, 11V-260, 14V-351 and 15V-153.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 15V320000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 6281043
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM:WIRING
Sep 05 2012
Without trailer turn signal illumination, the driver's intent is not communicated, potentially increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Honda is recalling certain model year 2007 through 2011 Element passenger vehicles equipped with an accessory trailer hitch wiring harness. The wire that supplies power to the trailer turn signal lights was inadvertently switched with the stop lamp wire. As a result the turn signals only illuminate when the brake lamps are illuminated. This does not comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, "Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment."
What should you do:
Honda will notify owners, and dealers will repair the vehicles free of charge. The safety recall began on September 20, 2012. Owners may contact Honda at 1-800-999-1009.
For more information:
Honda's recall campaign number is S53.Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 12V436000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 5216
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