Honda Issues Recall Due To Metal Fragments Affecting Air Bags

Laguna Hills, CA – June 24, 2019 – American Honda Motor Co. is recalling certain 2019 CR-V sport utility vehicles due to the possibility that the automobile’s air bags could malfunction or deploy errantly in the event of a crash, a problem linked to metal burrs found within the steering wheel unit. The company says it will inform affected owners by July 8 so motorists can schedule an appointment with their nearest dealer to have the issue checked out. Should a repair be necessary, it will come at no expense.

The Defect

According to official paperwork filed with and by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 118,600 Honda CR-Vs – model year 2019 – are being recalled because the guts of the steering wheel may be laced with metal burrs, or fragments, which may have developed during the assembly or manufacturing process. Some of these burrs may be sharp and potentially damage or short-circuit the cable reel sub-harness. Not only could this impede the driver’s side air bag from discharging – as it’s designed to do during a high-impact collision – but it may also render other steering unit functions inoperable, such as the horn, the supplemental restraint system warning indicator lights and other control buttons found on the wheel itself. The failure of any of these features poses an operator safety risk, which prompted Honda to take the actions that it did, including the contacting of NHTSA officials.

Timeline of Events

The first indication there could be a problem occurred Jan 24, when workers at a Honda manufacturing facility, according to NHTSA documents, were alerted to a warning indicator light illuminating on one of the newly assembled CR-Vs. Further inquiry determined the notification was caused by a blown fuse on the cable reel sub-harness, the part that attaches to the air bag. Apparently, the sub-harness had been damaged by fragments piecing off from the metal core.

Out of an abundance of caution, Honda notified all of its North American manufacturing facilities that this issue may not be isolated, which prompted a joint investigation 24 hours later alongside Autoliv ASP, Honda’s steering wheel supplier. The Mexico-based component supplier came up with a solution Jan. 31. But by February, Honda received feedback from a customer, informing the automaker that an air bag had deployed in a traffic situation without notice. A similar situation was brought to Honda’s attention in March.

These two incidents – along with four more that occurred between April and early May – were enough to raise suspicion that the flaw was not isolated to CR-Vs that hadn’t yet been delivered to dealers and decided by May 14 to conduct a more broad safety recall. As of this data, the automaker was aware of 41 warranty claims tracing back to this issue, 20 field reports and three non-life threatening injuries, Honda noted in a press release obtained by NHTSA. No crashes are believed to have occurred as a result.

The Solution

If dealers haven’t already been informed of the voluntary safety recall, they soon will be, as notifications were first distributed May 22. In the meantime, Honda says it will distribute mailers to registered CR-V users no later than July 8, advising that they take their SUV to a licensed dealership so the defective parts can be swapped out for those that work, assuming it’s necessary. The repair may also involve the installation of a protective cover on the steering wheel core. As per usual, parts and labor are free of charge. The automaker maintains that the reason for not informing owners sooner is due to the limited availability of replacement parts, an issue that should be resolved by early July.

For more information on this specific recall, owners can call Honda directly at (888) 234-2138. Operators can determine if they’re SUV is affected by simply entering their VIN at MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesHonda Issues Recall Due To Metal Fragments Affecting Air Bags

Honda Recalls 2019 CR-V Vehicles Because Of Air Bag Wiring Issue

Laguna Hills, CA – May 30, 2019 – American Honda Motor Company is recalling certain 2019 CR-V vehicles. The steering wheel cores of these cars may have metal burrs, which can damage wiring harnesses contained within them. This could disable the driver’s air bag or unexpectedly trigger deployment without any prior warning. As many as 118,598 vehicles may be affected.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this issue, the affected vehicles may have metal burrs on the steering wheel core that could cut or damage the wiring harnesses routed through the core, including the wires for the driver’s air bag. If this were to occur, the air bag could unexpectedly activate with no warning, or it could fail to operate in the event of a crash. The result of either of these situations would be an increased risk of accident or injury.

Timeline of Events

Honda first learned of the problem Jan. 24, 2019, when a warning light flashed on a new CR-V vehicle being assembled. Technicians tracking down the cause discovered that a short circuit in the cable reel sub-harness had blown a fuse, most likely due to burrs on the core of the steering wheel that damaged a misrouted sub-harness.

As soon as this problem was reported, all North American manufacturing facilities developed and put into place new quality process improvements. On Jan. 25, Honda and its steering wheel supplier began a joint investigation into the causes and consequences of the issue. By Jan. 31, the supplier changed the steering wheel core trim tool to prevent potential burring.

The automaker received its first and second market claims of faulty air bag activation between February and late March. Honda then collected the failed parts for root-cause analysis, which later confirmed that an improperly routed cable reel sub-harness was indeed susceptible to damage caused by burrs on the steering wheel core.

From April to early May, Honda received four additional claims of unexpected air bag deployment (then totalling six in all). As before, the failed parts were collected and analyzed. By this time, the automaker determined that a motor vehicle safety defect existed and decided May 14 to conduct a recall. As of that date, Honda had received 41 warranty claims, 20 field reports, three injury reports and no reports of full-on crashes related to this issue.

The Solution

The recall is expected to start July 8, 2019. Honda will notify all affected vehicle owners, directing them to return their CR-V vehicles to the nearest Honda dealership for inspection and repairs. Dealers will install a new protective cover on the steering wheel core as well as replacing the clockspring and harnesses within the core, at no charge to vehicle owners.

Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda’s number for this recall is R4S. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V383000.

Sean ReyesHonda Recalls 2019 CR-V Vehicles Because Of Air Bag Wiring Issue

Honda Recalls 2006-2015 Vehicles For Improperly Installed Air Bag Inflator

Laguna Hills, CA – May 29, 2019 – American Honda Motor Company is recalling certain 2009-2014 Acura TSX, 2011-2013 TSX Sport Wagon, and 2010-2012 ZDX and 2008-2012 Honda Accord, 2010-2011 Accord Crosstour, 2006-2011 Civic, Civic Hybrid and Civic NGV, 2012-2014 Crosstour, 2007-2011 CR-V, 2009-2013 Fit, 2010-2013 Insight and 2009-2015 Pilot vehicles. The affected vehicles are equipped with a front passenger air bag inflator that may have been incorrectly installed during a previous recall and replacement field action. As many as 19,086 vehicles may be affected.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this issue, during a previous replacement process the front passenger air bag inflators may have been improperly installed on the affected vehicles. In the event of a crash, these inflators may not deploy as expected, increasing the likelihood of injury to vehicle occupants.

Timeline of Events

From September 2017 through May 2018, following up on a prior air bag inflator mis-installation recall, Honda began a series of meetings, dealer visits, training courses, workshops and supplemental job aids aimed at educating service technicians and avoiding incorrect air bag inflator installations during future recall actions. As a result of this initiative, additional mis-installations were identified, and Honda submitted a defect information report to NHTSA on April 26, 2018 to address the situation.

Honda and NHTSA met Sept. 19, 2018 to review the audit results of inflator repairs performed at certain dealerships and to decide on a solution. The automaker agreed to expand the recall to include the known population of potentially affected vehicles as well as to audit the repairs that had been done by service technicians who were no longer employed by Honda or Acura dealerships before May 2018.

On Sept. 20, Honda decided that a motor vehicle safety defect existed, launching a safety recall expansion for the preceding NHTSA 18V-268 action. The automaker also submitted an amended defect information report for that recall on Sept. 27 and conducted a nationwide audit from September 2018 to April 2019 on the repair workmanship of the affected vehicles. This newest audit would focus on the involvement of service technicians who were no longer employed by Acura or Honda dealerships prior to May 2018.

Honda gave NHTSA an update on the audit progress April 23. Consequently, the automaker decided May 9 to conduct a safety recall. As of that date, no field reports, warranty claims or reports of injuries or deaths related to this issue had been received by Honda.

The Solution

A recall is expected to begin June 28, 2019. Honda will inform all vehicle owners, and dealers will inspect the inflator installation and, as needed, replace the front passenger air bag module assembly at no cost to the owners of the affected vehicles.

Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda’s numbers for this recall are M4O, P4R, T4Q, and W4P. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V378000.

Sean ReyesHonda Recalls 2006-2015 Vehicles For Improperly Installed Air Bag Inflator

Honda Recalls 2018-19 Vehicles Because of Timing Belt Defect

Laguna Hills, CA – April 26, 2019 – Honda is recalling certain 2018-2019 Acura MDX and Honda Pilot vehicles and 2019 Acura RLX, RLX Sport Hybrid, TLX and Honda Odyssey and Ridgeline vehicles. In the affected vehicles, the timing belt teeth may separate from the belt itself, potentially resulting in engine stalling, which could cause a crash. As many as 93,946 vehicles may be affected.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this problem, the timing belt teeth may separate from the belt. This may result in an engine stall, which could increase the risk of crash.

Timeline of Events

From August to October 2018, upon receiving the first report of a stalled engine due to a defective timing belt, Honda opened an investigation. Three additional reports were received during this time.

In December, the supplier confirmed that an improperly hardened timing belt was the cause of teeth separating from the component. The supplier continued its investigation to find the cause of the faulty manufacturing. 

Following re-creation tests by the supplier, it was found that a particular mold used to produce the timing belts starting in May 2018 did not allow the belt to properly vulcanize and harden. The mold had been modified to prevent pressure from leaking. This problem, together with a bottom plate that had the moisture drain path partially blocked by excess rubber deterioration, adversely affected vulcanization. 

In April, Honda decided that a motor vehicle safety defect existed and launched a safety recall. As of April 4, the automaker received 15 warranty claims, 15 field reports, and no evidence of crashes or injuries related to this issue.

The Solution

The recall will begin June 1, 2019. Honda will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the vehicle, replacing any affected timing belt free of charge. Vehicles receiving replacement belts will also have the engine inspected and any damaged components replaced at no cost.

Honda owners may contact customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda’s number for this recall is L4M. Acura owners may contact customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Acura’s number for this recall is Z4L. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V298000.

Sean ReyesHonda Recalls 2018-19 Vehicles Because of Timing Belt Defect

Honda Recalls 2014-2019 Acura MDX and MDX Sport Hybrid Vehicles For Taillight Issues

 

Laguna Hills, CA – April 9, 2019 – American Honda Motor Company is recalling certain 2014-2019 Acura MDX and 2017-2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid vehicles. Moisture could enter the tailgate lid lights through a deformed gasket, potentially resulting in non-operational taillights and tailgate lights. As many as 322,897 vehicles may be affected.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this problem, if moisture leaks into the tailgate lid lights, it could possibly lead to loss of function for both these lights and the inner taillights. Brake lights and headlights are not affected. Should this happen, the vehicle would be less visible to other motorists on the road, particularly at night, increasing the chance of an accident or crash.

Timeline of Events

Honda first received complaints of exterior light failures between February and September 2014, subsequently launching an investigation. The automaker, discovering that the failure resulted from moisture entering the tailgate lid lights through a deformed gasket, decided to apply adhesives to provide better sealing and also to change the gasket to a more robust material. Since the number of original claims was minimal, Honda continued to monitor the situation.

As complaints increased, however, Honda relaunched the investigation December 2015 to January 2016. Another design improvement to increase moisture resistance was initiated. Since the number of claims did not significantly drop after this action, Honda reopened the investigation March March 2017 to May 2018. The automaker began collecting parts from the field to understand the scope of the taillight failure and to determine possible repair solutions.

The addition of tailgate lid lights featuring deformation-resistant gaskets began on the assembly line Oct. 23, 2018 as a process quality improvement effort.

Honda ultimately determined that a defect related to motor vehicle safety existed, and decided to conduct a recall March 21, 2019. As of March 21, Honda had received 4,414 warranty claims, 17 field reports and no evidence of crashes or injuries related to this issue.

The Solution

The recall will begin April 29, 2019. Honda will notify Acura owners, and dealers will modify the tailgate lid lights and install updated gaskets and a wiring sub-harness, or will replace both tailgate lid lights if necessary. The repairs will be performed free of charge.

Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda’s number for this recall is M49. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V256000.

Sean ReyesHonda Recalls 2014-2019 Acura MDX and MDX Sport Hybrid Vehicles For Taillight Issues

Honda Recalls Over 1.1 Million Vehicles Equipped With Faulty Takata Air Bag Inflators

 

Laguna Hills, CA – March 15, 2019 – Honda is recalling specific 2003 Acura 3.2CL, 2013-2016 ILX, 2013-2014 ILX Hybrid, 2003-2006 MDX, 2007-2016 RDX, 2002-2003 3.2TL, 2004-2006, and 2009-2014 TL, 2010-2013 ZDX and 2001-2007 and 2009 Honda Accord, 2001-2005 Civic, 2003-2005 Civic Hybrid, 2001-2005 Civic GX NGV, 2002-2007 and 2010-2011 CR-V, 2003-2011 Element, 2007 Fit, 2002-2004 Odyssey, 2003-2008 Pilot and 2006-2014 Ridgeline vehicles. The affected vehicles had previously received a driver air bag inflator or air bag module replacement as part of a massive recall of defective Takata air bags affecting numbers of different automakers. Because of a manufacturing error, the front driver air bag may explode during a crash. The potential number of vehicles affected is 1,108,939.

The Defect

According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report filed March 11, replacement driver air bag inflators or air bag modules had been installed in the affected vehicles as part of a previous Takata inflator recall. Due to a manufacturing error, in the event of a crash in which the air bag is activated, the inflator may explode, resulting in sharp metal fragments striking the driver, front seat passenger or other occupants, potentially resulting in serious injury or death.

Car and Driver said this latest recall came about after a crash involving a 2004 Odyssey, in which the driver’s arm was bruised. This happened after the company learned that the Takata replacement, a driver’s-side inflator that is supposed to resist moisture, had ruptured due to “excessive moisture” present at the Takata factory in Mexico.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the Takata air bag recall, which has been going on for over 10 years, involved over 37 million vehicles built by 19 automakers. At least 22 people were killed and hundreds permanently disfigured when the air bags exploded after deployment, spraying them with deadly shrapnel.

Timeline of Events

Honda began using the Takata-made driver-side air bag inflators June 2014 as part of a regional safety improvement campaign. By March 2015, when the scope of the original Takata recall expanded, Honda began obtaining remedy air bag inflators from other manufacturers to supplement its supply of replacement parts.

Honda instructed dealers to stop installing the Takata inflators July 2016, and stopped ordering the replacement parts from Takata.

On March 21, 2018, Honda was informed of the Jan. 19, 2018 crash in which the driver air bag inflator had allegedly ruptured during air bag deployment; an initial incident report was then submitted to NHTSA March 23. A joint field inspection April 10 confirmed the driver air bag inflator had ruptured, and a final rupture incident report was sent to NHTSA.

From mid-April to early-February 2019, Honda continued its investigation in conjunction with the air bag inflator supplier and NHTSA. Ultimately, examination of the replacement parts did not turn up any conclusive explanation of the factors that led to the over-pressurization found in these inflators, with Honda concluding that all available evidence suggested a manufacturing anomaly.

Honda met with NHTSA Feb. 15 to share the results of the investigation. The automaker then decided on March 6 that a defect existed, launching the recall process as a result. As of March 16, Honda had received only one injury claim related to this issue.

The Solution

Honda will notify owners beginning April 17, and dealers – which are already prepared to begin repairs – will replace the driver’s air bag inflator with another inflator from an alternative supplier, free of charge.

Honda owners may contact customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda’s number for this recall is O41. Acura owners may contact customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Acura’s number for this recall is U40. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V182000.

Sean ReyesHonda Recalls Over 1.1 Million Vehicles Equipped With Faulty Takata Air Bag Inflators

Honda Recalls 4,455 Acura ILX Vehicles

 

Laguna Hills, CA – March 8, 2019 – Acura (American Honda Motor Company) is recalling 4,455 model year 2014-2019 Acura ILX vehicles. The vehicles may have a deformed fuel tank, resulting in the raised height of the fuel pump causing the fuel level float to stick. This could lead to inaccurate fuel levels displayed on the fuel gauge.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Safety Recall Report, an improper manufacturing process produced deformities in the bottom of certain fuel tanks, which could raise the fuel pump height, decreasing the clearance between the fuel float and the inner wall of the tank. Fuel movement in the tank can then cause the float to stick along the inner wall, leading to incorrect gauge readings. In a worst-case scenario, the vehicle could run out of fuel and stall, potentially increasing the risk of a crash.

Timeline of Events

Honda received the first report of an inaccurate fuel gauge in February 2018. At that time, troubleshooting did not result in tank replacement.

Following additional reports of inaccurate fuel gauge readings, investigation continued from October 2018 through January 2019. Recreation tests by the supplier confirmed the problem, and also revealed that an inappropriate cooling jig adjustment setting was used during a specific production period, resulting in the deformed tanks.

Further review also showed an inadequate cooling water flow rate during another phase of production, separate from the one in which the original fuel tank problems occurred. Records from this time confirmed that the tanks shrank and deformed due to the improper flow rate of cooling water.

On January 17, 2019, Honda determined that a motor vehicle safety defect existed, and decided to issue a safety recall. As of that date, Honda had received 621 warranty claims and 264 field reports. However, no reports of crashes or injuries related to this issue have been received.

The Solution

In a statement issued Feb. 8, Acura announced that it is voluntarily recalling 4,455 model-year 2014-2019 ILX vehicles in the U.S. for inspection and, if needed, complimentary replacement of the fuel tanks, free of charge.

Acura is encouraging owners of affected vehicles to bring them to an authorized dealer for repair as soon as they receive notification from Acura. Notification will occur by mail, beginning in early March 2019. Owners of 2014-2019 ILX vehicles can also determine if their vehicles require repair by visiting www.recalls.acura.com or by calling (888) 234- 2138.  Acura’s number for this recall is H3U, Z3T. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V052000.

Sean ReyesHonda Recalls 4,455 Acura ILX Vehicles

Honda Recalls Nearly Half a Million Vehicles for Fuel Pump Issues

 

Torrance, Calif. – February 20, 2019 – Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain 2016-2018 Acura MDX, 2015-2019 Acura TLX and 2015-2017 Honda Accord vehicles. These models were equipped with a 3.5L V6 engine. The recall is due to potential fuel pump issues, and 437,032 units were potentially affected.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Safety Recall Report on this incident, sodium particulates contained in low-quality fuels can adhere to certain internal components in the fuel pump. This can eventually lead to buildup, which in turn increases the electrical and mechanical resistance inside the pump, and subsequently reduces fuel pump performance. If a vehicle is operated in surroundings with high ambient temperatures, a reduction in fuel pump performance can restrict vehicle acceleration, cause an engine stall or both. If the engine stalls while the vehicle is moving, the chances of a crash greatly increase.

Timeline of Events

Honda received the first report of an engine stall prior to August 2017. Claims were minimal and infrequent, so Honda made the decision to continue monitoring the market. Between August and September 2017, after additional engine stall reports, Honda launched an investigation. Failed return parts were sent to the fuel-pump supplier. It was known that the fuel pump operating voltage could vary between 10 V-13 V. The supplier was able to recreate the engine stalling condition while operating the fuel pump in 10 V mode.

Between October and November 2017, sodium deposits were found on the brush and commutator components in the failed fuel pumps, and between December 2017 and June 2018 Honda conducted additional tests, determining that low-quality fuels were to blame for the problematic presence of sodium. Recreation tests confirmed that fuel containing greater than one part per million of sodium could result in the aforementioned restriction in regard to safe vehicle acceleration, or potentially result in a stalled engine.

Between July and November 2018, more testing confirmed that when the fuel pump operated in 10 V mode, more sodium could accumulate within it. This situation was found to result in increased mechanical and electrical resistance, and also caused a reduction in fuel pump performance. Poor pmp performance can lead to an engine stall as well as restricted or rough vehicle acceleration. On January 22, 2019, Honda determined that a credible defect related to motor vehicle safety existed. The automaker then made the decision to conduct a safety recall, having received 731 warranty claims and 102 field reports but no accounts of any crashes, injuries or deaths directly related to this issue.

The Solution

According to a media release from Honda, all owners of registered vehciles are being contacted by mail. The notice will request that each owner take their vehicle to an authorized Acura or Honda automobile dealer. Once the car has been brought to the seller, the FI-ECU will be updated with software programming that disallows fuel pump operation in the 10 V range and thus prevents the potential for sodium accumulation. If the vehicle owner informs the dealer that they have experienced an engine stall, and this is confirmable via a diagnostic scan, the fuel pump will also be replaced. Both services will be completed at no cost to the owner. Additionally, any owners who previously paid to have one or both of these repairs completed out of their own pocket will be eligible for reimbursement. The recall is expected to begin March 25, 2019.

Acura’s number for this recall is P3W, while Honda’s is N3X. Owners of potentially affected vehicles can also determine if their vehicles require repair by visiting www.recalls.acura.com or www.recalls.honda.com or by calling (888) 234-2138. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V060000.

Sean ReyesHonda Recalls Nearly Half a Million Vehicles for Fuel Pump Issues

Honda Recalls More Than 1,000 Leased Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicles

Laguna Hills, Calif. – January 31, 2019 –  Honda is recalling 1,082 model-year 2017-2018 Clarity Fuel Cell vehicles, all located in California, and all part of a leasing program. The action affects some vehicles already listed under a previous recall.

The Defect

According to Consumer Affairs, the Fuel Cell Electronic Control Unit (ECU) responsible for monitoring voltage in the fuel cell stack can possibly misinterpret a minor voltage variance. In such cases, the ECO may erroneously shut down the fuel cell stack in response to the misinterpreted data. The shutdown of the fuel stack could result in an unexpected loss of motive power. Such a power loss, especially at high speeds, can significantly increase the risk of a crash and potentially cause harm to the vehicle’s driver or passengers.

Timeline of Events

According to Tire Meets Road, the Honda Clarity has been marketed as a “lease-only option” for drivers. Unlike a standard electric car which uses a battery to store electricity, the hydrogen fuel cell Clarity requires compressed hydrogen running constantly through a fuel cell, which produces electricity that powers the car’s electric motor. There have been online comments about loss of power and other issues with high parts costs and A1 service bills.

In 2017, a similar recall was issued for 2017 Honda Clarity models. Approximately 470 model-year 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell electric vehicles were recalled to service dealerships for a reset of ECO software to rectify power system problems, but lack of available parts has delayed resolving this issue for 2017 cars until mid-February 2019. The current recall for 2018 vehicles is expected to be similarly delayed.

The Solution

Honda will begin notifying owners in mid-February 2019. A dealership will update the ECU software for free. Owners can call the automaker at 888-234-2138. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

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Sean ReyesHonda Recalls More Than 1,000 Leased Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicles

Honda Recalls Nearly 500 Vehicles for Structural Defect

Laguna Hills, CA – December 21, 2018 – Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain 2019 Honda Ridgeline and Pilot vehicles due to an insecure center pillar which can interfere with airbag deployment. The potential number of units affected is 403.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, supplier manufacturing records identified a specific production period of right front roof side rails affected by an improper manufacturing process. Affected vehicles may have larger-than-specified mounting holes for the clip that secures the right center pillar garnish. In the event of a crash necessitating right side curtain airbag deployment, the clip may not hold the center pillar garnish in position and may potentially interfere with curtain airbag deployment. In the event of a crash, if the curtain air bag does not deploy as intended, it can increase the risk of injury.

Timeline of Events

On October 23, 2018, a loose right center pillar garnish was discovered during vehicle assembly, prompting a hold and stop shipment to be placed on all vehicles while an inquiry was made to the supplier. The supplier informed Honda that a recent repair to the die mold that punches the mounting hole for the right center pillar garnish clip was inappropriate, resulting in burrs in the sheet metal. These burrs were removed with grinding tools, which inadvertently increased the diameter of the mounting hole.

On October 24, 2018, with the suspect range of parts identified and manufacturing errors corrected by the supplier, Honda measured the retention force of all suspect right center pillar garnish clips. The vehicles with right center pillar garnish clips that met the retention force specification were released from hold. Honda investigated the potential consequences of a loose right center pillar garnish clip, and on November 20, 2018, Honda determined that the potential for FMVSS noncompliance existed and decided to conduct a safety recall.

As of November 20, 2018 Honda had not received any warranty claims, field reports, nor reports of crashes or injuries related to this issue.

The Solution

Honda will notify owners, and dealers will install a bracket on the right center pillar that will securely hold the center pillar trim clip, free of charge. Because the limited new vehicle warranty on all affected vehicles would have provided a free repair for the problem addressed by this recall, without any payment by the owner, reimbursement for pre-notification repairs will not be offered. The recall is expected to begin January 25, 2019. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda’s number for this recall is D3D. Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-848.

Sean ReyesHonda Recalls Nearly 500 Vehicles for Structural Defect