The Most Uncomfortable Car Seat Ever?

Honda Seats Have a Solid Reputation

Honda's Ridiculously Uncomfortable Seats
Honda Seats Cause Back Pain, Stiff Hips and Neck Strain

Every 2008-2015 Honda should come with a chiropractor referral.

How bad are these seats? Some owners have refused to take long trips because they know it would take “days to recover from the back pain.” In some extreme examples, we’ve even heard stories of people trading in their brand new cars, willing to take thousands of dollars in depreciation loss, just to avoid another commute in their Honda. Now that’s bad.


Common Complaints About Honda’s Seats

Here are some of the most common complaints when it comes to Honda seats:

  • “My Legs Fall Asleep” After just 30 minutes of driving, drivers complain that their legs fall asleep, their butts become numb and their hips start to hurt. Unfortunately many owners only found out about this problem after buying the car, saying that the test drive was never long enough for the issue to present itself.
  • “The Head Restraint Hurts My Neck” Most modern cars are equipped with head restraints that are used to prevent whiplash in the event of an accident, but not all restraints are created equal. Honda has used a head restraint design that is pushed so far forward that some owners say the only way they can drive is with their chin down, almost touching their chest. After only 20 minutes this leads to neck pain, back stiffness and a strong urge to push your car off a cliff.
  • It’s Like Sitting on CInder Blocks" Get past the head restraint, poor lumbar support and overall design and you’re still left with a stiff seat that many compare to sitting on plywood or cinder blocks.

These Honda Vehicles All Have Seat Complaints

So what are the worst years for this problem? If you own an Accord, it’s every year from 2008–13. The jury is still out if Honda has learned their lesson for the 2015 model year. Nope, it's still an issue.

Model Generation Years
Accord 7 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
  8 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
  9 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Civic 8 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
  9 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
CR-V 3 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
  4 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Fit 2 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
  3 2014, 2015, 2016
HR-V 1 2016
Insight 2 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Odyssey 3 2008, 2009, 2010
  4 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Pilot 2 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009

Head Rests vs. Head Restraints

Yep, I can see why this is uncomfortable

Remember the term head rest? They used to be installed in cars to give your head a gentle place to relax as you cruised down the road. Modern cars don’t have headrests … they have head restraints. And as the name suggests, they are not there for your safety to protect you against whiplash, not your comfort. In fact, According to David Zuby, senior vice-president of the IIHS[1]:

“Some people are finding (the new restraints) uncomfortable … Our goal is to make sure head restraints provide protection in rear-end crashes. If a head restraint isn’t behind and close to the back of an occupant’s head, it can’t prevent a `whiplash’ injury in a rear-end collision.”

In other words, a safe head restraint is critical to a manufacturer getting high marks in the IIHS safety tests. And in order for it to be safe, it almost has to be touching the back of your head. The problem is we’re all built different and for some the head restraints actually push their heads forward.

So why are Honda’s head restraints so much worse than others? It could be a number of things: the position, the material, the angle and the inability to make any adjustments come to mind.


Actions You Can Take

Honda doesn’t consider this a problem … yet. Can consumer pressure force them to make a change? There’s now an online petition to force Honda to replace the driver’s side seat bottom and upright.

This step is crucial, don't just complain on forums! The sites below will actively manage your complaints and turn them into useful statistics. Both CarComplaints.com and the CAS will report dangerous trends to the authorities and are often called upon by law firms for help with Class Action lawsuits. Make sure to file your complaint on all three sites, we can't stress that enough.

  1. Step 1: File Your Complaint at CarComplaints.com

    CarComplaints.com is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases. Add a Complaint

  2. Step 2: Notify the Center for Auto Safety

    The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits. Notify the CAS

  3. Step 3: Report a Safety Concern to NHTSA

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues. Report to NHTSA

What Other Owners Are Saying

After a week of unrelenting agony from the uncomfortable driver’s seat, I sold the car back to the dealer at a big loss. I tried the 2010 seat but it was the same problem - a combination of unbelievably bad seat shape, hardness, and that pressure plate in the back that is hooked up to the active head restraints. Try a simple test at home. Put yourself in the most uncomfortable, awkward position and hold it for one hour. If your back feels fine, then you will enjoy the Accord. – jem52, Gaithersburg, MD

I seriously can’t believe I put myself in this position. I have been complaining of lower back and hip pain for the last few weeks. I soon realized the seat is digging into the back of my thigh causing pain in my hip. NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO THE SEATING WILL NOT BE COMFORTABLE.If I lean back the front is to high, leaning forward you dip too much. – kinghassan, Boston, MA

The seats in my 2010 Accord are HORRIBLE, TERRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD. They are incredibly uncomfortable and I am ANGRY. The stupid lumbar rams me in the lower back, the headrest pushes the back of my head, and where my butt sits feels like concrete. –In Pain, Nashville, TN


  1. Head rest image from AutoMedia.com  ↩

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Honda Consumer Affairs Department

1919 Torrance Blvd. Torrance CA 90501-2746