Honda recalls 2.5 million vehicles on software issue

Fri Aug 5, 2011 2:04pm EDT
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By Deepa Seetharaman and Bernie Woodall

DETROIT (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co Ltd will recall 2.49 million cars, small SUVs and minivans worldwide, including its popular Accord sedan, to repair a software problem that could damage the automatic transmission.

The recall includes 1.5 million vehicles in the United States, about 760,000 in China and 135,142 in Canada, the automaker said on Friday.

This week, Consumer Reports said it was not recommending the 2012 Honda Civic. This led some industry analysts to ask if that was a symptom of larger problems at the automaker.

The company has said it disagreed with the influential U.S. consumer advocate's assessment.

Chris Martin, Honda spokesman at the company's U.S. headquarters in California, said on Friday the recall was not a sign of deeper difficulties, but instead stemmed from "extremely unusual circumstances."

"The far majority of our consumers would never really encounter this," he said. "It's software programing. It's not a weakness in the transmission per se."

Jesse Toprak, an analyst with, said Honda should easily recover from the massive recall.

"The actual problem and the potential consequences of it are really not significant," said Toprak. "It can affect the performance of your transmission only if you are stuck in mud or snow and you are rocking back and forth very quickly between gears, and the transmission software can't keep up and you can potentially damage the transmission."   Continued...