• Mar 23rd 2007 at 3:03PM
  • 58
We've reported three times on Honda's recent major recall that's affected vehicles sold in the U.S., China and Japan. Not being mechanics, we've done our best to relay what the actual issue is that's prompted the recalls, but most articles we've found on the topic stop after mentioning something about the fuel pump and engines that won't start.

Fortunately, Honda noticed we were in the dark and shot us a quick email to explain exactly what the issue is, which we found interesting since the mainstream media's descriptions have been pretty vague and off the mark in comparison.

The issue involves not the fuel pump, but a fuel pump relay, which is like a fuse. During production of the relay, presumably by a supplier, sealer leaked inside and coated parts of the metal coil that transfers the electrical signal within the relay. As the relay activates during normal operation, it continually heats and cools. Because these particular relays may be coated with sealer, they cannot contract and expand properly, which could cause them to become brittle and break. If that happens, then the car will not start or may stall while driving. Fortunately, the relay is located right in the under dash fuse box, so repairing the problem is simply a matter of popping a new relay in.

This more detailed explanation certainly puts the severity of the recall in perspective, though unfortunately its scope, which now reaches over 1,000,000 vehicles sold around the world, cannot be denied.

[Source: Honda]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Aetius - my point exactly. It's been said that GM, Ford & Chrysler are quick to place blame on their suppliers.

      Now that the shoe is on the other foot, Honda didn't do it.

      Also for the person who had to resort to name calling to help his "point" (whatever it is, I'm still trying to decipher.)

      Because I own a Solstice and support General Motors, that does not make me a fan boy. That simply means I realize the importance of American automakers.

      I'm curious if you do as well?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well, the description is still flawed - "prevent the relay from axpanding and contracting" - I don't think so - it simple coated the contacts and therefore the failure. Still, not a major financial impact to the support of the vehicle.

      Now, consider GM and the millions that consumers have paid to repair intake gasket failures on 3.1l v6's.

      Chrysler and their 2.0. A few years ago they noticed that the cam seal was being pushed out causing nearly instant loss of engine oil. They added a retainer that when you tow the car in for repair, they fix the seal and add a charge of $35 cdn for the cost of the retainer. A part that didn't exist when the car was built initially.

      • 8 Years Ago
      "which is like a fuse"

      dude... calling a relay and fuse the same thing shows exactly how little or nothing you know about cars. "

      Just how much do you know about electrical. The two are alike. The relay will reset itself if the problem is fixed and a fuse must be replaced. Even the owners manual in my old Ford says the same thing. Posts like yours is unwarranted.

      There isn't a car now days that don't have relays in the fuse box and the fact the relay was faulty, would not indicate a major problem with the car.
      • 8 Years Ago
      re 50 fa jr: We are on the same bandwagon but poor at relating it. Yes Honda & Toyota have lost their reputation. It will be harder to regain it because few thought that either would ever have the same problems as most manufacturers. Their ACME made it easier for them to fall. Perhaps the problems now will still make them better. The Japanese worked hard to be accepted by the North American market and did so by making quality an accepted practice. North Americans are what made Japanese cars to be better. The Fuel PP/relay will blow over. You have already forgotten GM had the same problem with the actual fuel pump, when they first put them in the tank..
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Man everyone has been busy on this topic. I don't care what anyone says, Honda's dent too easily, have horrible interior noise levels, rust fast, and are plain ugly. After seeing my friend go through 2 transmissions in 2 different generations of Accords, I would never buy a Honda if I was into Japanese vehicles. That and the rattles were annoying. Mazda is waaay overlooked and better than Toyota or Honda anyday."

      Mazda is a great car. The domestic makes aren`t the only victims of blind perception.
      Truth be told, no one company has a monopoly on good quality at least not beyond perception.
      I shop style first and good dealer service. These are areas where Toyota and Honda are easly beat.

      I`ve had problems with the GM vehicles I`ve owned. Thats not saying they`re not good cars. Mechanical things with a millon parts will have problems.

      Your story about your Hondas I believe is real.
      That can happen with any make.
      Your story is looked at with blind eyes in the press
      or I should say not in the press.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Man everyone has been busy on this topic. I don't care what anyone says, Honda's dent too easily, have horrible interior noise levels, rust fast, and are plain ugly. After seeing my friend go through 2 transmissions in 2 different generations of Accords, I would never buy a Honda if I was into Japanese vehicles. That and the rattles were annoying. Mazda is waaay overlooked and better than Toyota or Honda anyday.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Mike, you're kidding me right? If the radio antenna on a GM stops functioning, people post half-page posts about how GM is crap. But in Honda's case, it's the suppliers? LMAO.

      • 8 Years Ago
      For the life of me, I cannot believe the response from the automaker in question is non-biased.

      Of COURSE they are going to say the news articles are vague, because it makes their product look inferior, which it is being proven to be the case.

      I loved the headline "Why are these Hondas being recalled?" Perhaps it's not only because yes, they are being recalled, but gasp....they are also receiving the attention from the media that the Big 3 automakers here in Detroit have had to deal with.

      Honda, if you're reading this. The corporate spin is nice, but why not call a spade a spade.

      Your product is not recalled over and over again totaling over 1,000,000 units because it is a great product.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have always liked Honda and probably always will but lately it seems there quality has been slipping..

      And I hate to see it because Honda in my opinion has some of the best cars on the road....
      • 8 Years Ago
      Big deal over nothing. Supplier goofed and Honda is heading off future probems by replacing a defective part.
      Most Honda owners (including me) are happy with their cars for very good reasons.
      People who don't like Hondas should buy something else, but at least test drive a Honda when they're ready for a new car. They might be surprised to find out how good Hondas are compared to most competitors out there. At least, that was my experience.
      • 8 Years Ago

      I can't believe you would post that a relay is like a fuse. When you post incorrect information (especially on relatively simple automotive components), you completely disprove the rest of your posts because you obviously don't know what your talking about.

      A fuse is meant to protect a circuit from overheating or component failure because of a short circuit or high resistance that would lead to high current draw in the circuit, damaging wires or electrical components.

      A relay is a device meant to control high current drawing components through the use of a low current switch. You toggle the low current switch which then activates the relay, supplying high current to the controlled high current device.

      A relay does not act like a circuit breaker and is not meant to protect circuits, only to control them.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #22 (Brian)...Buy a Chrysler Group vehicle...all of their OHC engines use CHAIN instead of belts...yes even the world engine group. My Jeep 3.7L V-6 has 2 chains
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