When we hear words like "gas leak," we're expecting to hear words like "recall" shortly thereafter. That's not the case for 80,000 Honda Civic Hybrid models from the 2006 to 2011 model years that may experience small gas leaks. The New York Times reports that Honda has instead opted to extend the warranty of those models to satiate customers who may experience the problem.
Honda spokesperson Chris Martin tells the NYT that the potential leak is located where the fuel filler meets the tank, adding that possible leaks are likely small, and they tend to appear nowhere near a likely ignition source. In the event that a leak is detected, Martin says that the fuel tank will be replaced. Owners of the models in question who smell gasoline vapors or who spot a small quantity of gas on the ground need to take the vehicle to a Honda dealership to determine if there is a gas leak. States with really hot weather are reportedly more likely to experience the leak. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn't yet made any rulings regarding the fuel leak issue, but the NYT reports that the government agency is looking into the matter.
While the lack of a recall campaign may annoy some owners and safety advocates, we're guessing most owners will be thrilled with the extended warranty. Honda will cover the Civic Hybrid models in question with a 10-year/120,000 mile warranty. That's an expensive bit of coverage to give away for free, but keep in mind that a recall would likely be far more costly for the automaker. If Honda is forced to recall the models, every affected part will need to be repaired, and doing so will likely translate into quite a bit more coin than the extra coverage.