The US government has launched an investigation into a major automaker following reports of steering problems that could impact more than 1.1 million vehicles.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received 31 complaints about the problem, and Honda has received 77 more, according to newly released records. Honda Accord sedan owners reported a lack of steering control and vehicles deviating from their planned travel direction. So far, two crashes and two injuries have been recorded as a result of these issues.
The investigation covers Honda Accords manufactured between 2013 and 2015, and it was launched after a petition was received from a car owner in October of 2020. The investigation will look into how often the problem occurs, how many cars are impacted, and the potential safety implications. It could also result in a recall.
According to the Star Tribune:
“In a December 2018, complaint to NHTSA, an owner from San Bruno, California, wrote that they were driving a 2013 Accord down a small hill when it suddenly veered to the left. The owner wrote that they couldn’t control the car, and in a panic, couldn’t stop before crossing several lanes of traffic and hitting a building. The driver and passenger were injured, wrote the owner, whose name was redacted from the complaint.”
The person who requested the investigation, whose name has been omitted from the paper, claims that their 2013 Honda Accord makes sudden left or right turns without notice. They even put it through its paces in a desolate parking lot. “My vehicle repeatedly turned 90 degrees of its own volition,” the person wrote in the petition. “This ‘behavior’ was replicated by Honda dealership mechanics.”
Mechanics couldn’t locate a digital trouble code for the problem, so the car wasn’t protected under a 2015 extended warranty agreement for power steering column failure, according to the petitioner.