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Honda and Chrysler Recall Millions of Vehicles Due to Air Bag and Fire Hazards

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Both Honda and Chrysler have recently announced recalls because of alleged defects that pose fire risks. The recalls affect millions of vehicles, and consumers are encouraged to contact their local dealerships to schedule repairs.

Honda Recalls Vehicles Because of Defective Battery Sensors

On July 13, Honda announced that it would recall about 1.2 million Accord vehicles after receiving reports that the car battery sensors were causing engine fires. According to a statement from the company, the battery sensors installed in the vehicles “may not be sufficiently sealed against moisture intrusion.” Over time, moisture can get into the sensor, bringing road salt and other electrically conductive substances, which can lead to corrosion and eventual electrical shorting.

“A shorted sensor can heat up through electrical resistance,” Honda stated, “potentially resulting in smoke coming from under the hood, or, in the worst case, a fire.”

So far, Honda has received four reports of engine compartment fires in the U.S. related to this issue, but no reports of injuries. The vehicles affected by the recall include 2013-2016 model years of the Honda Accord. The company started notifying registered owners by mail beginning in late July 2017, telling them to take their vehicles to their local dealers.

Dealers will test the battery sensor and, if it’s not functioning as it should, replace it with another part. Those sensors that are still operating correctly will receive a temporary repair. Technicians will apply an adhesive to prevent moisture intrusion.

Honda says it’s not replacing all sensors because it doesn’t have a large enough supply of them. Once the supply is built up, Honda will notify those customers who received only the adhesive so they can receive a replacement part.

Consumers can find out if their vehicle is affected by the recall at http://www.recalls.honda.com/ or by calling 888-234-2138.

Chrysler Recalls Millions Due to Air Bag and Fire Hazards

Fiat Chrysler announced dual recalls on July 13, 2017 affecting a total of 1.33 million vehicles worldwide. One recall concerns a potential air bag defect, and the other is about a potential fire risk.

According to the company’s notice to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Chrysler is recalling about 364,000 model year 2011-2015 Dodge Journey vehicles because the driver’s frontal air bag “may unexpectedly deploy if the air bag wiring harness gets chafed within the steering wheel and short circuits.” An unexpected deployment could lead to an accident and driver and/or occupant injuries.

The company is aware of about six minor injuries that may be related to this issue. Internal testing also showed that the air bags could deploy unexpectedly. Chrysler will begin notifying consumers in August 2017. During repairs, technicians will inspect the air bag wiring within the steering wheel and replace it if necessary, then provide a protective cover over it. Customers can call the company at 1-800-853-1403 with questions.

The second recall involves just over 442,000 model year 2011-2014 Dodge Challenger, Charger, and Durango, as well as Chrysler 300 vehicles, as well as model year 2012 to 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles. The problem is that the alternator may suddenly fail. If that happens, the vehicle may stall without warning, increasing the risk of a crash. The alternator may also short circuit, which can create a fire hazard.

Dealers will inspect the alternator and replace it if necessary. Recall repairs are expected to begin on August 24, 2017.