A giant Honda Accord recall will be delayed into next year because the automaker doesn’t have enough parts to fix the problem.
American Honda Motor Co. is expanding an earlier recall of Acura TL sedans to include 572,000 model-year 2003-2007 Accord V6 vehicles in the United States.
The automaker said the power steering hose may deteriorate and leak fluid. That might cause a loss of power-steering assistance or, if it leaks onto a catalytic converter, may result in smoke or in the worst case, fire.
But the updated power steering hoses won’t be available until early 2013. Honda is sending out a notice to Accord owners telling them of the problem and describing the symptoms. Drivers who think their cars are affected should take them into the dealership for an “interim” repair, the automaker said. The m ost commonly reported symptom is a smell from the seeping fluid.
“It will take some time to produce the updated hoses to replace them in every vehicle,” said Chris Martin, a Honda spokesman. “These vehicles have been out of production for quite some time.”
Honda will send another letter out some months from now once the parts are ready, telling owners they can take their cars in to get the power steering hoses fixed with the new hoses.
No crashes or injuries have been linked to the problem, but Honda said one engine fire has been reported. The recall does not include 4-cylinder Accord models.
Getting owners to take their cars in for repair is more of a problem than most consumers realize, according to auto information company Edmunds.com.
In a report earlier this year, Edmunds.com said its analysis of the two General Motors Co. recalls examined showed a completion rate of just 52.5% as of December 2011. GM says its recalls generally reach a completion rate of about 70%. No other automaker would provide Edmunds.com with a completion rate for their recalls.
Often these unrepaired vehicles are sold to unsuspecting buyers who have no clue they are purchasing a flawed vehicle.
Edmunds.com Senior Editor John O’Dell said used-car buyers should register their vehicles with the automakers to make sure they’re in the loop on any existing or future recalls.
They should also check out the U.S. Department of Transportation’s www.safercar.gov, a database where a car buyer can look to see if the model they are looking at was part of a recall.
In May, Honda recalled 2,615 model year 2007-2008 Acura TL sedans because of the same problem.
Source: LA Times – Jerry Hirsch