Fires and collisions prompt sixth major recall of Honda Fit vehicles
Honda Motor Co. will conduct at least the sixth round of major recalls involving its top-selling Fit compact in less than three years, as the Japanese automaker struggles to move past the quality woes that contributed to a change in chief executives.
The company will recall 164,388 Fit cars after reports of six fires related to an engine control systems flaw, according to a Japanese Transport Ministry statement. Two reports of collisions are prompting a separate recall of 118,715 Fit cars and Vezel crossovers over a power steering defect.
Persistent recalls of the Fit and Vezel that first began in October 2013 were among quality woes that led former president Takanobu Ito to abandon a global sales target before resigning the position. His successor Takahiro Hachigo has reshuffled top management and consolidated responsibility for product planning and evaluation, ceding more control back to the company’s overwhelmed research-and-development division.
Honda tried to introduce models optimized for disparate regions at a pace and scale that was beyond its means, the 56-year-old Hachigo said in February. The company announced sweeping management changes, including the resignations of chairman Fumihiko Ike and the CEO’s second-in-command Tetsuo Iwamura.
The engine control system recall involves Honda Fits produced from August 2013 through February, while the production period for the power steering recall ranges from August 2013 to August 2015.