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2011 Honda CRV unwanted acceleration problem

I have a new 2011 Honda CRV with an unwanted acceleration problem. Periodicaly, about every 200 miles, when I try to brake and stop the car stops but the engine maintains its speed and does not slow to an idle. What can cause this. Honda examined brakes and looked for fault codes and says they cannot reproduce.

Can you tell if the gas pedal is returning to its “idle” position when this happens? If the pedal isn’t returning freely, it would suggest some sort of mechanical problem in the pedal linkage that is interfering with the free motion of the pedal. This is what happened in some faulty Toyotas, and Toyota solved the problem by modifying the design of the pedal assembly.

But if you can verify that the pedal is returning to its idle position even while the engine races, then something else is going on, like a throttle plate sticking in the throttle body. You could ask a mechanic to check the throttle plate and see if there’s any evidence that it could be sticking occasionally.

Thank you for the reply and information. I will check the gas peddle next time it occurs but I believe it was ok. Honda at first kept telling me to check the floor mats. I told them they were their floor mats that came with the car and snapped to the floor.

How big are the brake and gas pedals in relation to the size of your feet? It could be possible that you’re inadvertently pushing the gas pedal at the same time as the brake pedal.

Thanks for the idea but this is definitely not the problem as I checked this and the brake pedal does not depress as far as the gas pedal and when it happens I shift into neutral and the revs continue. One time that when it happened I shifted to neutral and the revs were so high that I heard a knocking sound.

Even if they are Honda mats, you might remove it and see if the problem stops.

Something like this usually points to an Idle Air Valve problem or a fault with the throttle body if this model uses an electronic throttle.
It’s possible to have faults in those areas with no codes so don’t get upset with the shop if something like this can’t be found. Not everything is etched in stone in spite of the perception that the computer knows all.

However, in the event this turns out to be a Lemon Law issue you MUST have a paper trail pointing to the same problem.
This means you should have a copy of the repair order stating your complaint and what was done to diagnose or repair this problem. Take it in as often as necessary and keep all copies. Without a paper trail you’re dead in the water if the Lemon Law comes into play.

Thank you ok4450 for the information. That helps me understand, the shop keeps stating there are no codes but this happened four times and I am hesitant to drive the car as it is a safety issue. I asked them to change the car for a new one and they said no. How does the lemon law work if they cannot duplicate the problem?

Are they giving you paperwork on each ocassion? They should and each copy should state the complaint and what was done to resolve it. If no problem is found, it should state that.

Lemon Laws vary by state but generally if the car is in 3 times for the same complaint within X miles or the car is out of service for so many days in a certain time frame you may have a Lemon complaint.

I hope this is not one of those deals where you’re dropping the car off, someone starts it up and sees no problem and no codes, followed by just handing the car back to you without paperwork.
This is a whitewash if this is the case. This means you need something tangible from them about the past visits and any future ones over this problem.

After the Toyota thing they could be treading on some thin ice here.

I took it in twice and have the paperwork for both times. Each time they set up an appointment for me with a rep they said was from American Honda. She drove the car for a few minutes, they checked the codes, and did a visual inspection of the brakes, checked the fluid levels, and I think checked the rpms in each gear (it is an automatic).
I called American Honda consumer department and they said they had a case for me and that someone would call me back. No one has called back yet so I am ready to take it to the next step and am researching what to do. Thanks for your information.

Some people may not like what I am about to say, but I think it applies after the whole Toyota incident.

Sue them.

File complaints with NHTSA, and if Honda and NHTSA gets you nowhere, sue them. Gather evidence around the internet, see if you can round up other Honda owners that this has happened too and file a lawsuit against Honda. If it does come down to this, PLEASE try to get video of the engine racing and the accelerator in the idle position. Then you have them dead to rights. Random and unwanted acceleration is a deadly problem that most bias news and magazine companies pass off as either the drivers fault or on drivers trying to get out of an accident they caused.

It’s a bit premature for the lawsuit aspect of this seeing as how this is an '11 model vehicle and corporate Honda has way more lawyers than the public does. At some point it could very well lead to a lawsuit, or class-action suit, if this turns out to be a chronic problem and even more so if it turns out that Honda was aware of the problem from the get-go.

What I would advise the OP to do is search the net for a guidline as to their state Lemon Laws and do not allow Honda to drag this out. Lemon Laws have mileage and time limits most often so the OP should not let foot-dragging and stonewalling stretch this out for months.
I’d say in a week or two take it back in with the same complaint and get paperwork showing that visit. If they balk go to another Honda dealer with the same complaint and get paper there, without saying anything about the first dealer.

If the OP’s state says 3 visits and the Honda rep has headed this off at 2 visits then Honda could be looking at this as nipped in the bud for the moment.

It happened again. Tried to stop and car accelerated. This is the 5th time in first 1400 miles of ownership. Took it to Honda and they test drove it and it happened to them. It is verified by Honda after they insisted it was not happening and could not happen. One person in service believed me and if not for him Honda would not have looked at the car again. At one point Honda even sent me a letter saying they have done everything possible and nothinig is wrong. They say they are going to put in a new power contol module (PCM) to fix the problem.

Typo in the above post of 2/22. It should say that the problem happened 7 times in the first 1400 miles.

If the slated fix does not resolve the problem, then I would strongly suggest that the OP begin the process of filing a Lemon Law claim with Honda.

In the meantime, he/she should educate himself/herself on the actual terms of the Lemon Law in that state. Take a look at:

I’m in agreement that replacing the PCM is probably a good first step and this operation will be nothing more than a replace and hope thing on Honda Motor Company’s part.
If this problem becomes commonplace and enough complaints, and accidents, occur then HMC may be able to get a firmer grip on this problem as to why it is happening.

Just my opinion anyway, but I do not like the thought of a computer controlled widget deciding what the engine is going to do RPM wise. There are simply too many electrical gremlins that can rear their heads, cause all kinds of grief, and never leave any tell-tale evidence in their wake.

Also agreed with VDCdriver that it’s time to start amassing some paperwork just in case this turns into a full-fledged Lemon Law issue.
Once could possibly be considered an anomaly. Having it happen 7 times in 1400 miles would really make me start to sweat a bit about personal safety.

I looked at the California lemon law and am now deciding to either go with mediaiton through the BBB as Honda consumer handbook suggests or get a lemon law lawyer. Is the BBB impartial or do they favor the auto companies? My goal now is to get my full money back and get a different car. What is the best way to accomplish that goal and I do have all paperwork. I even have a letter from Honda stating that there is nothing wrong with the car just before they verified that there is a problem. I would appreciate opinions on which is the best approach to take.

Is the BBB impartial or do they favor the auto companies?
The car companies pay them, you don’t. Who do you think they tend to side with?

The BBB is only a reporting agency and they have no power to order anyone to do anything.
The consumer makes a complaint and the business being complained about is given an opportunity to respond in some way. That goes on the record as resolved, unresolved, no response, etc. The BBB is pointless.

File a complaint with the NHTSA and if Honda drags their feet then it may be time to see a Lemon lawyer.

Agreed, one of the most useless agencies out there. I once complained, they fwd it to the business and get a response and then fwd it back to you, they ask you if you are happy now…

The response I got was not worth even reading, so I responded back with more info. BBB said sorry the business is not interested in pursuing this complaint, so we will close the file.