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.
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.
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.