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.
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 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.