The U.S. arm of Honda Motor (HMC) - Get Report is voluntarily recalling about 634,000 minivans produced in the last five years over fears that the middle seat might become unhinged in the event of an accident.
American Honda Motorin a statement said that the recall covers Odyssey vehicles manufactured from Aug. 17, 2010, through Oct. 1, 2015, under the 2011-2016 model years. The company will install additional springs and brackets onto the slide mechanism for the second row of seats.
Honda said that due to the large volume of parts needed to repair all affected units, the repair will not be available until the spring. In the meantime the automaker recommends vehicle owners manually lock the seat into a fixed position by pushing down on a horizontal adjustment bar.
The company said that no crashes or injuries have been reported related to the issue, which was discovered via warranty claims. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a statement said the flaw "increases the risk of injury to the seat occupant during a crash."
Recalls have become more commonplace in recent years, with 2016 potentially setting a record for the number of affected vehicles. The industry has attempted to be more proactive following more than 100 deaths reported from incidents stemming from defects including a General Motors (GM) - Get Report ignition switch and defective airbags supplied by Japan's Takata. More than 42 million vehicles were involved in the Takata airbag recall.
The Odyssey recall seems unlikely to affect consumer preferences, though the model has already been trending downward. U.S. Odyssey sales are down 4.7% through November in 2016 compared with the previous year, losing ground to competing minivan models made by Toyota (TM) - Get Report and Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) - Get Report and falling victim to the growing popularity of SUVs. Overall Honda has sold 110,435 Odysseys in the U.S. in the first 11 months of 2016, down from a high of 177,919 in 2006.