Honda to recall more than 170,000 hybrids in Japan


Honda Motor Co. told the transport ministry Thursday that it will recall 175,356 units of its hybrid Fit subcompacts and Vezel sport utility vehicles in Japan because of an engine control computer glitch linked to cases of sudden acceleration.

This is the fourth safety measure to be taken for the Fit Hybrid and the second for the Vezel Hybrid. The previous recalls included problems with automatic transmissions.

Starting Friday, the recall will affect all units of the two models produced between July 2013 and July 2014, which were sold only in Japan.

According to the ministry, a total of 11 property damage accidents caused by the glitch were reported in 11 prefectures between December and April. An accident in Miyagi Prefecture saw a Fit Hybrid hit a telephone pole while pulling out of a parking lot.

Some 44 cases of malfunction, such as sudden acceleration, have been reported, too, the ministry mentioned.

Low-speed driving in electric motor mode can cause the computer to misread clutch heat. This may prompt the motor to generate excessive power when the engine is restarted.

Unintended sudden acceleration may also occur when the accelerator is pressed hard for a hill start.