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Honda Joins Recall List With Fit Subcompact

Potential fire hazard prompts action.

by on Jan.29, 2010

Honda's worldwide recall of the Fit hatchback impacts 140,000 cars in the U.S.

Honda's worldwide recall of the Fit hatchback impacts 140,000 cars in the U.S.

Honda Motor Co. will recall more than 600,000 of its subcompact Fit hatchbacks due to a potential fire hazard, the maker announced today.

The problem is the result of a defect master power window switch that could leak and, in some cases, cause a fire.  So far, the automaker acknowledges, it has received three reports of fires caused by the defect, including two in the U.S. and another in South Africa.

The problem impacts what has become one of Honda’s best-sellers worldwide, and a vehicle that has proven unexpectedly popular in the United States, where it competes against a growing list of subcompacts, such as the Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa, and soon American offerings like the Ford Fiesta.

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The recall involves a total of 646,000 of the subcompacts sold in North America, South America, Europe, South Africa and Asia.  The Japanese market – where the Fit is Honda’s best-selling product – is notably not included in the recall.

In the U.S., the small hatchback has proven an unexpected success, maintaining demand even when fuel prices slumped, in early 2009.  Total Honda Fit sales in the States ran 67,315 last year.  That was all the more significant considering the hatchback was in its fourth year on the market – and that Honda had originally predicted annual sales of just 50,000.

A total of 140,000 Honda Fit hatchbacks will be impacted by the recall in the United States.

The automaker has been considering moving production of the Fit to one of its North American plants in order to reduce dependency on the strenghtened yen.

Honda’s recall comes on the wake of a series of recent safety-related actions by Toyota.  That includes 1.1 million vehicles this week added to an earlier recall intended to correct a “floor mat entanglement” problem that could jam a vehicle’s accelerator pedal.  Last week, Toyota announced the recall of 2.3 million vehicles due to potentially sticky accelerators.  The Japanese automaker also revealed it would temporarily halt production of the eight models and tell dealers to stop selling them until replacement accelerators could be installed.

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One Response to “Honda Joins Recall List With Fit Subcompact”

  1. George Lenko says:

    Spontaneous combustion? Yes, that would be a problem.

    After a while, Impalas aren’t going to look that bad..