Honda Recall Issued Over Timing Belt Problems That Could Increase Crash Risks

Nearly 100,000 Honda and Acura vehicles have been recalled due to a manufacturing defect that may cause the timing belt to separate, increasing the risk that the vehicle may stall and become involved in an accident.

The Honda timing belt problems were disclosed in a recall announcement posted by the U.S National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on April 24, following several consumer reports indicating the rubber teeth separated from the belt, causing the vehicles to stall. To date, no crashes or injuries have been reported in relation to the recall.

The recalled Honda and Acura vehicles are equipped with a timing belt that may have been improperly hardened, causing it to become susceptible to premature deterioration and separation. In the event of a timing belt separation, the engine valve timing will be adversely impacted, causing the engine to stall and increasing the risk of a crash.

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Honda first learned of the potential problems in August 2018, when a customer reported an engine stall from a defective timing belt separating. Honda and its timing belt supplier, Gates Unitta Asia Company of Japan, opened an investigation to determine the root cause of the separation.

Throughout the investigation, Honda and its supplier determined the particular mold used in the mass production of the belts was not given the appropriate amount of time to vulcanize and harden. The analysis of the data determined the rubber teeth on the belts could deteriorate.

As of April 4, 2019, Honda is aware of at least 15 warranty claims related to the timing belt separation problems and made the decision to conduct a voluntary safety recall.

The recall impacts approximately 93,946 model year 2018 through 2019 Acura MDX and Honda Pilot vehicles and 2019 Acura RLX, RLX Sport Hybrid, TLX and Honda Odyssey and Ridgeline vehicles.

The vehicles were manufactured by American Honda Motor Company inTorrance, California. They were distributed for sale throughout the U.S. to licensed dealers.

Honda has announced they will begin notifying owners of the recalled vehicles and will provide instructions on how to schedule repair appointment at their local dealer, who will be instructed to replace any affected timing belt free of charge. Customers receiving a replacement timing belt will also receive an engine inspection and any damaged components will be replaced free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin on June 1, 2019 when replacement parts become available. Customers with additional questions or concerns regarding the recall may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138 and reference the recall number L4M for Honda vehicles, and Z4L for Acura models.

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