Honda vehicle fires linked to oil changes - report
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - At least 27 Honda
CR-V sport-utility vehicles from the 2003 and 2004 model years
burst into flames shortly after getting their first oil
changes, The Washington Post reported Friday,
No injuries were reported, but many of the vehicles were
destroyed, usually with 10,000 miles or fewer on their
odometers, the newspaper said, citing records provided to the
U.S. government by Honda.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration
investigated the situation and concluded July 1 that the cases
were the fault of dealerships or others who improperly
installed oil filters, the newspaper said.
According to the report, NHTSA and American Honda Motor Co.
agreed that oil from the filters most likely leaked onto the
vehicles' hot exhaust systems, quickly igniting.
"We consulted with Honda. Honda concluded it was a
technician's error, and they have taken steps to make sure
service technicians who work on this vehicle understand that
they need to be particularly diligent when they replace the oil
filter," NHTSA spokesman Rae Tyson was quoted as saying.
Honda doesn't know why the fires are happening in only the
two most recent CR-V model years and not earlier ones,
spokesman Andy Boyd told the newspaper "That's the part we're
still investigating," he said.
There were about 140,000 CR-Vs sold in the United States
in 2003 and Honda said 22 of them caught fire from the apparent
oil filter problem, the Post reported. So far this year, five
owners of 2004 CR-Vs have reported such fires to NHTSA, the
newspaper said.