American Honda will voluntarily recall 2.1 million Accord models worldwide made between 2013 and 2016, after five reports that the vehicle’s battery sensors caused engine fires.
Honda said 1.1 million of the recalls would take place in the U.S. and another 1 million around the world. Four of the five fires took place in the U.S. and the fifth occurred in Canada. The automaker has received 3,972 U.S. warranty claims relating to the issue.
Battery sensors, which alert drivers to issues with the battery or charging system, may not be sufficiently sealed. As a result, moisture or road salt may get inside the engine, leading to corrosion and intrusion of electrically charged substances.
“A shorted sensor can heat up through electrical resistance, potentially resulting in smoke coming from under the hood or, in the worst case, a fire,” Honda said Friday in a statement.
Honda said it will notify owners at the end of this month to take their vehicle to a dealership that will check and test the sensor. If found to be faulty, the dealer will replace the sensor. But, because of the large number of parts required for the recall, Honda said battery sensors in good condition will be given a temporary repair involving a moisture preventing adhesive.
The automaker said all five reports of engine fires all took place in “salt belt” areas. There were no reports of injuries or deaths linked to the defect.
The company first received a claim of an engine compartment fire from Canada in 2015 and began investigating the issue. In early 2016, it received a claim of a similar fire in China.
Honda introduced a redesigned battery sensor in June 2016. After an investigation of the China incident, the automaker said it initially believed the “future occurrence rate was estimated to be low,” but continued to probe the matter after receiving additional reports of fires.