Honda add small ripple to recall trend

Honda Motor Company has become the latest Japanese manufacturer to recall defective products after announcing the recall of half a million cars due to potentially faulty stereo systems and engine oil seals.

The recall could cost as much as 2.6 billion yen ($24 million), but analysts stressed the recall is small beer compared with tyre maker Bridgestone Corp’s recall of 6.5 million Firestone tyres. That view has helped shares in Japan’s second biggest vehicle manufacturer recover from a near four percent fall to finish unchanged at 3,950 yen.

The recall of 556,924 Hondas built between 1991 to 1997 included more than 75,000 made by Honda’s US subsidiary but exported back to Japan.

None are said to have caused accidents and many analysts said the recall appeared routine in an industry that has come to expect a few minor defects in parts each year by the world’s major vehicle manufacturers.

A Honda spokeswoman said 400,000 cars exported mainly to the United States had faulty oil seals, but U.S. rules do not require a recall for that specific defect, although Honda is offering service checks for cars outside Japan.

The news follows hot on the heels of Continental General Tire are likely recall of approximately 80,000 tires used on Ford’s Navigator sport utility vehicles.

Continental officials announced in a statement that they and Ford’s Lincoln unit will brief regulators from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on warranty and claims data for 1998 and 1999 Lincoln Navigators with 16′ ContiTrac AS tires that have been prone to a defect known as ‘chunking’.

The ContiTrac tyres are said to be on about 20,000 Lincoln Navigator SUVs.