Another day, another major recall, it seems – or in this case, three major recalls, including two from Honda. And the Japanese maker has also announced it is putting a stop-sale on a number of vehicles due to airbag and engine problems.
Separately, Fiat Chrysler has issued a recall covering more than 500,000 vehicles worldwide because they can fall off jacks when changing tires or performing other repairs.
The latest safety actions come less than two weeks after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that recalls hit yet another record in 2015, manufacturers ordering repairs covering about 51.5 million vehicles.
The biggest of the Honda announcements covers 1.7 million new and used vehicles equipped with potentially faulty Takata airbags. The vehicles date back as far as 2007 but also cover more recent models such as the 2015 Honda CR-Z hybrid.
More than 20 million vehicles have been recalled in the U.S. alone due to the Takata problem. The supplier’s inflators can react over-aggressively when triggered during a crash, sending shrapnel flying into the passenger compartment. At least 10 deaths are now known to have been caused by the problem.
(Nissan recalls 846,000 Altimas due to faulty hood latch. For more, Click Here.)
NHTSA last month announced it would recall another 5 million of the devices. Because some cars use multiple inflators, however, the precise number of vehicles covered by that order was unclear. On Jan. 26, Ford announced 391,000 of its older Ranger pickups would be recalled to replace their Takata inflators. Additional recalls are expected, according to industry analysts.
“The Takata debacle keeps getting uglier, and the clamor for the resignation of the Takata CEO should be louder than ever,” said Akshay Anand, an analyst with Kelley Blue Book. “Takata’s unwillingness to cooperate initially may have exacerbated the issue to the point where it’s getting out of control. One hopes this saga will end sooner rather than later.”
In an unusual move, Honda issued a stop-sale covering the affected vehicles. The maker advised dealers that they will be held legally liable for any claims should they sell an unrepaired vehicle. Congress recently included a measure in the new federal transportation bill that would require rental firms to pull recalled vehicles out of their fleets until repairs are made.
“Despite Honda’s significant efforts to notify owners and the public of this recall, vehicles are still being sold,” said KBB analyst Rebecca Lindland. “This action by Honda doesn’t stop private owner sales and transfers liability to local dealers, but perhaps it will raise awareness even more amongst prospective buyers. The lack of availability of repair parts by Takata puts owners in a very compromised situation, though.”
Vehicles affected by the recall and stop-sale include the 2007 to 2011 CR-V crossover, 2011 to 2015 CR-Z coupe, 2009 to 2013 Fit, 2013 to 2014 Fit EV, 2010 to 2014 Insight hybrid and the 2007 to 2014 Ridgeline.
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Separately, Honda issued a recall and stop-sale due to a problem with the 2.0-liter engine used in its new and used Civic models. The issue could lead to damage to, or even the complete failure of, those engines.
In a service bulletin issued by the automaker on Jan. 30, it noted, “A small number of engines were produced with piston ping snap rings that may not be completely seated. If the snap ring is not completely seated, it will come out allowing the piston pin to contact the cylinder wall which can damage the engine.”
Honda has not said precisely how many vehicles are affected by the problem. At least some appear to be on dealer lots where they will be temporarily pulled from sale.
The maker said it does not expect to begin making repairs until sometime in March due to the need to pull together replacement parts and the tools dealers need to conduct inspections. As with the Takata airbag problem, however, repairs ultimately will be made at no charge.
Precise details, including the number of 2016 Honda Civic sedans covered by the announcement won’t be released until the maker can confirm the recall with NHTSA.
A third major recall involves Fiat Chrysler, the maker reporting that the body of the Dodge Charger can become deformed while using a jack. That would make the cars unstable and possibly lead the to fall off the jack, causing potential vehicle damage as well injury or death to anyone working on one of the Chargers. Three minor injuries have so far been reported.
A total of more than 500,000 of the muscle cars, including 442,000 sold in the U.S. between the 2011 and 2016 model-years, are affected.
(To see more about the safety consortium between the feds and 18 automakers, Click Here.)
FCA plans to provide wheel chocks to owners at no charge. They’re meant to keep the vehicles stable while a jack is in use.