You Coulda Had A V6 — Unless You Bought A CR-V, Of Course
Did you make the sensible, sane choice of the four-cylinder engine in your 2015 Accord? What about refusing to perform an LS7 swap in your CR-V immediately after taking delivery? Well, now you are going to (have a one in three thousand chance that you will have to) pay for that mistake.
Honda will voluntarily recall 137 model-year 2014-2015 Accord 4-cylinder and 2015 CR-V vehicles in the United States to replace the engine short block, free of charge. During engine assembly, an automated system that verifies engine connecting rod bolt torque may not have identified improperly torqued bolts in a specific group of engines. An improperly torqued connecting rod bolt could come loose, leading to potential engine damage and stalling, which could contribute to a crash. No crashes or injuries have been reported related to this issue, which was discovered through a warranty claim review process.
Honda is announcing this recall to encourage all owners of affected vehicles to take them to an authorized dealer as soon as they receive notification of this recall from Honda. Mailed notification to customers will begin in late-March. In addition, owners of these vehicles can determine if their vehicles require repair by going to www.recalls.honda.com or by calling (800) 999-1009, and selecting option 4.
So, how did this happen, and how do they know about it? It was likely the result of auditing logs from a FANUC machine or something similar and comparing them to a torn-down engine. The Anna Engine Plant turns out a few thousand engines every day so the actual range of time where the machine was not adjusted properly could be very small. It’s also possible, of course, that every four-cylinder Honda built last year will explode. You never know. I think we can all agree that the important lesson to learn from this is: always get the bigger engine.
Full disclosure: At one point in the past, your humble author might have been directly responsible for this error or at least in the chain of responsibility identified by Honda’s 5P Process. Thankfully, this happened long after I bid goodbye to the Marysville Assembly Plant and I had nothing to do with it. This is the sort of thing for which American Honda will immediately terminate even a long-standing employee.
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If the torqueing issue was a blatant procedural or process violation then the employee should be fired. We have the same in the aviation industry. You will find most violations are committed by a more senior person who considers his/her skillsets and knowledge better than others. With time constraints on employees' for productivity they may have been pressured to perform at too high a level. If the supervisor and manager/engineer erred they should be removed. You can also trace violation and errors to the top of the management structure. High level managers are responsible for dollars, ie, profit and saving resources. At time managers are similar to a person on the floor who commits a violation of processes and procedures. So, to accommodate the managers wishes "work arounds" are created by the lower skilled line workers and supervisors, etc to meet productivity requirements. There are maintenance or production errors which aren't a violations, just unforeseen problems could of arose. I'd bet some form of Occurrence/Incident inquiry will be initiated. The problem with these types of inquiries is the managers can orchestrate and re-direct responsibility in a disproportionate way, especially if they are the ones who have f#cked up. It's a big call to say some had inadequate training. Training this day and age in any modern economy is quite adequate. An independent person should conduct any inquiry.
Seems that Honda found itself in a position where they couldn't write off a failure with "customer abuse" as the cause or the arrogant attitude of "Honda's are perfect - not our problem" line. My experience with them is they don't admit things like this about their products unless there is absolutely no way to wiggle around an issue. Please pardon my schadenfreude.