Honda Recalls 700K Fit Cars, Odyssey Minivan Brakes Complaints Under Investigation

2:40 PM, Jun 29, 2013   |    comments
  • Honda Fit (Photo; Honda)
  • Honda Odyssey (Photo: Honda)
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Honda is recalling nearly 700,000 Fit subcompact hatchbacks from the 2007 and 2008 model years -- including 143,083 in the U.S. -- because the master switch in the driver's door because rain, snow or other moisture can get in the door and damage the switch, causing it to overheat and smolder, smell and potentially start a fire.

Honda advises owners to park their Fits outdoors until the switch is inspected for damage.

It is the second time these Fits (sold in some markets as the Honda Jazz) have been recalled for this problem, with the first in 2010.

It's also the same issue that prompted the recalls by General Motors last August and again this month of a total of about 450,000 Chevy Trailblazer, Buick Rainier, GMC Envoy, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 9-7X SUVs from the 2005 to 2007 model years.

Honda says the original 2010 fix was not sufficient and it now ill replace them all, starting with ones that show damage in the inspection and the rest as parts are available -- so you might have to go to the dealer twice.

Honda says no crashes or injuries have been reported, but spokesman Chris Martin told the Associated Press that there have been seven reports of melted switches and two fires, all before the 2010 recall. Honda will begin notifying owners next month.

Also, Feds are investigating a brake problem with the Honda Odyssey. According to a USA Today report, U.S. safety regulators are investigating some Honda Odyssey minivans because they can brake without the driver pressing the pedal.

The probe affects nearly 344,000 vans from the 2007 and 2008 model years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it has received 22 complaints from owners about unexpected braking. In some cases, the vans braked while drivers were accelerating, cutting the speed by up to 30 miles per hour. Five people told the agency that dealers found trouble in a steering angle sensor in the electronic stability control system.

The agency said it has no reports of crashes or injuries.

Investigators will determine if the problem happens frequently enough to seek a recall. The agency officially opened the probe earlier this week..

The problem is similar to one that resulted in the recall of about 250,000 Honda and Acura vehicles worldwide in March. That problem was caused by improper electronics and wiring in the electronic stability control system, which automatically applies brakes to individual wheels if vehicles are out of control.

In that case, Honda Motor Co. recalled more than 183,000 vehicles in the U.S., including the Acura RL, Acura MDX and Honda Pilot SUV. It recalled another 56,000 in Japan, affecting the Odyssey, Legend, StepWgn and Elysion models. Also recalled were nearly 8,000 vehicles in Canada, nearly 1,000 in Australia, about 300 in Mexico and 70 in Germany. The vehicles were produced from March 2004 through May 2006.

A Honda official in California said he hasn't yet been notified about the latest probe but told the newspaper he would check into it.

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