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Honda recalls nearly 500,000 vehicles over seat belts that may not latch

March 16, 2023 Updated Thu., March 16, 2023 at 4:44 p.m.

A production associate adjusts his hat at the Honda of America Manufacturing Marysville Auto Plant in Marysville, Ohio on Dec. 21, 2017.   (Ty Wright/Bloomberg )
A production associate adjusts his hat at the Honda of America Manufacturing Marysville Auto Plant in Marysville, Ohio on Dec. 21, 2017.  (Ty Wright/Bloomberg )
By Timothy Bella Washington Post

Honda is recalling nearly a half-million cars, including many of its best-selling SUV and light vehicle models, because of  what the company says are possible issues with the driver and front-passenger seat belts not latching correctly.

In a March 9 report filed to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that was posted Wednesday, Honda said that 448,613 vehicles were affected by the seat belt problem.

The company estimates that 1% of those recalled have the seat belt defect.

“The seat belt buckle channel for the driver and front passenger seat belts were manufactured out of specification, causing interference between the buckle channel and the release button,” Honda said in its report.

“The buckle channel surface coating may deteriorate over time, and the release button may shrink against the channel at low temperatures, increasing friction.”

The models affected by the recall include some of Honda’s most popular vehicles, including the CR-V and Accord, which were featured on Car and Driver’s best-selling cars of 2022.

The models included in the recall are the CR-V between 2017 and 2020, the Accord between 2018 and 2019, the Accord Hybrid between 2018 and 2019, the Odyssey between 2018 and 2020, the Acura RDX between 2019 and 2020, and the Insight from 2019.

The company said in the report that the increased friction can cause a safety risk.

“If the seat belt buckle does not latch, the occupant may not be properly restrained, increasing the risk of injury to the occupant,” Honda wrote.

Honda received more than 300 warranty claims related to the issue between March 22, 2019 and Jan. 16, 2023, but there were no reports of injuries or deaths because of the seat belt problem as of early March, according to the company.

The Honda recall comes a month after the Japanese carmaker recalled more than 114,000 Fit and HR-V vehicles due to an issue with the backup camera.

A February NHTSA report shows that Honda ordered the recall for those vehicles with key ignitions because the display might fail to boot up and prevent the car from showing the video image from the backup camera.

Honda estimated that 100% of the cars potentially have the defect.

Other carmakers, such as Toyota and Chevrolet, recently announced recalls for a variety of reasons, from faulty software to missing or defective parts.

So, what’s next for Honda owners impacted by the latest recall?

The company said in its report to U.S. safety regulators that owners affected by the seat belt issues should expect to be contacted by Honda by mail on April 17.

When owners receive the notice from Honda, they will be instructed to get a free seat belt buckle assembly replacement at an authorized dealer, according to the company.

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