Honda is recalling 7,600 Ridgelines, model years 2006 and 2007, due to an issue with a wiring harness connector in the front passenger footwell. If your passenger, for reasons unknown to me and the NHTSA, kicks it, the terminal connector may overheat, potentially resulting in a fire.
A fire won’t result immediately of course. The heat from the terminal connector would melt away the wire insulation or connector. Then a short-circuit could occur, and that is what could cause the fire.
Honda dealers will be fixing this by installing a protective cover to deflect the kicks of any angry passengers. They will also inspect the connector to make sure any damage hasn’t already been dealt. If it has been, they will replace the wiring.
The recall will begin in February. If you own one of these Ridgelines, contact your dealer to arrange for a fix, and don’t let anyone sit in your front passenger seat until the fix is installed.
Here’s the NHTSA’s full press release for details:
Vehicle Make / Model: HONDA / RIDGELINE
Model Year(s): 2006-2007
Manufacturer: HONDA (AMERICAN HONDA MOTOR CO.)
Mfr’s Report Date: DEC 23, 2009
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 10V001000
NHTSA Action Number: PE09008
Component: ELECTRICAL SYSTEM: INSTRUMENT PANEL
Potential Number of Units Affected: 7600
HONDA IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2006-2007 RIDGELINE VEHICLES MANUFACTURED BETWEEN JANUARY 17, 2005, AND JUNE 7, 2006. A WIRING HARNESS CONNECTOR FOR THE HEATING, VENTILATION AND AIR CONDITIONING (HVAC) BLOWER MOTOR LOCATED UNDER THE PASSENGER’S SIDE OF THE INSTRUMENT PANEL MAY BE ACCESSIBLE TO KICKING BY THE FRONT SEAT PASSENGER’S FEET. IF THIS OCCURS, THE CONNECTOR TERMINAL MAY OVERHEAT, AND THIS MAY CAUSE THE WIRE INSULATION TO MELT OR THE WIRING CONNECTOR TO MELT.
SHOULD THE WIRING INSULATION MELTS AND THE EXPOSED WIRES CONTACT EACH OTHER IT WILL RESULT IN A SHORT CIRCUIT AND A FIRE COULD OCCUR.
DEALERS WILL INSPECT AND IF THE WIRING CONNECTOR IS DAMAGED IT WILL BE REPLACED AND ALL VEHICLES WILL HAVE THE PROTECTIVE COVER INSTALLED FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING FEBRUARY 2010. OWNERS MAY CONTACT HONDA AT 1-800-999-1009.
OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION’S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV .