Honda is recalling approximately 1.15 million Accord cars in the U.S. so dealers can address a fire risk by replacing a 12-volt battery sensor, the automaker said.
The recalled vehicles are in the 2013-2016 model years. Honda said it has received four U.S. reports of engine compartment fires related to the issue, but there have been no reported injuries. All of these fires occurred in areas that use road salt for snow removal purposes.
The 12-volt battery sensor is located on the negative battery cable within the engine compartment. This sensor monitors the battery’s state of charge so that the driver is alerted to problems with the battery or charging system.
Mail notifications of the recall will begin later this month. There will be no charge for the repairs.
“The battery sensors installed in affected vehicles may not be sufficiently sealed against moisture intrusion,” Honda explained in a statement about the recall. “Over time, moisture intrusion may bring road salt or other electrically conductive substances inside the battery sensor, leading to corrosion and eventual electrical shorting of the sensor. A shorted sensor can heat up through electrical resistance, potentially resulting in smoke coming from under the hood or, in the worst case, a fire.”
The dealer will check the vehicle for a diagnostic troubleshooting code related to the sensor, test the battery sensor and, if it’s malfunctioning, replace the sensor with a new part.
Because of the volume of replacement parts needed to conduct the recall, the dealer will apply a temporary repair if the battery sensor is found to be in good condition. This temporary fix will involve application of an adhesive to the battery sensor case to prevent moisture intrusion.
When enough replacement parts are available, Honda will send a second mail notification to owners of vehicles that have not yet received a replacement battery sensor. These Accord owners can then schedule the final repair with a dealer.
Honda said it’s encouraging owners of affected vehicles to take them to an authorized dealer as soon as they receive the first mailed recall notification. To check to see whether a specific vehicle is covered by the recall, owners can search by VIN after clicking here.
Honda can be reached at (888) 234-2138.