Honda is issuing a recall for the 2014-2015 Honda Accord Hybrid to fix an electrical problem that can potentially shut off the gasoline engine.
The recall, which affects 6,786 Accord Hybrids, addresses a problem of electrical interference with the high voltage battery cell monitoring system (CVS). This electrical noise triggers the computer’s fail-safe mode – the gasoline engine is disabled, the sedan switches to battery power and top speed is limited to 40 mph.
In fail-safe mode, the Accord Hybrid has an expected range of 2 miles. However, Honda is concerned that owners may try to keep driving the car in this crippled state. Once the 1.3 kilowatt-hour battery quickly drains, the vehicle stops and could cause an accident.
Honda said that it discovered the issue through warranty claims, and no injuries have been connected with the problem. Honda explained the problem further in its Safety Recall Report:
“For certain 2014 and 2015 model year Accord FHEV, Honda made a change to the cell voltage sensor (CVS) circuit pattern to countermeasure Japan market problems concerning poor reception of digital television broadcasts in the vehicle,” Honda stated.
“The changed CVS circuit pattern resulted in decreased electrical noise toughness for the CVS, which may result in the CVS incorrectly interpreting electrical noise from the high voltage battery inverter and motor circuits.
“If the CVS incorrectly interprets the electrical noise, it can cause the vehicle to switch to a fail-safe EV mode in which the vehicle uses the electric motor for propulsion, with braking and steering functionality operating on electric power.
“If the vehicle switches to fail-safe EV mode while cruising at highway speed, the internal combustion engine will shut off with visual and audible warnings and the vehicle will experience a sudden loss of power, with the maximum speed limited to about 40mph. Once in fail-safe EV mode the vehicle may be able to travel for up to two miles at which time the high voltage battery will likely completely discharge.”
Honda will be updating the CVS software and, if necessary, replace the car’s lithium-ion battery. Recall repairs are expected to begin next month.