By on December 16, 2020

On Tuesday, Honda announced a bevy of recalls encompassing more than 1.4 million automobiles sold in the United States. Split between several campaigns, the recalls encompass everything from dissolving driveshafts to bum window controls that could potentially result in a vehicle fire.

According to reports issued via the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the first and most-pressing issue involves the 2002-2006 Honda CR-V. Crossovers introduced to moisture could see their power window switches failing. If sufficient moisture is applied to the wires, Honda stated that there is some risk of a “thermal event.” As of November, the automaker said it was aware of 87 such instances and 23 reported events of fire.

Honda estimates that there are 268,655 CR-Vs affected and stated that recall notices should be sent to owners by January 18th. Technicians will inspect the wiring harness for damage and replace the master window power switch free of charge. A similar recall was conducted in 2012 but Honda but did not address concerns about moisture by replacing the device.

Next up is roughly 735,000 Accords from the 2018-2020 model years and Insights from 2019-2020. Honda said it needed to update the body control module software before it creates a series of bizarre headaches for the driver. Windshield wipers going haywire, flickering (or dead) exterior lighting, disabled defrosters, inoperable rear-view cameras, illuminated warning lights, and more make this a low-rent version of Tesla’s celebration mode. Unfortunately, the lack of predictability and potential for danger makes this an undesirable feature the manufacturer is hoping to fix with a software update (also starting January 18th).

The last recall is actually two separate campaigns dealing with corroding driveshafts on roughly 430,000 Acura and Honda vehicles. Road salt can cause the driveshaft to deteriorate, making the issue of particular concern to those driving in states with snowy winters. Honda thinks someone may have incorrectly cured protective coating during driveshaft installation.

Recalled models include the 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid, 2007-2014 Honda Fit, 2013-2015 Acura ILX, and 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid. While the main issue is premature driveshaft wear, there’s supposed to be a chance of full-blown breakages. Honda recommended actually using the parking brake to prevent a roll-away risk. Sourcing the necessary replacement parts has forced the company to push the official recall back to the start of February.

Customers concerned their ride might be affected can always call Honda at 1-888-234-2138 or check out its recalls website. They can also utilize the NHTSA’s website for the same purpose. Just be sure to have your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) handy.

[Image: Anastasiia Moiseieva/Shutterstock]

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32 Comments on “Honda Recalls 1.4 Million Vehicles in Multiple Campaigns...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Hondas are perfect; to suggest otherwise is heresy. /s

    I’m all about safety recalls, but isn’t a short circuit on wet 18-year-old car wires kind of expected?

  • avatar

    By coincidence the rear left passenger window in my 2003 CRV stopped going up and down a year ago. Wonder if that’s covered. They’ll have a field day going through the rest of the car trying to sell me ten different things. Last time I took it in they wanted to change my ATF without realizing the car is a stick shift.
    Dishonest bas_ards.

  • avatar

    Speaking of recalls…maybe this is just a problem in Canada but it seems to me like a huge number of Honda drivers drive around with their high beams on. I did some digging and there is an auto high beam system that I bet is the culprit. The other possibility is that Honda drivers have replaced Toyota drivers as the most clueless A-to-B driving demographic. In any case I tried to report the problem to Transport Canada but only the vehicle’s owner can do that.

    • 0 avatar

      It was a surprise when my wife’s CRV turned the brights on for me automatically while driving down an empty street one night. I had to go through a strange procedure involving a button hold of something like 40 seconds to disable the function.

      The only time I’ve noticed a modern Honda with the (probably auto) brights on, they turned off before I got close, right when I was just about to turn my brights on too.

      As a side note, Acura SUVs seem to have the worst headlight glare of anything on the road with OE lighting and ride height.

      • 0 avatar

        Yeah — weird procedure of holding the flash-to-pass “on” until the auto-bright light blinks: one blink to activate, two blinks to disable!

        When I actually want to use the system, I can never remember if the power has to be “on” or “off” before performing the activate/deactivate process!

  • avatar

    Consumer Reports surveys confirm that numerous Honda models no longer have the levels of overall reliability the brand became famous for, including the once-bulletproof Accord and CR-V. WSJ has done reporting that Honda product managers have chafed at pressure from within to outsource the engineering of major subsystems as most cheaper makes like Nissan and the Americans do.

  • avatar

    All (5) new cars that I have bought over my lifetime have been made by Honda. Nothing they make now interests me. They’ve completely abandoned what attracted me to the brand in the fist place back in the late 80’s and 90’s.

    They are just mining their reputation, and giving the proceeds to rent-seeking shareholders and the CEO golden parachute brigade.

    This is a big problem with a lot of corporations. What taco bell has done with their menu over the last year is just bizarre. I’m old enough to remember when TB use to deep fry each taco shell fresh for each order.

    “New Coke” was when they changed to corn syrup for sweetener. The soda was compromised for profits.

    Mcdonalds has eliminated every item that tasted good. Anyone remember when their pies were like molten lava? What did they do with their fries? McChicken used to be a lot better. Chicken nuggets used to be crispy. What happened? Mcflurry used to come with a bunch of different candy bar choices.

    They’ve been coasting on inertia for decades now.

    Why can’t I buy an oven with a dial for temp control? The stupid buttons they use now isn’t even a button. The same garbage is on my fridge and dryer too. It’s like a touch screen, but isn’t even.

    The TV remote control for my apple thing is so poorly designed in their toxic quest to eliminate buttons I refuse to use the thing.

    The power button on my TV is the same crap. I can’t feel it in the dark cause it isn’t a button.

    Cut costs and sacrifice ergonomics and quality, and feed the profits to people who don’t even DO anything to build wealth. And by wealth, I don’t mean money, I mean things that enhance peoples lives. Like labor, and natural resources with labor/energy added to them. Money isn’t wealth, it’s just what we use to incentivize the creation of wealth.

    Honda use to build cars that they could be proud of. Now they just do the same crap everybody else does, only cheaper. But they charge more.

    I’m all done with Honda.

    • 0 avatar

      Good for you. Honda has been gone for a while now.

      • 0 avatar
        Offbeat Oddity

        That’s why, as a prior owner of a few Hondas, I bought a 2014 Honda CR-V earlier this year over Honda’s newer models. It’s the last CR-V with a 5 speed automatic and port-injected K24. At 57,000 miles it still looks and runs like new, and I expect it to be reliable.

        Though I wouldn’t buy any post-2014 Honda at the moment, their reliability ranking this year in Consumer Reports was #5, so it looks like they’re improving. I remember there was an article a year or so ago where the CEO really made a point to improve quality. Let’s hope it’s more than just talk.

        • 0 avatar

          The 2.4 motor in my 2003 with 240k is absolutely bullet proof. Uses zero oil. Runs like a top.
          One alignment the entire time I’ve owned it, suspension is incredibly durable. Fantastic brakes, great steering, and great handling.
          The air conditioner, on the other hand, is crap. Rebuilt twice at great expense, it cratered again the other day. Compressor is junk.

          • 0 avatar

            I run a 2008 crv, 213,000 miles and a 2007 Accord 217,000 miles. The Honda service advisors I talk to say they see them coming in on a regular basis with more than 300,000 miles on the 2.4.

    • 0 avatar


      If you run for President I will vote for you [but you will lose].

    • 0 avatar

      Great post.

      You articulate why right to repair efforts are so critical – it forces these parasitic corporations to at bare minimum offer the ability to fix their overpriced devices – something that in decades past wasn’t even up for discussion.

      I recently bought a desktop DAC/AMP for $100 that has better quality buttons than my $2500 refrigerator.

      Appliance makers are the worst at cheaping out on everything (especially Samsung). The appliance I’ve had the fewest problems with is a 15 year old range that has no electronic displays or buttons.

      The further we get away from mechanical controls, we seem to get further away from long term reliability.

      This wasn’t always the case. Electronic fuel injection, electronics with car stereos, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability/traction controls…. all of these were fantastic improvements over their predecessors that made cars better.

      It seems that sometime in the early 2000s, many large companies figured out that they could become more profitable by turning out substandard garbage and slide on reputations, extracting value from unsuspecting consumers.

      Corporations have gotten more adept at avoiding accountability, buying lawmakers so that their interests are looked after while the majority of us get screwed. CPO warranties for cars have been halved of what they were just a few years ago. Warranties for appliances cover the first year or 2, just long enough so that in years 3-6, when they start to fail, you’ll be left holding the bag for a $150/hr repair visit… plus parts.

      There’s a 2010 BMW 535xi wagon for sale on BAT right now. The prior owners have spent $20k maintaining the car. That’s not right.

  • avatar

    I don’t believe that. But just in case will not buy another Honda or Acura again. But then what else left to buy? Toyota? Any ideas?

  • avatar

    Today’s thought experiment: Let’s clean-sheet the window mechanism.

    Banish the crank from your mind – no one ever liked it.

    Now eliminate the motor and the switches and the wiring harness (“12V” sucks anyway, because the amperage is too high and the wires are too thick). Less weight, less cost, no fires.

    What mechanism would you design to hold and raise the glass in an automobile door? Nothing is off the table.

    [One idea: Longer lever-arm which operates in maybe a 220 degree arc, one smooth motion from down (open) to up (closed). Light weight, low cost, faster action than the old crank or current power windows.]

    • 0 avatar

      Permanently bond the window in place as part of the door structure. No more window mechanism issues, no more sealing issues, just four more windshields.

    • 0 avatar

      I like your lever arm idea, though it’s a bit clunky in terms of space requirements.

      I think I have seen a manual window somewhere that had a straight slider. Pull the handle out slightly and slide it down in a straight channel to lower the window. Reverse to close it. I kind of like that idea as well. I couldn’t say where I saw it, or if I just imagined it. I guess the downside is that frailer people couldn’t work the window in a big car.

      I think the trickiest part with any manual mechanism is to make sure the window stays shut tightly at the top of the travel. Maybe if the top weatherstrip is extra-deep, it reduces the problem.

      Some interesting sketches of different mechanisms in this paper:

    • 0 avatar

      I drive a Citroën 2CV. Split the window in half, put a hinge in the middle, use a clip at top and bottom to hold it open or closed, problem solved. The window mechanism will never set my car on fire.

      • 0 avatar


        After chaparral’s comment I was thinking of a race-style ‘slider’:

        But the hinge provides a potentially much more useful opening. Also the 2CV window has a ‘vent’ position [you knew this of course, but I didn’t].

  • avatar

    “the first and most-pressing issue involves the 2002-2006 Honda CR-V”

    Serious question – why is Honda issuing a recall for cars that rolled off the assembly line 14-18 years ago?

    How far back are automakers legally required to go when issuing a recall, and does that window depend on the type of recall being issued?

    Does the fact that they issued a similar but apparently incomplete recall in 2012 play into them being required to issue this recall?

  • avatar

    Elements introduced to moisture, in sufficient amounts, can experience a thermal event!? Yeah baby!!!!

  • avatar

    Interesting. I borrowed my neighbor’s 2004 CRV to move a couple pieces of furniture one drizzly night and did get some moisture on the inside of the front door panels. I had to go windows down for fresh air since the tailgate wouldn’t close. Afterwards, the passenger window wouldn’t roll up. I had to jump it at the motor to get it closed.

    After confirming that the problem wasn’t the passenger switch by swapping it around with the identical back one, I bought and installed a new main switch, with no success. I figured on a vehicle that old, one of the wires must have broken between the body and the door and left it at that for now.

    Hopefully this recall will fix it!

  • avatar

    So, my 2012 Fit Sport is going to be recalled for “premature driveshaft wear, there’s supposed to be a chance of full-blown breakages.” I’ve only got 21k miles on it, I don’t even drive it in the rain (I know, I’m weird!), and salt is not an issue, so I wonder where that leaves me?! :-)

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