Honda is recalling more than 9,00,000 Odyssey minivans due to reports of multiple injuries being caused by the second row seats tipping forward. The company said that it had received 46 reports of minor injuries caused by this issue. Models of 2011 right through to the 2017 versions are being pulled in by Honda. 8,00,000 to the 9,00,000 minivans being recalled were sold in the US alone.
The recall may expand to include vehicles sold in Canada, Mexico and South Korea.
The fault is caused by a latch that connects the back seat. According to Honda, if the second row seat is not correctly latched after a side-to-side adjustment or after re-installing a removed seat, then the seat could tip forward if the minivan breaks suddenly. The auto maker posted explicit instructions on how to latch the second row seat correctly to ensure the second row seat does not tip over any longer. If correctly latched, Honda says there will be no chance of an injury taking place due to the seat tipping over.
While the company is still looking for a permanent solution to this problem, the company is offering free repairs. Honda has recommended to owners of the Odyssey to take their vans to the nearest Honda dealership and have the latch repaired immediately for free. The company has also uploaded detailed video instructions on its website on how to fix the seat latch correctly. The website also carries detailed step-by-step instructions for fixing the latch.
This new recall comes immediately after the Japanese auto maker settled a $605 million lawsuit for the defective airbags that impacted millions of Honda cars across the US. The company joined with auto makers Nissan, BMW, Toyota, Mazda and Subaru in reaching a settlement which included replacing all airbags used in their cars that were manufactured by Japanese car parts maker Takata. The deal also included compensating car owners for this faulty part.
The faulty Takata airbags were directly responsible for more than 10 deaths as well as 100s of injuries. More than 69 million inflators were recalled as a results of the lawsuits launched against the major car companies carrying the Takata airbags. Takata has now gone bankrupt after this scandal.
The recall of the minivans now marks Honda’s second scandal in recent years. The company has declined to reveal how much this latest recall will cost.
Ironically enough, Honda received the Best Minivan for Families award this year for the Odyssey minivan. The minivan has a starting price of $29,850, has a standard V6 engine, a seven-speaker audio system, infotainment display as well as Bluetooth audio streaming.
In fact, the car maker has won the award for Best Minivan for Families for seven straight years. The Odyssey even received the highest possible rating (5 stars) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The news of the recall hasn’t affected Honda’s stock prices too much at this stage. The auto maker is trading up at $33.16 at this point, while the company’s shares have risen 0.46% to ¥3,687 in the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Honda’s stocks have gained 12% so far this year while the S&P 500 has gained 15% year to date.
Despite the recall, Honda has launched the 2018 version of the Honda Odyssey with a starting price of $29,990. This model of the Odyssey has Mega-Slide seats which can be adjusted to go back, forward as well as sideways. The minivan is also equipped with the latest Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, CabinWatch and even as a Wi-Fi hotspot.