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Fire Risk Forces Recall of 900k Honda Odyssey Minivans

Latest in series of Odyssey recalls.

by on Mar.17, 2014

A 2008 version of the Odyssey minivan.

While often ranked among the best of the market’s minivans, the Honda Odyssey minivan has faced a number of recalls for potentially serious safety-related issues in recent years, and it is being targeted by yet another, the Japanese maker announcing it will need to service nearly 900,000 of the vehicles due to a potential leak that puts the Odyssey at risk for fire.

While the maker says it knows of no fires or injuries so far, “Prolonged exposure to acidic chemicals and a high temperature environment may cause the cover of the fuel pump strainer to deteriorate prematurely in a manner that can result in cracks in the material.”

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If that happens, Honda said in a filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there is an “increasing…risk of fire.”  It can also lead to the smell of fuel in the vehicles.

All told, the recall covers 886,815 Honda Odyssey minivan produced during the 2005 to 2010 model-years.

The problem can be exacerbated by exposure to a wide variety of acidic chemicals, including fertilizers and even detergents used in car washes.

The Honda Odyssey minivan has won a number of kudos over the years, among other things being listed among the Best Vehicles for Families by U.S. News and World Reports in an annual round-up released last week. But the Odyssey has also had its share of safety-related problems.

(Hyundai again takes heat for false mileage ratings. Click Here for the latest.)

Last year, various versions were targeted for several recalls including one covering 344,000 Odyssey models sold in 2007 and 2008. They needed repairs due to a sensor issue that could cause the vehicle to brake on its own.

A separate Odyssey recall last year involved 318,000 2003 and 2004 models equipped with airbags that could deploy inadvertently.  Honda has had a number of airbag problems in recent years, but so have a number of other Japanese makers – many of the issues traced to the same component supplier.

Automakers, in general, have been increasing the number of recalls they’ve been ordering over the last several years as they’ve come under increasing government and media scrutiny.

General Motors today announced three new recalls covering 1.5 million vehicles due to a variety of problems including a fire risk with the Cadillac XTS sedan. The maker is facing intense scrutiny related to the recall of 1.6 million compact models announced last month due to an ignition switch problem. Internal GM documents indicate the maker may have first learned about the potential problem as early as 2001.

(Click Here for a primer on the GM ignition switch recall.)

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One Response to “Fire Risk Forces Recall of 900k Honda Odyssey Minivans”

  1. Jorge M. says:

    I’ve never heard anyone rank the Odyssey amongst the best in class for mini-vans…but it would be interesting to know exactly what comprises a high acidic environment that causes the strainer cover to crack and allow fuel leaks.