2012 Honda Pilot and Acura MDX fuel tank recall exposes flaws at NHTSA (Updated 2/24/2012 at 9:00 a.m. Central Time)

Possible fuel tank leaks caused Honda to recall 8,700 of its 2012 Pilot and Acura MDX sports utility vehicles in the U.S.  Honda said it would inspect and, if necessary, replace the fuel tank. Honda emphasized that no fires have yet o


In a tersely-worded, hard-to-find press release it was explained that “the “vent shut float (VSF) valve case in the fuel tank assembly does not meet the design specifications.” According to the press release (which is posted in an obscure location on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website and doesn’t say whether it was written by NHTSA, Honda, or by both of them as a joint press release): “As a result, fuel may leak from the tank, increasing the risk of fire.” (emphasis ours).

The press release also says “The safety recall is expected to begin on or about March 13, 2012.”  Passengers and occupants who burn to death between February 23 and March 13 were not mentioned by Honda or the NHTSA.

(Update Fri. 2/24/2012 at 9:00 a.m. Central Time): to find out if your vehicle has been recalled, see the web pages cited in the final paragraph of this article). [Continue reading…]