NHTSA investigating 530,000 Honda/Acura in expanded inquiry | Car News


The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), the American equivalent of Transport Canada, has expanded an investigation it launched earlier this year into 2022-2023 Honda Civics. 

At that time, the agency had received 145 complaints from owners who reported that the steering of their vehicle suddenly required increased effort. In some cases, making a forceful correction ended up sending the car into a skid. 

That initial investigation involved some 238,000 vehicles, but the NHTSA is now looking at over 530,000 vehicles in all, with the 2023 Honda CR-V and 2023 Acura Integra now under the microscope as well. 

2023 Acura Integra A-Spec

2023 Acura Integra A-Spec

Photo: Acura

The NHTSA says it has received 1,300 incident reports and is aware of at least 14 accidents linked to the problem.

Of those accidents, 11 involved a loss of steering control. Two occurred after the driver had allegedly overcorrected. These incidents resulted in a minimum of three injuries. 

Of particular relevance to Canadian consumers, the NHTSA report reveals that the problem occurs mainly during the winter months. Also, it tends to occur after long, straight trips, when components have had time to warm up. 

Note that there’s no question of a recall yet. The automaker has acknowledged the situation and points at a manufacturing problem with the steering box. It’s believed something in the assembly process led to a chance of increased internal stresses in the component, which could result in wear and deformation of the gears included inside the steering box. 

The NHTSA also discovered that gear lubrication was not carried out consistently and regularly at the factory, which could be the cause of the momentary increase in the effort required to manipulate the steering wheel.

Honda has asked its dealers to replace the electronic power steering unit in order to correct the manufacturing defect. 

For its part, the NHTSA is continuing its investigation and technical analysis. If it deems that a manufacturing defect is at the root of all this, it may require a recall.

2022 Honda Civic Sedan Sport

2022 Honda Civic Sedan Sport

Photo: Honda