Honda has confirmed Dec. 29 that it is indeed stopping the sale of its Odyssey minivans in the United States and will recall nearly 640,000 units sold from 2010 until 2015.
According to Honda, the recent move has been prompted by a defect on the second-row seats of the minivan. In its report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Japanese automaker explained that it involves a lever that could remain in unlocked position, which could cause the seats to suddenly move.
The lever is used by the outboard seats to tilt and glide forward for easier access to the third row seats. Once the seat has resumed its position, the lever has a tendency to remain unlocked.
Naturally, this exposes passengers to risk, potentially causing injury if the vehicle is on the road, during braking or in the event of a crash.
According to a USA Today report, Honda has identified the recalled Odyssey vehicles as those bearing the 2011 through 2016 model years. These were manufactured from August 2010 to October 2015. Owners of these vehicles in the United States should expect to be contacted by Honda anytime in the next few days.
What To Expect From The Recall
Affected vehicles will be asked to undergo a checkup at Honda dealers. The process will involve a fix that will attach a new bracket and spring to the second-row seats. You may be sure that Honda is footing the bill on this one. The service will be free once the recall kicks in on Jan. 23. This date is a bit spotty, however.
While the schedule is confirmed in the NHTSA website, the USA Today report states that Honda will be proceeding with the recall starting February.
Fortunately for Honda, the faulty lever has not caused any accident or injury so far.
Other Oddysey Recalls
It is also worth noting that the Odyssey minivan has been subjected to three other recalls based on the NHTSA record.
In 2011, Honda recalled 33,341 because of windshield wiper failures, hampering driver visibility in extreme weather. This incident only involved 2011 models. In the same year, Honda also recalled nearly 3,000 units after the windows in the passenger cabin of affected vehicles were found to have the tendency to shatter, increasing risk of injury.
A larger swath of Odyssey minivans have been recalled in January 2013 because of missing airbag rivets.
Honda also recalled the 2016 Honda Civic in February this year for a more critical engine failure. This was purportedly caused by the manufacture of the engine without a needed component.