Software Glitch Leads to Recall of 230,000 Accords, Insights

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Honda Motor Co. is recalling roughly 232,000 Accord and Insight models in the United States over a software glitch that may cause the rear-camera display to malfunction. While the number of recalled units is noteworthy, the severity of the issue is largely dependent upon how careful of a driver you are.

According to reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, certain 2018 Accords and 2019 Insight hybrids have center displays that may not function properly when asked to access the reverse camera. The NHTSA report specified that some Sport, EX, EX-L, and Touring trims of the Accord suffered from other potential software malfunctions.

While the worst of these issues involved the display screen only showing guidance lines with the transmission in reverse, there was also a chance of it shutting down completely when shifted from reverse to park. Likewise, the navigation app had a propensity to crash whenever a reroute was necessary and the heads up display failed to incorporate turn-by-turn direction or even the on-board compass.

None of this is likely to endanger your life or make your vehicle unusable. But it would be nice to be able to trust the instrumentation of your automobile, especially if you had to pay extra for some of it. And, as big of a crutch as reverse cameras may be, we want drivers to be able to use it in an era where outward visibility continues to dwindle.

The NHTSA is inclined to agree, as it noted that the Honda’s failed to comply with Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 111, which deals with rearward visibility. As such, the manufacturer is recalling 232,000 units in the United States, as well as 14,000 vehicles in Canada, over 6,000 in Germany, and more in Asia.

Honda will notify owners sometime in early November. Dealers will reprogram the display auto unit software at no cost to the customer. No incidents stemming from the software glitch have been reported.

[Image: Honda]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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5 of 18 comments
  • Chrishs2000 Chrishs2000 on Oct 01, 2018

    This is the dumbest recall ever. But it’s gotta be basically free for Honda. I wonder why they couldn’t update it wirelessly like other system software updates?? I am thinking that they could have, but NHTSA doesn’t allow them to. My ‘18 Sport 2.0T 6MT has done this glitch maybe twice in 15k miles. Put in neutral, put back in reverse...oh the horror...

    • JMII JMII on Oct 01, 2018

      I guess the problem is since reverse cams are now a federal requirement if they aren't working then its a safety recall. Like air bags or seats belts. My 'Vette has the same issue but I've yet to hear of any recall related to it. Every now and then when I put it in reverse I get nothing on the screen. What is worrisome is a physical switch is involved (I assume), IE: you select reverse and the backup lights come on, with no software required. Thus the screen should function the same way - it should be hardwired to change video inputs when voltage is applied (via tried and true automotive relays).

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Oct 01, 2018

    Imagine the cost savings if they could push Over-The-Air updates, like TSLA. Now they have to bring in 230k cars one by one.

    • See 1 previous
    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Oct 01, 2018

      @chrishs2000 Service? You make a good point. But I do my own car work, no matter how many 'free' oil changes they offer me. I haven't had a dealer perform routine service on a car ever, unless you consider tire mounting at the Nissan dealer for my former Leaf, because I didn't expect the local tire shop to even know how to drive it.

  • 1995 SC How bout those steel tariffs. Wonder if everyone falls into the same camp with respect to supporting/opposing them as they did on the auto tariffs a few weeks ago. Doubt it. Wonder Why that would be?
  • Lorenzo Nice going! They eliminated the "5" numbers on the speedometer so they could get it to read up to 180 mph. The speed limit is 65? You have to guess one quarter of the needle distance between 60 and 80. Virtually every state has 55, 65, and 75 mph speed limits, not to mention urban areas where 25, 35, and 45 mph limits are common. All that guesswork to display a maximum speed the driver will never reach.
  • Norman Stansfield Automation will make this irrelevant.
  • Lorenzo Motor sports is dead. It was killed by greed.
  • Ravenuer Sorry, I just don't like the new Corvettes. But then I'm an old guy, so get off my lawn!😆