Honda Motor Co. is recalling about 2.1 million vehicles worldwide due to a possible fire risk associated with 12-volt battery sensors in 2013-16 Honda Accords, the company said Friday. A company spokesman said that the recall will affect vehicles in 75 countries, mainly ones sold in North America and China. There are about 1.15 million affected vehicles in the United States, and four engine fires tied to the battery sensor have been reported here, with no reports of injuries, the company said. Honda said it will voluntarily recall the vehicles and replace the battery sensor for free.
The sensor is on the negative battery cable and monitors the battery’s charge in order to notify the driver of problems with the battery or charging system. The sensors in the affected vehicles might not be completely sealed, and moisture containing road salt or other electrically conductive substances may get inside them, Honda said. That in turn can lead to corrosion and the sensor eventually shorting out, causing more electrical resistance that could result in smoke under the hood or even a fire, the company said.
Honda started notifying the vehicles’ owners by mail last month. Owners are to take their vehicles to a Honda dealership to have their sensor checked. If it’s not functioning properly, the dealership will replace the sensor. Due to the large number of parts required to facilitate the recall, any vehicles with battery sensors still in good condition will receive a temporary repair in which the dealership applies an adhesive to the battery sensor case to prevent moisture from getting in. When enough parts are available, Honda said any owners who received the temporary solution will get another letter advising them to take their cars in for a final repair.
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