Jan 08, 2024

Honda Crackling and Popping Speakers Cause Lawsuit

Posted in News

July 7, 2022 — Honda crackling and popping speakers have caused a class action lawsuit that alleges these vehicles suffer from speaker noise even if the sound systems are turned off.

The crackling and popping speakers are allegedly so loud and unpredictable that drivers and occupants can easily be terrified and distracted.

And in addition to the loud noise, the Honda speakers can also remain silent when audio is supposed to be playing through the systems.

According to the plaintiff who sued, Honda drivers must pull over, shut off the vehicles and restart them to stop the popping and crackling noise.

The Minnesota plaintiff, Alec Plotts, says his 2020 Honda Pilot EX-L had to be shut off and restarted multiple times to put an end to the popping speakers. But the plaintiff says the "fix" is temporary and the speaker noise will return.

The lawsuit alleges Honda knew about the speaker noise before selling the vehicles but concealed the alleged defects to continue selling the vehicles. Furthermore, Honda allegedly replaces defective speaker and electrical components with equally defective parts.

According to the class action lawsuit, Honda sent dealers technical service bulletin (TSB) 20-058 in 2020 titled, "Popping or Crackling from the Speakers; No Sound from the Audio System; Network Loss Message and/or Display Issues."

Honda told its dealers, "there is a loose connection in the MOST bus network" and dealers should "[i]nstall the FAKRA connector set and the MOST service cords" in certain 2019-2021 Honda Pilot and 2019-2020 Honda Passport vehicles.

The class action says TSB 20-058 was updated twice to supplement the repair instructions and parts information.

In February 2021, Honda issued TSB 21-013 titled, "Warranty Extension: 2018-20 Odyssey MOST Bus Network Connectors" which covered certain 2018-2020 Honda Odyssey vehicles.

"A 'loose connection in the MOST bus network is causing a popping or crackling from the speakers or no sound from the audio system' and '[t]here may also be a Network Loss message and/or display issues.'"

Again, Honda dealers were told to "[i]nstall the FAKRA connector set and the MOST service cords."

The bulletin also warned Honda technicians to "make sure the harness is routed correctly, as a missrouted harness can put pressure on the connectors which may cause a connection issue," and "not pull on the units while the FAKRA connectors are connected to help prevent communication issues."

Honda also extended warranties due to the crackling and popping speakers for 2018-2020 Odyssey, 2019-2020 Passport and 2019-2020 Pilot vehicles to 5 years or 60,000 miles from the original date of purchase.

In May 2021, Honda revised TSB 20-058 for the fifth time by including all 2020-2021 Honda Passport vehicles. And in July 2021, Honda revised TSB 21-013 which dropped the requirement for its dealers to replace the MOST service cords in affected vehicles and install the FAKRA connection set only.

The Honda speaker class action lawsuit further alleges Honda issued another document titled, "MOST Bus Network: Overview, Troubleshooting, and Repairs" covering the 2018 and later Honda Odyssey, 2019 and later Honda Passport and 2019 and later Honda Pilot vehicles.

Honda technicians were warned about incorrect connections and harness routing that could cause, "popping or crackling noises from the speakers, a blank center display unit, or the sound cutting off."

The Honda popping and crackling speakers class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California: Alec Plotts, vs. American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

The plaintiff is represented by Lemberg Law, LLC.

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