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.
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 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.