The United States government has opened up a probe into a major car company after complaints about steering failures that could potentially affect more than 1.1 million cars.
According to newly released documents, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that it received 31 complaints about the issue, and Honda has received 77 more. Owners of Honda Accord sedans complained about a loss of steering control, and the vehicles veering from their intended travel path. Due to these problems, two crashes and two injuries have been reported so far.
Honda Accords made between the years of 2013 and 2015 are covered in the probe, which was opened after a petition was received from a car owner in October of 2020. The probe will investigate the frequency of the issue, how many vehicles have been affected, and the possible safety consequences. It may even lead to a recall.
The Star Tribune reports: “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 individual who petitioned for the investigation, whose name has been redacted from the document, states that their 2013 Honda Accord abruptly turns left or right without any warning. They even tested it in a deserted 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.”
According to the petitioner, mechanics could not find a digital trouble code for the issue, and therefore the car was not covered under a 2015 extended warranty agreement for power steering column failure.