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Honda Recalls Civic LX for Tire Problem

April 2, 2014
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Honda is the latest automaker to issue a recall. The Japanese company is recalling 2014 model year Civic LX coupe and sedan vehicles in the United States because of a potential tire issue.

Honda is recalling the aforementioned vehicles to check the originally installed tires and see if there is a tear in the tire bead.

In the notice given to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Honda stated that the safety issue originated from an installation problem. When a supplier was assembling the tires onto the car’s wheels, it is possible that the tires were pinched between assembly equipment and the steel wheel rims of the car when during mounting. This may have resulted in a tear in the tire bead, which could cause the tire to loss air quickly. Rapid air loss in the tire could increase the vehicle’s risk of a crash, as the vehicle will be harder to maneuver.

The vehicles to be recalled total 9,817 units. The affected LX models are those manufactured between November 26, 2013 and January 21, 2014.

Honda determined the tire problem during factory quality checks. Chris Martin, a spokesman for Honda, told Autoblog that out of the 9,817 affected units, only 1,800 have been sold. The rest are still unsold at the dealers or in transit. These will be repaired by dealers before selling them.

Honda has not received customer complaints or warranty claims and is not aware of injuries or crashes related to the issue.

The Japanese carmaker encourages all owners of the affected units to bring their vehicles to an authorized dealer as soon as they are notified of the recall. The company will send customers notification by mail starting late March until early April of this year. If a torn bead is found during tire inspection, the damaged tire will be replaced free of charge.

After the DX model has been phased out, LX has become the Honda Civic’s entry-level trim. According to Martin, it accounts for 30 percent of the model’s sales. Because higher trim levels are equipped with alloy wheels, they are not affected by the tire defect.

The replacement of the individual tires is not recommended as tires have distinct wear patterns and changing one or some of them may compromise the performance of the car. However, Martin guarantees that Honda will be replacing damaged ties with the same OEM tire fitment so that vehicle performance will not be affected.

As for Honda’s U.S. sales performance for March, it was better compared to the previous month. Honda sold 117,738 vehicles last month, a nearly 30 percent increase over February. The best selling Honda model for March was the Accord with sales of 33,962 units. The Civic also posted a 0.1 percent gain, selling 27,967 units.

Meanwhile, Honda’s luxury division Acura sold 15,580 units in March, posting growth of 10.5 percent. Light trucks accounted for most of the brand’s sales, with a new March record of 10,387 units sold. This is a 45.8 percent increase over March 2013 sales.

Photo credit: honda.com

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