Door Lock May be Not Turn Due to Worn Tumblers on Honda Element

Problem Description and Possible Solution

Worn door lock tumblers can cause the lock not to work. Removing the lock assembly and replacing the tumblers is needed to fix this problem.

Problem Data
RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 113,225 (11,718–226,700)
6 model years affected: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, more2007, 2008
127 people reported this problem
Viewing 1 - 20 of 86 comments
Key in driver side will not turn. It gets stuck and will not unlock. I have to insert, remove and re-insert many times in hopes that it will open. There are many times it just won't...and I will have to enter from the passenger side. Please recall.
Driver side tumbler broken. I fixed it by myself about 2 hours.
This issue should be a recall.
Drivers side tumblers failed in door lock 2004 Element After reading same frequent issues this should be a recall
I've been locking and unlocking the car through the passenegr's side door. Now that lock is developing hte same problem.
my key gets stuck. goes in halfway and then nothing. i have been having to enter through passenger side. RECALL PLEASE!!!!
~90000. Driver side door lock was getting difficult to insert key in. Now I can get it in, but won't turn. I tried oiling it and letting it sit for 24 hours but that did not work. Likely a tumbler problem. I could by the individual lock from HOnda for $55, but it would have a separate key and I would have to install it myself. They won't sell tumblers separately. If I had them install it without matching the other locks, it would be ~$275. If I had them install it to match the key for the other locks, it would be around $350-75. Kind of a rip off. I went to a local mechanic and said the job would probably take ~ 2hours for him to work on and he would not be able to match the key like the dealer does. This really should have been a recall.
Drivers side door will accept key but it is hard to insert and key can't be turned. I have to crawl through passenger door in order to unlock drivers door. I have to lock drivers side door from passenger seat in order to lock all vehicle doors.
can not unlock the driver side door with the key
No solution yet. I have to enter from the passenger's side.
You put the key in the drivers side door to unlock it and it won't turn. So several attempts are made to unlock until it will finally work but it's getting worse.
Tumblers on driver side door and the tail gait are worn. Also today i could get my keys into my ignition but it would not turn, hoping it isn't the tumblers in the ignition as that could be upwards of $800 to fix
Drivers side door lock won't work with key. Has been getting progressively worse over last several months.
Purchased the Honda Element new. Driver's door key will not turn the lock at about 40,000 miles or before. Now at 95,000 the passenger door is starting to have this same problem. Never had this problem on any car that I have drove before and had owned for this length of time or greater. This is a Honda issue and should have been recalled. I first thought it was just a "fluke" with my car's driver side door lock, now with the second door and the number of people with the same problem (not including the one's that have not reported or had paid for the repair). Big no no for Honda.
Key would not turn in drivers door, had taken door panel off to get tumbler out. Bought new tumbler. Then took to locksmith to cut tumbler to current key.
Key in driver side will not turn. It gets stuck and will not unlock. I have to insert, remove and re-insert many times in hopes that it will open. There are many times it just won't...and I will have to enter from the passenger side. Please recall.
Driver side door has been hard to open with both original keys for about a month. Used graphite in keyhole as suggested by dealer. Worked ok for a few weeks then started having problems again.Today both keys won't even go into lock more than 1/4 inch on drivers side. I have never had a car that this has happen to before. This should be a recall.
Neither one of my doors open! I mentioned this when I was getting my airbags replaced at the dealership and I was advised that this was normal wear and tear! And I would have to repair, I have had a lot of break-ins in my neighborhood and now I have to fix and no longer leave the one door open!!
Difficult to get key in drivers side door lock.
Same problem. My key stuck in the driver's side door, my purse and extra set of keys were in the car so I had to call a 24hr locksmith and have him break into my car. The first key is STILL in the driver's side door and will not budge. I'm afraid to lock my car, especially after hearing that the passenger door lock then failed on so many people.

This problem seems endemic to this car. Perhaps if Honda won't issue a recall, they'd respond to a class action lawsuit instead (like the one over the windshield).

So far on this car I've had the brake rotors replaced, the alternator replaced twice, the starter replaced, the motor mounts replaced, windshield replaced three times, driver's side seat fixed (it was rocking), and a LOT of other repairs. At this point I feel like it's a repair a month. I chose Honda for their quality and reliability; disappointed. Not sure if I'd go with them again.
Door lock stick and will not open unless I put the key in and out of it multiple times and eventually force it. My '03 Accord only has a drivers since lock too.