Honda and Ford have both announced recalls that will affect more than 175,000 cars. The defects could lead to injuries if not addressed and some experts have recommended owners not drive one of the models in question until repaired.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Honda will begin servicing up to 173,000 2013 Acura ILX sedans and 2012 Honda CR-V SUVs due to issues with the door latch. The Wall Street Journal reported that the door-latch system could loosen if someone activates the lock (manually or electronically) while someone is moving the interior door handle. The door could then open unexpectedly during a crash or even during normal driving. Dealers will begin replacing door latch assemblies on the affected models for free around the middle of August. On the CR-V repairs, Honda will also be replacing the interior door handle.
Ford has recalled nearly 10,000 2013 Escape 1.6 Liter SUVs that were manufactured from October 2011 through July 2012. In its announcement of the recall, Ford indicated that there was a risk of an engine fire in the affected vehicles. A faulty fuel line component from TI Group Automotive System was damaged during manufacturing. The line can split when put into place, and the resulting leaking fuel could ignite.
TI Automotive spokesman Frank Buscemi said in an email that the company is “working with Ford to identify root cause and resolve the issue.”
According to the Times Argus, the problem was first noticed in June 2012 when a newly built Escape caught fire when a Ford worker in Kentucky was driving from the plant to a holding lot. After two more fires, including one involving a customer in Canada, Ford engineers were able to trace the problem back to the faulty component.
Since the defect was found early, fewer than 5,000 models were sold to customers, the rest of the vehicles are still at dealerships. Ford has begun notifying owners that they should stop driving their new SUVs immediately and contact their dealer. Dealers have been notified that they must arrange to pick up the affected vehicle with a flatbed truck, and to arrange for temporary transportation for owners. Dealers can check to see if a vehicle is under recall, so owners do not have to wait for a letter from Ford. Ford began mailing letters to owners on July 20. Replacement components should arrive at dealerships starting July 23.
“Vehicles are not to be driven until this repair has been completed,” warned Ford in bold, red ink in a letter telling dealers how to handle the problem.
This is the second recall involving the Ford Escape in July. Earlier this month, Ford recalled 11,000 Escapes because the carpet padding could prevent braking.
Honda owners with questions about the recall can call the company at 1-800-999-1009. The recall campaign numbers are S/45, S/46, and S/47. Ford owners can reach the company at 1-866-436-7332. The Ford recall number is 12S35.