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Fire Risk Forces Honda to Recall Nearly 900,000 Minivans

Paul Ausick

Honda Motor Corp. (HMC) plans to recall more than 886,000 Odyssey minivans manufactured in the company’s Alabama plant between 2005 and 2010.

The cause of the recall is a defective part of the Odyssey’s fuel pump that may crack and allow gasoline to leak onto the engine, increasing the risk of a fire, according to documents released Saturday by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Honda believes that the cracks may be due to high temperatures and acids that accumulate on the fuel pump over time. To date no fires or injuries have been reported as a result of the defect.

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Honda first noticed that there may be a problem with the fuel pumps in October 2012 and began an investigation that led to the recall. In its filing with the NHTSA, the company said that it has received 187 warranty claims due to the faulty fuel pump.

Notices to owners of the vehicles are expected to begin on April 21 and to be finished by May 9.  Replacement parts may not be available until this summer, however, so the work can't get done until then. The company will send a second notice to owners at that time. If the fuel pump on the vehicle is already leaking, it will be replaced at once.

The Honda Odyssey was the highest scoring minivan in Consumer Reports magazine’s 2013 owner satisfaction survey. The Odyssey scored 79 out of a possible 100 points in the survey.

In 2012, Honda recalled more than 800,000 minivans and sport utility vehicles due to a faulty interlock mechanism in the ignition switch. Some 318,000 of the recalled vehicles were Odyssey minivans.

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