The problem lies in a leaky hose that transmits the power steering fluid through the vehicle. The hose loses its integrity and begins to leak because of the high temperatures in the engine compartment. When the power-steering fluid touches the hot engine it could erupt in flames.
Honda has recalled model years 2003 through 2007 because of the fire hazard. Unfortunately, the recalled vehicles can’t be fixed until next year. The auto manufacturer has yet to create the proper hose that would resist the high temperatures to prevent the fire hazard.
Representatives of Honda say that the actual chance of the hose leaking and starting a fire is small. If it did leak at all, the fire would not start immediately. Drivers should notice a slight smell before the fire. Relying on the driver to detect the change isn’t foolproof, but so far the company doesn’t know of any crashes or injuries due to the defect.
In the mean time, drivers who do have a leaky hose can get a new hose of the same model. That measure is a simple stop-gap until the improved hose is ready for installation to the affected vehicles. The replacement hose will be made available free of charge and customers can expect to see the new hoses early next year.
Honda will notify all owners of the problem through their own channels. Dealers will have the replacement parts on hand if there are any requests. It was a fire at a dealership that first alerted Honda to the problem with the power steering hoses.
In addition to the Accord problem, Honda is now under investigation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for failing park locks in Pilots and Odysseys. About 557,000 vehicles are affected by this investigation. The vehicles roll away in park and sometimes crashed into other property.