Laguna Hills, CA – September 28, 2018 – Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain 2017-2018 Acura NSX vehicles due to a faulty coupler that increases the chance of fuel leaks and engine fire.
The recall population was determined based on manufacturing records. A total 949 units are potentially affected, within a sequential VIN range of 19UNC1B00HY000000 to 19UNC1B00HY000952. The VIN range reflects all possible vehicles that could potentially experience the problem.
All vehicles built from the start-up of production through March 5, 2018 are affected. Vehicles built after March 5, 2018 are equipped with fuel tanks produced by the supplier after the supplier adjusted its manufacturing process to improve production quality.
According to the NHTSA Safety Recall Report, due to an improper manufacturing process, the couplers for the crossover inlet pipe that connects the left and right fuel tanks were insufficiently welded. Over time, vibration and heat cycling can cause the couplers to separate from the fuel tank, resulting in fuel leakage. A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source can increase the risk of a fire.
According to an Acura Service Bulletin, drivers or passengers may notice a strong fuel smell if a leak occurs. If this happens, drivers are urged to stop driving their vehicle immediately and contact their nearest Acura dealer for roadside assistance.
Timeline of Events
In December 2017 Honda received a claim of a fuel leak. The failed fuel tank was returned to the supplier. An investigation was launched to determine the root cause of the failure. Over the months of February and March 2018, Honda received three additional claims of a fuel leak, and in April 2018 the fuel tank supplier informed Honda that the weld specifications for melt depth and pressed-in amount could not be appropriately controlled and could be the source of the issue.
Further investigation was conducted to determine what was causing the variation in weld specification and how it was affecting the fuel tanks. In May 2018 the investigation confirmed that the heater which was being used to weld the coupler was set at a slight angle. This resulted in insufficient welding and thin welds to certain sections of the fuel tank.
In August 2018, the fuel tank supplier further informed Honda that the jigs used during fuel tank welding were found to be incapable of properly securing the fuel tanks during the welding process, adding more inconsistency and instability to the welds and resulting in additional welding variations. Honda continued their own investigation of the potential consequences of inappropriately welded fuel tanks and sought to determine the precise range of potentially affected vehicles.
In late August 2018, Honda officially determined that a defect related to motor vehicle safety exists and decided to conduct a safety recall. Honda notified NHTSA of this decision and supplied the information needed. As of late August 2018, Honda has only received three warranty claims. There have been no field reports or reports of fires or injuries related to this issue.
According to the manufacturers statement, Acura is announcing these recalls to encourage owners of affected vehicles to take them to an authorized dealer for repair as soon as they receive notification from Acura. Due to the relatively small number of affected vehicles, where possible, Acura will attempt to contact owners by phone to schedule repairs. NSX owners can also determine if their vehicle requires repair by visiting www.recalls.acura.com or by calling Acura NSX Client Specialists at (844) 682-2872. Mailed notification to owners of any remaining unrepaired vehicles will occur in early-Nov. 2018.
Honda will notify dealers, and dealers will replace the left and right fuel tanks, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin November 6, 2018. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda’s numbers for this recall are U29, and Z28.The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-600. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153).