Honda SUV sales brisk in spite of recalls

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2004 Honda pilot

The Honda Pilot is one of the models affected in the automaker's most recent recall effort. Image: order2422/Flickr/CC BY-SA

Honda announced Friday that it is voluntarily recalling more than half a million SUVs within the U.S. over a potential defect in the headlight wiring. Meanwhile, a new plant for producing the U.S. version of the automaker’s Fit breaks ground south of the border.

CR-V and Pilots recalled

The recall affects 2002-2004 CR-V SUVs, as well as 2003 Pilot models. In all, about 554,000 SUVs are affected, according to American Honda Motor Co.

The problem, says Honda, is that there may be faulty wiring in the headlight switch that could disable the low-beam headlights, increasing the chance of an accident. Honda was quick to add, however, that it was not aware of any accidents or injuries that have resulted from the potential defect.

The Japan-based automaker said owners will be notified by mail starting in late April. Concerned owners can contact the recall effort online, or by phoning (800) 999-1009 and selecting option four.

Not just in the U.S.

The recall effort is not just within the U.S. Honda also said it will recall 20,587 2012 CR-Vs in the Philippines over wiring issues that affect the headlight low-beam setting.

Previous Honda SUV recalls

Dongfeng Honda also announced earlier this week that it would be recalling 2,000 2012 CR-Vs within China. However, that recall is over a separate issue involving shoddy welding on the triangle arms.

Earlier this month Honda called back 1,316 2006 CR-Vs over a potentially defective control arm that could affect the vehicle’s steering.

Just more than a month ago, as reported by Car Deal Expert, Honda issued a small recall of fewer than 9,000 SUVs. The 2012 Pilot was affected, as well as the the company’s Acura MDX, which is based on the Pilot. The recall was over an issue with a gas tank component that could potentially lead to a fuel leak.

Sales brisk despite issues

Amid the continuing bugs with Honda’s SUVs, the automaker appears eager to make good by issuing voluntary recalls. The stumbles have not stopped the SUV platform from being enormously successful. Honda sold nearly 25,000 CR-Vs in February alone. That was up nearly 25 percent from the previous month’s sales.

[Maybe it’s time to buy a new car.]

Work begins on Mexican Fit plant

In related news, Honda also announced Friday that construction has started on its new plant in Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico. The plant will be making the 2014 Fit five-door hatchback subcompact. The Fit is also know as the Jazz in some markets.

The automaker says the new plant will create about 3,200 jobs in the region and will churn out 200,000 cars a year when it is up to full steam. It will be Honda’s eighth manufacturing facility in North America. Honda says that 85 percent of its cars sold in the U.S. last year were built in North America, and the addition of the new plant will increase that rate.


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