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NHTSA Investigates Possible Power-Loss Issue in 1.7 Million Honda SUVs

2022 Honda HR-V | Photo: D.Boshouwers
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Daniel Rufiange
Some CR-V and HR-V SUVs may suffer a loss of power while traveling at high speeds

•    NHTSA is investigating an issue with Honda vehicles that could impact 1.7 million 2018-2022 CR-V and HR-V SUVs.

•    A leaking differential seal could cause the driveshaft to fracture while the vehicle is traveling at highway speeds.

•    Only all-wheel drive versions are being looked at by the NHTSA in its investigation.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened an investigation into two Honda vehicle models after receiving several incident reports of power loss at highway speeds.

Reuters reported that the NHTSA investigation could impact more than 1.7 million CR-V and HR-V SUVs from 2018 to 2022. Only all-wheel drive versions of these models are being looked at. 

The potential issue is that the rear differential in these vehicles could lock up at high speeds, causing the driveshaft to fracture and consequently lose power. The source of the problem has been identified as a leaking differential seal. 

Honda confirmed it is aware of the ongoing investigation and said it will cooperate with the investigation by providing all relevant information to the NHTSA. 

At this time, it is not known when incidents related to this problem occurred or how they manifested themselves. It is also unknown how many reports Honda has made about them. Manufacturers are required to provide information to the NHTSA on these types of incidents, and NHTSA ultimately determines whether a recall should be issued. 

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2022 Honda CR-V - Profile
2022 Honda CR-V - Profile | Photo: V.Aubé

To be clear, then, the 2018-2022 Honda HR-Vs and CR-Vs targeted in this investigation have not yet been recalled. However, due to the number of vehicles involved, it's important for Honda owners to be aware. 

Also note that this is the second major investigation of Honda vehicles by the NHTSA in 2022. Earlier this year, the agency opened an inquiry involving roughly the same number of CR-Vs and Accords. In that case, the automatic emergency braking system could unexpectedly kick in the absence of any obstacles in the path of the vehicle. NHTSA said six of the 270 reports it received resulted in minor injuries. That investigation is still ongoing.

Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists