By Barry Eitel
Honda released a new Accord model Friday amid a recall of 1.15 million vehicles in the U.S. regarding concerns their engines could catch on fire.
The recalled vehicles, that grows to 2.1 million worldwide, are all Accords built between 2013 and 2016. The problem centers on a battery sensor that can short over time and become a fire hazard.
The Japanese automaker said it has received four reports from the U.S. regarding engine fires stemming from the issue, but no injuries have been reported.
The recall notice comes at a particularly bad time for Honda from a public relations perspective. The company unveiled the redesigned 2018 model of its Accord at an event in Detroit.
The company said it would send out notices to all affected vehicle owners beginning in late July and repairs will be scheduled at local Honda dealerships, but permanent fixes to the battery sensor are expected to take some time because of the size of the recall.
“Due to the large number of parts required to conduct the recall, if a vehicle has a battery sensor in good condition, the dealer will apply a temporary repair – application of an adhesive to the battery sensor case to prevent moisture intrusion,” Honda said in a statement about the recall.
Some battery sensors in the recently built Accords were apparently not properly sealed, the company said. Over time, salt and other corrosive materials from the road may corrode the sensor, causing it to emit smoke or, possibly catch on fire.
Shares of Honda rose about 0.7 percent to $27.67 in mid-day trading.
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