Honda Motor Co. is widening a recall of vehicles in the U.S. and Canada to 1.14 million units, among its largest, covering Accord and Acura cars that have the same transmission fault that triggered a light-truck recall this year.
Japan’s third-largest automaker is voluntarily recalling 536,950 vehicles, with V-6 engines and 5-speed automatic transmissions, in addition to those already announced in April. The company is also recalling 79,531 units in Japan to fix faulty transmissions and fuel tanks, starting tomorrow.
The inspections and repairs will cost Honda about $63 million, in addition to the $153 million being spent on the light- truck portion of the recall, spokesman Andy Boyd said. In Japan, Honda is spending about $8.5 million on its recall.
Honda was runner-up to Toyota Motor Co.p. in an annual reliability study of three-year-old cars and trucks by J.D. Power & Associates in the U.S. Honda, Toyota and Nissan Motor Co., benefited from consumer perceptions that they build better vehicles to increase their U.S. market share to 24.1 percent last year from 22.2 percent, according to Autodata Corp.
Honda’s North American recall includes 2003- and 2004-model Accords, 2000- through early 2004-model Acura TL sedans, and 2001- through 2003-model Acura CLs, Boyd said. In April, the company recalled 600,000 U.S. and Canadian Odyssey minivans, and Pilot and Acura MDX sport-utility vehicles with the same transmission.
Shares of Honda, which ranks fifth in U.S. sales, fell 0.6 percent to 5,260 yen in Tokyo.
The Japanese recall covers 68,000 vehicles with gearbox defects, including Odyssey and Lagreat minivans. The Tokyo-based carmaker will also take back 11,531 Inspire sedans with faulty fuel pumps, spokesman Kazuhiro Suda said. There have been no accidents reported in Japan, the company said in a statement.
The problem results from insufficient lubrication of a transmission shaft that can overheat, potentially damaging gear teeth or causing the gears to break, Honda said in a statement.
The U.S. unit of Tokyo-based Honda has had only one reported incident of a transmission failing in the car models recalled and no reported accidents or injuries, Boyd said.
“We are acting out of an abundance of caution to ensure that this doesn’t become an issue for our customers,” Tom Elliot, Honda’s U.S. executive vice president, said in a statement. Customers will be notified by letter starting mid-July.
In most cases, the gears will be inspected and the flow of transmission fluid will be modified, Honda said. If damage from insufficient lubrication is found, the transmission will be replaced, the company said. Recall repairs typically are paid for out of reserves set aside for that purpose.
The Accord is Honda’s best-selling model, with annual sales in the U.S. and Canada exceeding 400,000.
Note to mods- can you move this to the recall section, as I originally tried to post it there, but I apparently can't?. Griswold