Seemingly Golden Honda Feels Touch of Magic Wand as 1.37M Models Recalled
|   Sunday, October 07, 2012
During the last three models years, while Honda dealers have been shedding their share of crocodile tears over the state of Toyota and its millions of recalled models (while,we are sure, gleefully slapping each other on the back) today found that being the golden automaker has its own price to pay.

A golden automaker is one of those car manufacturers that seems above the fray – that everything they make is unbreakable or untouchable by the ills that beset the rest of the automotive world.
Why just a couple of years ago, Toyota executives were watching in fear as a California Highway Patrolman and his family were lost as the-then explanation would have us believe the carpeting in a driver's footwell was caught under the accelerator pedal and it turned an otherwise normal Avalon or Camry into your basic beach. The unfortunate news for Toyota was that the Trooper and his family were lost at high-speed when the vehicle they were using reached the end of the line and four died.

We're not saying that this has or will ever happen to Honda, but, they did seem to have it all over the world's number one automaker – Toyota – as their vehicles were just rock-solid reliable, like Gibraltar, and nothing ever happened in good, old boring Honda.

Well, the luster is off the car key, so to speak, as Honda recalls have, in the last four months hit 1.37 million, for something one would have thought they would have solved years ago. Let's face it, the fact of the matter is that all cars have had working high and low beams since the sealed beam units were patented somewhere around 1930. In reality the trick was the switch in the rear. If you wanted low beams, you put your foot on a footswitch on the upper left of the driver's footwell and you hit the switch. As it was really a type of single-throw, double-pole switch, once you hit the switch it remained in that setting until you changed it.

Of course, the rear where the power source came into the headlight bulb also had two separate filaments at rightly 90-degree or right-angle elements, the switch was simple a grounded four-wire switch that delivered the proper voltage to the proper filaments. It wasn't rocket science and it has basically worked quite nicely for years.

Leave it to someone to tamper with success. Right around 1984 – about the time the real first front-drive, cab-forward jelly bean vehicles made their appearances in the Ford Tempo and later the highly popular Taurus line a couple of years later, mandated that sealed-beams were pretty much a thing of the past as the headlights were being integrated into the overall front-end styling, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108) which changed the way headlight were were built forever).

It would certainly mean that someone somewhere in the feeding chain known as the design house, decided that a technology that has been working quite nicely for about 60 years need changing for what seemed to be changes sake or maybe it was the actual bulb, who knows, but they did it and now Honda is facing recalls in its break and butter lines, CR-V, Pilot and Accord TL.

Just recently, Honda recalled about 820,000 CR-Vs for a small problem. The headlight wire, it seems, gets to be too hot and that head, in turn, can cause the power steering wire to fail and that nasty old and highly flammable power stewing fluid could hit the hot catalytic converter (roughly 1,400 degrees) and,well, the engine could catch fire, not good, is it.

Add to the the 554,428 02-03 CR-V and popular Pilots and you have a mighty embarrassing instance for the golden carmaker. It seems the problem involves two areas. You can either swap out the switch which contains the high/low wiring assembly or you can try to pin out the low-beam wiring assembly and find swap it out at the plug.

This is just not good for the formerly golden (you can't call it the golden carmaker now with over 1.3 million cars facing recalls.

And, just the last Monday, Honda had another problem, this time with its power steering hosing and the high temperatures that the VLCC engine cause under the hood. When last we checked, Hondas ran at about 290 degrees under the hood and because of the sleek design of its intake and funky design of its grille, temperatures tended to run over the 290 degree top end for the power steering wire.

And, here's the problem, when the engine says BINGO, you've hit the right temperature, the highly flammable power steering fluid flows down to the catalyst and you now have a rolling barbecue (maybe we could use a couple of them for a reality show, instead of racing specialty trucks from city to city taking on new challenges and cooking, we could anchor the Accords and use their engines as the fire sources for barbecue everyone seems to love (try the brisket with lots of the sauce next time, it's messy but gooooood!!). This, of course, is just an idea, but it's a use for a problem that should have been solved months ago.

It's also a problem where the kit should have been installed by now in most Accords, but, they may or may not have them next month. Perhaps its best for your dealer to install a new loom. This argument is past the point of silly, it's downright dangerous. Fix kits may be available next month.
PHOTO GALLERY
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