Car Industry

Honda and Acura recall 94,000 vehicles for bad timing belts

If the timing belt gives up the ghost, the engine might stall or be damaged.

2019-honda-pilot-elite-67

Your valves and pistons aren't supposed to touch one another, but when the engine timing is off, they will occasionally lean in for a kiss, and not a good one.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

The timing belt is responsible for making sure the engine's valves open and close at the right points in the combustion cycle. If that part fails, bad things can happen, hence Honda and Acura's latest recall.

Honda and Acura have issued a recall for approximately 94,000 sedans, SUVs, trucks and minivans. The affected vehicles include the 2018-2019 Acura MDX, 2019 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid, 2019 Acura TLX, 2019 Honda Odyssey, 2018-2019 Honda Pilot and 2019 Honda Ridgeline. Each vehicle on the list carries its own specific range of build dates, which can be found in NHTSA's recall report.

The problem stems from the timing belt. Specifically, the teeth on certain belts might separate, preventing the belt from functioning as it should. If the belt fails in this manner, it might affect engine timing, resulting in possible engine damage and possible engine stalls, the latter of which can increase the risk of a crash when the vehicle is in motion. Honda's belt supplier ran some tests and discovered that a specific production mold did not allow the rubber belt to vulcanize and harden as it should, which created the problem now facing these vehicles.

Thus far, Honda has received 15 warranty claims related to the timing belt issue. Thankfully, it has received no reports of crashes or injuries.

The remedy is pretty straightforward, like most recalls. Honda and Acura technicians will inspect the recalled vehicles at dealerships and, if necessary, replace the timing belt. They'll also inspect the engine for damage and replace any affected parts. Anyone who paid to have this problem fixed before the recall was announced will be reimbursed. Owners should expect to receive recall notifications in the mail in June.