Honda Recalling 789,000 Vehicles Over Busted Hood Latch

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
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honda recalling 789 000 vehicles over busted hood latch

Honda is recalling nearly 789,000 vehicles over a defect that could cause the hood to fly up while driving. While anyone wanting to reenact their favorite scene from 1995’s Tommy Boy is going to be thrilled, those less eager to follow Chris Farley into an early grave will probably want to get their car repaired ahead of any hilarious mishaps.

A report filed by the manufacturer with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) listed the affected models. They include the 2019 Honda Passport, 2016-2019 Honda Pilot, and 2017-2020 Honda Ridgeline. This impacts 788,931 vehicles globally, with the vast majority (725,000) being located in the United States.

According to Honda, gaps in the front seal located between the hood and the grill can allow for unplanned air entry. At high enough speeds, this is can create sufficient vibrations to detach the hood and throw it back into the windshield. More specifically, repeated movement can cause stress fractures along the hood latch striker until it separates from the hood. All that’s needed from there is a strong gust of wind (or normal highway airflow) and you’ll be driving blind.

Warning signs that you’re SUV or pickup might be on the cusp of giving you a big surprise include hood vibrations and rattling when you’re on the go. Customers may also notice that their hood fits less flush with the rest of the car than before when closed.

Interestingly, Honda seemed aware of the defect as far back as July 2016. Documents filed with the NHTSA indicate that the automaker noticed stress fractures forming on a prototype Ridgeline that was undergoing stress testing. While Honda ended up reinforcing the striker with some additional adhesive to pass, it never bothered to check back in on how this solution fared once vehicles were in production.

An investigation was launched in April of 2017 after concerns were raised about hood vibrations and a technical service bulletin was issued the following December attributing the problem to poor hood alignment. However, corrosion was found in the engine compartment of Passports being tested in 2019, indicating that salt and water had managed to sneak into the bay. Honda said it took special care to ensure Passport and Pilot models left the assembly line with properly fitting hoods that April — with the Ridgeline receiving similar attention a few months later.

Strikers started being examined in August of 2019. But it wasn’t until March 2021 when Honda claimed it actually managed to replicate a scenario where full detachment occurred. The next few months were committed to narrowing down the contributing factors and identifying possible solutions. The automaker said it was not aware of any crashes stemming from the problem. But it has received over 100 warranty claims pertaining to the matter.

Dealers started being notified on November 30th, with Honda recommending that they either reinforce the hood latch so it’s not as prone to breaking or simply replace the entire hood to be extra safe. As usual, repairs will be conducted free of charge as per the NHTSA recall protocols. Customers will be informed starting January 17th, with those who have already paid to have these repairs completed eligible for reimbursement.

[Image: Paramount Pictures]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

Consumer advocate tracking industry trends, regulation, and the bitter-sweet nature of modern automotive tech. Research focused and gut driven.

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3 of 19 comments
  • El scotto El scotto on Dec 04, 2021

    Since 2016? The sharks, I mean class-action lawsuit lawyers are in a frenzy. Most manufacturers just say recall all of them, each and every one of them. Does the mechanic find the part(s) are just fine? Replace it/them under recall, no questions asked.

    • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Dec 04, 2021

      Amazing that Honda used adhesive as a fix and that passed muster with the attorneys...contrast that to the ridiculousness of what Mazda did when a transport ship listed badly and damaged *some* cars that were inside. Every car on that ship was written off as totaled and destroyed. Somewhere between a slap dash repair and a disgraceful waste of resources has to be a happy compromise that would address what is needed and still provide legal cover.

  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Dec 05, 2021

    ah, Wiggly Hood. My 2008 (!) MDX has had this issue forever. I've checked the hood...the latch....the rubber adjusters. I installed a trim rubber that the later cars had. No help. The hood vibrates, and from the angle of the driver's seat it looks like it's going to go. Stop car, hood is secure....but the viewing angle is unsettling to say the least. I'm amazed that other cars do it and/or it wasn't fixed. 225k miles, though and the hood is still on, and I do check the latch occasionlly.

  • Dukeisduke Lifted F-150s, complete with "LOCALLY HATED" stickers?
  • Wolfwagen I lived in Long Island and worked in Manhattan for several years. I had to drive as my job required me to also go to NJ, Westchester/Rockland Counties and Long Island, sometimes at a moment's notice. This applied to almost the entire office staff and our technicians. Congestion pricing is a tax if have to commute into the city. This is just going to raise costs on everything. The city is already starting to lose people including those that used to commute in including by train. Covid showed that you didn't need a floor (or several) to run your business. As NYC and NYS continue to raise taxes more people and businesses will flee. Hell even the NYSE was considering leaving.
  • Redapple2 No interest in HK products. Lexus/Toyota/Subaru/Honda are superior across most metrics. And have better resale.
  • Redapple2 Note to self. Seft, buy them already sorted.
  • ChristianWimmer A city which makes life for motorists hell is not worth living in. Here in eco-communist Europe the lefties are constantly talking about “improving our quality of life” - by getting rid of cars and making cities car-free. Sorry, but I despise public transportation and the weirdos you meet on it and prefer to take my car or my bicycle around the city. In the winter I only take my car.