Honda Motor to Recall 2.49mn Vehicles Globally Due to Software Problem

Last year saw many manufacturers issuing recalls for one or the other reason. While this year, the number is definitely less, Japanese auto company, Honda Motor recently announced its biggest recall this year, as it issued a recall of 2.49mn vehicles including minivans, small SUVs and cars worldwide. This also includes the popular sedan Accord. The reason behind the recall appears to be a software problem, which could interfere with the vehicles’ auto transmissions.

The recall includes 1,35,142 vehicles from Canada, 7,60,000 vehicles from China, and 1.5mn vehicles from the US. A spokesman for the company’s American division’s California headquarters, Chris Martin, was quoted as saying that this recall was not to be taken as sign of further difficulties. Most of their customers are unlikely to be faced with this problem. He added that this was not a weakening of their transmission, but rather a problem in the software programming.

The auto sales of the company for the month of July saw a drop of 2.6% in the American market, mostly due to the supply parts crisis resultant from the natural disaster that struck Japan in March. Meanwhile, the total auto sales in the US market saw an increase of 11% during the same period. For the Honda Motor Co., the US is one of their most important markets, as it accounts a third of the company’s global sales as well as even more of their earnings.

Honda stood at the sixth position in the American auto industry throughout July, a drop from its earlier fourth position during 2010. Honda also posted $292.5mn or 22.58bn yen in profits for the quarter ended June.

According to reports, the recall will affect the Accord four cylinder sedans belonging to the model years from 2005 to 2010. Honda is also recalling their vehicles in Puerto Rico, Mexico, South America, Middle East and parts of Europe. The recall, however, doesn’t include the vehicles sold in the company’s Japanese home market.

Martin also added that no deaths or injuries were reported because of this problem. In Canada and US, the recall also consists of the crossover CR-V of the 2007-2010 model years, and the Element, small SUV from the 2005-08 model years. Whereas, in China, the recall consists mostly of the Accord model, 160,000 plus Odyssey minivans of the model years 2005-09, and around 4,000 models of the Spirior model that is based upon Accord’s European variant of the model year 2010.

If the software is not updated, the auto gear box would be damaged when the driver shifts between gears quickly. This would result in the engine stalling, or the car being difficult to put into park. The company said that the problem would arise in case the transmission was shifted quickly between the drive, neutral and reverse positions, which a driver might attempt when trying to dislodge a vehicle stuck in snow or mud. In this case, the auto gear boxes’ bearing of the secondary shaft could be destroyed. An update in the software will ease the shift between gears, reducing the chance of any damage. Honda is to begin informing consumers in the US by August end. The company has not yet disclosed the project cost incurred by the recall.

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