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Passenger Door and Back Hatch fail to unlock

My wife’s 2012 Pilot EX-L has developed an odd problem. Occasionally the front passenger door will fail to unlock when I use ether the door panel unlock button or the FOB. I figured it was a bad actuator and I was going to fix it next weekend, but today I noticed that when the issue happens the rear trunk also fails to unlock. It seems odd to me to have 2 different actuators go bad together, and really odd to have them both be intermittent and in sync. What else could this be?

I have noticed when it rain really hard water gets into the back door hatch through the screw holes for the license plate. That could be related, or it could be a red herring.

There’s likely wires from the control panel in the driver’s side door, one going to the passenger door, and another to the rear door. They might be shorting out for some reason. First suspect is where the wires go through the driver’s door near the hinges and into the door jam, with daily door opening and closing, the wire insulation can eventually wear off. If you don’t see anything obvious there, you’re probably looking at a repair shop appointment where they’ll remove the door panels and figure out what’s wrong. If the shop has a Honda specific scan tool they might be able to offer up a clue without removing the door panels.

a fun wrinkle to add to the mystery. When it fails to unlock, if I manually unlock the passenger door lock, then I use the FOB or the door panel the rear hatch will unlock. Might they be passing the unlock signal in series from the passenger door to the back hatch? (such that when the passenger door fails the signal is not passed back to the hatch?)

Did you try hitting the unlock fob 2 times to unlock all doors?

Door locks are done different ways on different cars. Some have individual wires running from the master switch to the doors for each lock; other designs, a computer (usually the body control module or door lock module) sends a message on a computer data bus which all the locks are connected to, sort of like a mini-internet. Have you researched how your car’s system is designed?

@Barkydag yes the Fob behaves as normal (1 time unlocks the drivers door and gas cap. Second press unlocks read doors. Normally the second press would unlock the passenger door and rear hatch as well, but that is what the problem is.)

@GeorgeSanJose I have not found any reliable documentation as to if the pilot uses a data bus, or just a relay to all the locks. I am looking but mostly finding repair info on ether the older body style of pilot, or the Accord. No matter what system the pilot uses, it seems odd to have the rear hatch in series after the passenger door, when the 2 rear doors are ether on a separate circuit or before the passenger door.

I can’t seem to follow this because it just does not sound right. My vehicle: 1 push on remote drivers door unlocks - second push unlocks the other 3 doors - the rear hatch has it’s own button.
The gas filler door has a button inside car not on remote.

Your problem is with the right front door lock actuator failing, the door latch assembly will probably have to be replaced.

The rear gate not unlocking is due to the right front door remaining locked, this is from a Honda bulletin;

Currently Applies To: 10-12 Crosstour, 07-12 CR-V, 09-12 Pilot with non-power tailgate

You’re working on a vehicle with a tailgate that won’t open. It doesn’t matter whether you use the button on the outside handle, or the switch on the inside (Pilot only), its not opening.

It could be that although the doors are unlocked, the MICU didn’t get an unlock signal from one of the lock knobs. If the MICU thinks that even one door is still locked, it wont let the tailgate open.