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Feds Investigate 343,000 Honda Minivans

Problem could trigger another major recall for Japanese maker.

by on Jul.01, 2013

2007 and 2008 Honda Odyssey minivans are under investigation due to reported brake problems.

Just days after ordering a recall to fix problems with more than 140,000 of its subcompact Fit model, Honda is again under the microscope as federal regulators investigate potential problems that could cause the brakes on nearly 350,000 Honda Odyssey minivans to apply on their own.

The Japanese automaker has already recalled nearly 2 million vehicles so far this year and though it remains to be seen if the new investigation will lead to yet another safety-related service action, Honda already recalled 180,000 vehicles this year due to braking problems.

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it launched the latest investigation involving 343,000 Honda Odyssey minivans produced during the 2007 and 2008 model-years after receiving 22 complaints of unexpected braking.  According to some owners, the vehicles suddenly slowed by as much as 30 miles per hour even though they tried to accelerate.


Honda Recalling 250,000 Vehicles for Braking Problems

Campaign targets Pilot, two Acura models.

by on Mar.14, 2013

The 2005 Acura MDX is one of three models targeted by Honda's latest recall.

Honda continues to be plagued by safety-related problems that have resulted in it being at the top of the automotive recall list in recent years – the latest announcement targeting 250,000 vehicles sold worldwide due to potential brake problems.

More than 180,000 of the vehicles impacted by the new recall were sold in the United States through both the flagship Honda, as well as the upscale Acura, brands.  Some of the vehicles were sold in Japan, Canada, Mexico and other parts of the world, according to the maker.

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According to Honda, “If ann electrical capacitor on the VSA control unit was damaged during manufacture, the VSA system could malfunction and apply a small amount of brake force for a fraction of a second, without any input by the driver.”


Honda Recalls 750,000 Vehicles for Airbag Defects

Missing rivets, safety devices might not deploy in crash.

by on Jan.18, 2013

Recent versions of the Honda Pilot (shown here) and Odyssey are covered by the new airbag recall.

After having the second-highest number of recalls for any maker operating in the U.S. market, Honda is getting off to a rough start for 2013, this time announcing it will recall nearly three-quarters of a million vehicles because missing rivets could case their driver’s side airbags to fail to properly deploy in the event of a crash.

The latest safety-related problem involves 748,000 of the maker’s popular Pilot crossover Odyssey minivan models. Another 29,000 of the vehicles sold in Canada are also covered.

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It’s the latest in a series of problems Honda has had with airbags that have now resulted in the recall of several million vehicles in recent years.  That includes one problem in which airbags could inflate over-aggressively, causing shrapnel to fire into the passenger compartment.


Honda Targeted in Another Safety Probe

Hyundai Santa Fe also under investigation.

by on Oct.12, 2012

The 2005 Pilot is the latest Honda model under a safety investigation.

After a steady, decade-long decline, the number of automotive recalls has taken a surprisingly sharp jump over the last several years – most analysts pointing to the backlash over Toyota’s unintended acceleration scandal that, in 2009 – 10 led the maker to call back 14 million vehicles.

While Toyota this week announced its largest single recall ever – 7.5 million vehicles, a third of those in the U.S. due to a potential fire hazard – it’s cross-town rival Honda that has been especially hard hit by safety issues over the last two years.  And the situation only appears to be getting worse.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is opening an investigation into 87,000 Honda Pilot SUVs sold during the 2005 model-year.  The safety agency has received complaints that suggest the Pilot’s electronic stability control system may suddenly act up, leading to deceleration, with steering pulling to one side. Making matters worse, the complaints indicate the brake lights don’t illuminate which could lead to a rear-end collision – especially in a situation where vehicles have been reported coming to a near-stop from highway speeds.


As Honda Keeps Racking Up Recalls Will it Tarnish Maker’s Quality Reputation?

Honda logs 3 big recalls in one week – impacting 1.7 million vehicles.

by on Oct.08, 2012

The Honda CR-V -- a 2006 shown here -- has faced a number of recalls this year.

It was a busy week for Honda, the maker announcing three separate recalls impacting 1.7 million vehicles – even as federal safety regulators revealed a new investigation that could eventually lead to the recall of yet another 600,000 Honda minivans and SUVs.

The latest developments put Honda firmly on track towards repeating last year’s dubious achievement as the maker to recall the most vehicles in the U.S. market. Of a total 15.5 million vehicles recalled in 2011, 3.8 million of them carried badges for Honda or its luxury brand Acura. This past week’s recalls alone accounted for nearly 45% of last year’s total.

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Even before the latest series of recalls was announced, George Peterson, chief analyst with AutoPacific, Inc., warned that Honda “needs to be worried” about the impact the ongoing series of recalls could have on its traditional reputation for building some of the market’s highest-quality products.


Honda Recalls 625,000 Accord, Acura TL Sedans

Maker expands earlier action over fire hazard.

by on Oct.01, 2012

Honda will have to repair nearly 600,000 Accords due to the latest fire-related recall.

Honda appears to be well on its way to again leading the market in terms of the number of recalled vehicles.  The maker has confirmed more than 625,000 of its Accord and Acura TL sedans will be impacted by the latest service action due to a potential fire hazard.

The new development actually expands on an earlier recall involving 52,613 of the Acura models sold during the 2007 and 2008 model-years.  The maker has now added another 573,147 Accords equipped with V-6 engines marketed during the 2003 through 2007 model-years.

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the power steering hoses in those vehicles could deteriorate prematurely and lead to a leakage of fluid. If that comes into contact with hot engine parts, such as the catalytic converter, the fluid could catch fire.


Honda Recalls 550,000 CUVs

Maker on track for another year at top of recall charts.

by on Mar.30, 2012

Honda is recalling 550,000 Pilot and CR-V crossovers.

When it comes to safety-related quality problems, 2011 wasn’t a good year for Honda, and 2012 isn’t getting off to any better of a start.

The Japanese maker, traditionally known for solid reliability, has announced it will recall 550,000 of its Pilot and CR-V crossover due to problems that could cause the low beam headlights to suddenly stop working.  It’s the latest of a half-dozen safety-related service actions Honda has announced during the first three months of 2012 – and comes in the wake of Honda recalling more vehicles than any other auto manufacturer operating in the U.S. in 2011, a dubious distinction held by Toyota the previous two years.


Honda says the newest recall is the result of wiring problems and that they are limited to 2002 to 2004 model-year versions of the small CR-V, and to the 2003 model-year Pilot.  Apparently, there is not enough slack in the wiring and, over time, routine vehicle jouncing can lead to a break in the wiring leading to the headlight switch.


Subaru Tops Honda in New Consumer Reports Study

Japan still tops "Automotive Report Card," but lead shrinking.

by on Feb.28, 2012

The 2012 Impreza helped position as the new leader in the Consumer Reports Automotive Report Card.

In another setback for longtime Japanese quality leader Honda, it has been knocked out of the top spot according to the annual Consumer Reports Automotive Report Card by up-start Subaru.  Honda had topped the study for the last four years but has taken sharp criticism, of late, for a variety of problems, notably with the latest version of its long-popular Civic model.

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Subaru, the maker of all-wheel-drive products like the Outback and Forester also topped industry giant Toyota in the yearly measure of performance, comfort, utility and reliability.

Japanese makers retained their lead, overall, in the annual automotive study.  But, “While Japanese automakers still hold the top five spots, their lead is shrinking. In some of Honda’s and Toyota’s recently redesigned models, cost-cutting has become more noticeable,” said David Champion, senior director of the Consumer Reports Automotive Test Center.


Honda Announces Fifth Recall of 2012

Faulty fuel tanks trigger latest service action.

by on Feb.23, 2012

The 2012 Honda Pilot and Acura MDX are covered by the maker's latest recall.

Honda has announced the recall of nearly 9,000 late-model crossover-utility vehicles due to potentially faulty fuel tanks that pose the risk of a spill or fire.

The action comes as the maker struggles to resolve quality-related issues that resulted in Honda recalling 3.8-million vehicles in 2011, more than any other automaker operating in the U.S. market.  (For more on that story, Click Here.) 

The maker says it will begin notifying customers next month to bring the covered vehicles in for inspection and, if necessary, free repairs.  The recall affects 8,700 Honda Pilot and Acura MDX models sold during the 2012 model-year.

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The number of vehicles impacted is relatively small – especially when compared to the 45,800 Odyssey minivans involved in another Honda service campaign this month and the 273,000 Honda and Acura products recalled last December due to potentially defective side airbags.  But industry analysts are wondering whether the ongoing series of problems could create an image issue for a brand long known for quality and reliability – just as Honda had hoped to recover from the production shortages caused by Japan’s March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.


Honda CEO Takes “Ultimate Responsibility” For Civic’s Problems

Senior Honda executives outline plans to resolve company’s current problems.

by on Dec.02, 2011

Honda CEO Takanobu Ito with the RC-E electric racing bike during the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show.

Normally one of the darlings of the automotive world, Honda has taken a number of missteps in recent months while also being slammed by a series of challenges ranging from lopsided exchange rates to earthquakes in Japan and flooding in Thailand.

CEO Takanobu Ito is taking “ultimate responsibility” for at least one of the most serious of those problems, the controversial and frequently criticized design of the latest Honda Civic, which has been slammed by such traditionally Honda-friendly folks as Consumer Reports magazine.

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“Ultimate responsibility rests with me,” said the boyish-looking chief executive during a small media roundtable during the Tokyo Motor Show.  The need to respond to the criticism of the Civic – which is expected to result in an unusually quick update of the compact line – “also rests with me and we are working out what responses to take as quickly as possible.”