Safety issues have been a huge problem for Honda this week. This car company recalled around 1.4 million Honda Civics, Accords, and Pilots. The most resent account being this past Saturday. 268,000 CR-V sport-utility vehicles from the year 2002-2006 where recalled due to faulty automatic window switches, the specific cause of production variation. This assignable variation was recognized by Honda due to malfunction and the potential to start a fire. The problem with these vehicles was not discovered until 6-10 years after the manufacturing of the vehicle. I find it odd that these problems were not detected earlier. Honda said that rain or liquids that may enter into the driver’s window, dripping onto the power window switch is what is causing the problem. A constant exposure over time can “cause electrical resistance in the switch, making it overheat, melt and cause a fire.”
This is just the most resent recall of Honda vehicles. They are having problems in their manufacturing across three different lines produced from 2002-2006, so their system is not stable. This is not something that I would expect from a trusted automotive manufacturer. The continuation of recalls is going to make people doubt Honda vehicles. Since the assignable variation is a problem among multiple models throughout five years it will be a hard blow for Honda to bounce back from. With the massive amounts of vehicles being recalled by this automotive company, they are not upholding the quality that their customers expect. Honda needs to reevaluate their system in order to identify the cause of these multiple problems. Was it a manufacturing problem due to faulty machinery? Will the problem persist in new model Hondas but just has not been identified yet? These are questions that I have myself as a consumer; ultimately lowering my quality perception of Honda.
An expanded March recall of Civic sedans with wiring problems in the headlight switch was also announced; along with CR-V small SUVs and Pilots that have the same problem. Some models of the Accord where also recalled in order to fix leaking power steering hoses which could cause fires. This problem won’t be addressed until early 2013 because Honda does not have enough parts to fix such a large number of vehicles. Instead, notice has been sent to Accord owners telling drivers who experience symptoms of the problems to go to the dealership for repair. The smell from seeping fluid is the most common symptom reported. Do you think this is an acceptable way for Honda to handle their manufacturing flaws? Is there a more effective way to handle the matter?
3 thoughts on “FIRE! Honda Recalls Almost 1.4 Million Automobiles”
On the news this morning there was a recall for Toyota’s (see link below) for the same problem of window switch fires. I am not sure if fires were caused by excessive rain/liquids getting into the window, but they estimated the recall in the US at about 2.5 million and 7 million worldwide, which is a huge loss. Maybe there is (or was, depending on what model year of Toyota’s and Honda’s are being recalled) a process for designing window switches that only has a working-life of so many years and they did not know. It is amazing that two big car companies are going through the same problems in a short matter of time. This could present a new way for all car makers to design and verify the safety of certain parts of the automobile or at least reassess their current processes for these parts.
Good find! Like you I am also surprised that this problem has just been discovered recently. Although the lines were produced between 2002 and 2006, I agree that Honda will loose customers and belief in their products. I do not think there is an easier way for them to handle the flaws other than having the customers go to dealers for repairs. Yes customers will not be happy, but its not like Honda can replace the defective cars. Since this defect or problem took so long to appear it makes you wonder if any others will pop up in the future.
This is a very interesting article. I definitely agree with you about how surprising it is that Honda did not detect these defects and recall the models yet after years of manufacturing/production. This seems like a very unstable system and that Honda needs to go back and no doubt reevaluate their processes in which they measure the quality of production and how they test the quality of their vehicles. I think it will be very interesting how this recall will affect customers’ viewpoint of the company as a whole and their tendency to choose Honda when they buy their next new vehicle.