Low pressure fuel pumps installed in thousands of Honda vehicles have major internal defects that can cause the engines to stall out in the middle of the road.
The DENSO brand fuel pumps have low-density impellers that can crack, absorb fuel, and deform to the point that they stop reliably sending fuel to the engine. As you might imagine this causes the engine to sputter, run rough, or completely stall out.
An Industry Wide Recall ∞
DENSO believes the pumps were exposed to a solvent drying agent during production that caused some of the impeller surfaces to crack. In May of 2020 they announced more than 2 million of the pumps would need to be recalled.
DENSO provided defective fuel pumps to Honda, as well as Ford, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, and Toyota. Each automaker was responsible for setting up their own recalls.
Problems downstream ∞
There was a sense of urgency in these recalls, because a failing fuel pump can damage multiple other components further "downstream" in a vehicle. This includes:
- The high-pressure fuel pump won't have enough lubrication and can overheat.
- The engine will eventually run rough, and the excess shaking causes premature wear on the rubber mounts for the engine and drivetrain.
- The shaking can also damage materials in the catalytic converter.
Honda sued before they could issue their first recall ∞
Following the DENSO announcement, Honda was sued for knowingly selling vehicles with defective fuel pumps.
The suit pointed to a 2019 fuel pump recall as evidence, but as Honda pointed out, that recall was because sodium particulates were sticking to internal components of the fuel pump. Sure, the end results are the same but the problems were completely different.
Honda's DENSO Fuel Pump Recalls ∞
A month later, Honda issued its first DENSO recall involving over 1.4 million Honda and Acura vehicles worldwide. Of those, only 136,000 were in the USA and 10,000 in Canada.
Owners were told to expect recall notices by the end of July 2020.
|RLX Sport Hybrid||2019|
|Civic Type R||2018-2019|
The recall was followed by more lawsuits. ∞
A couple of Canadian lawsuits didn't believe the recall goes far enough in making sure owners aware of the potential dangers, and in holding Denso and the automakers accountable.
A separate lawsuit accused Honda of not covering all the affected vehicles in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
A second recall expands coverage to 708,000 vehicles ∞
By March of 2021, Honda revealed they had received 583 warranty claims and 166 field reports related to the faulty fuel pumps.
That same month they issued a second DENSO recall which greatly expanded coverage to include more than 628,000 vehicles in the USA and more than 80,000 in Canada.
Additionally, Honda says some owners might be eligible for reimbursement if they previously paid for fuel pump repairs.
|Civic Coupe / Si Coupe||2019|
|Civic Sedan / Si Sedan||2019|
|Civic Type R||2019|