The Japanese automaker is offering to replace the 12-volt battery sensor in approximately 1.5 million Accord vehicles from the 2013 to 2016 model years free of charge. Honda has received four reports of engine compartment fires, according to a news release. There were no reported injuries related to the incidents.
The battery sensors is on the negative battery cable in the engine compartment. The sensor monitors the battery's charge to notify the driver of issues with the battery or charging system. The seal for the sensors in the affected Affords may be insufficient in protecting the device against moisture, according to the release.
"Over time, moisture intrusion may bring road salt or other electrically conductive substances inside the battery sensor, leading to corrosion and eventual electrical shorting of the sensor," the company said in a statement. "A shorted sensor can heat up through electrical resistance, potentially resulting in smoke coming from under the hood or, in the worst case, a fire."
Honda was the worst-hit car manufacturer by Takata Corp.'s exploding airbags recall, which began in 2013. The automaker announced on Monday that it had linked a 12th death in the United States to the rupture of a Takata driver's airbag inflator in a 2001 Honda Accord in June 2016 in Florida. Of the 12 linked deaths to faulty airbags, 11 fatalities occurred in Honda vehicles.
Honda will begin notifying owners of affected Accord vehicles about the most recent recall by mail at the end of the month.
Despite the recall affecting more than one million vehicles, the recall is nowhere near the largest. Here are the largest recalls in the industry.
Under government pressure, General Motors (GM - Get Report) issued a voluntary recall of 6.7 million vehicles in 1971, the largest in history at the time, after a dozen models in the late 1960s were found to have defective engine mounts that led to unexpected acceleration and brake resistance.
Ford Motor Co. (F - Get Report) recalled 1971-1976 models of its Pinto in 1978 after discovering that a flaw in the car's gas tank made it susceptible to being pierced by bolts and catching fire in a rear-end collision. The automaker recalled 7.9 million vehicles and replaced ignition switches. That happened after there were reports of up to 180 deaths and it had fines up to $7 million.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 1995, recalled more than eight-million vehicles with Takata seatbelts that could trap people sold from 1986 to 1991. There were more than 700 complaints and at least 60 injuries with estimates that the recall cost upwards of $1 billion.
Toyota Motor Corp.'s (TM - Get Report) Lexus announced a design flaw in its 2006-2010 vehicles gas pedals that could cause them to jam and get stuck, leading to sudden and unanticipated acceleration. In addition to redesigning the pedals, the company had to issue a recall of nine-million cars, and it lost billions of dollars.
Models manufactured from 2004 to 2010 experienced unintended acceleration when floor mats became lodged under accelerators or the gas pedal got stuck. Toyota recalled more than nine-million vehicles in 2009 and 2010, and the U.S. Attorney's Office fined the automaker for $1.2 billion.
In 1996, Ford recalled 14 million vehicles — including the Explorer, Bronco, F-Series trucks and Lincoln Town Car — after learning an electronic switch used to deactivate cruise could overheat and start a fire when braking. At the cost of $20 a switch, the fix is estimated to have cost the company around $280 million, according to Investopedia.
In 2000, Firestone recalled 6.5 million tires after the NHTSA had recorded more than 60 fatalities related to rollovers of Ford Explorer SUVs caused by the sudden separation of tread on their tires. When 100 people had died, Ford recalled another 13 million tires.
A failed safety catch in the transmission system resulted in Ford cars switching from park to reverse without warning. It caused thousands of accidents, hundred of injuries and 98 deaths, according to Investopedia. In 1980, Ford recalled 21 million vehicles manufactured between 1976 and 1980, and the automaker lost around $1.7 billion.
In 2014, General Motors recalled nearly 30 million cars manufactured since 2004. In 2004 and 2005, the car manufacturer had received reports of Chevrolet Cobalts losing power when keys were bumped, causing power braking, steering and airbags to stop working. The problem caused numerous accidents and 124 deaths, and GM lost an estimated $5 billion in profits and was fined $900 million by the U.S. Justice Department.
Takata airbags installed in model-year cars 2001 to 2015 had the potential to deploy explosively. The inflator, a metal cartridge loaded with propellant wafers, could ignite and explode or spray metal shards if ruptured, according to Consumer Reports. As of July, 12 people in the U.S. have died. Another 180 people were reportedly injured. The airbags were in 42 million U.S. vehicles of 19 automakers with the total number of faulty airbags being between 65 and 70 million.
On Tuesday, Takata announced a recall of an additional 2.7 million airbags in certain 2005 to 2012 Nissan, Mazda and Ford vehicles, according to Consumerist.