Is Your Vehicle Covered by One of Honda's DENSO Fuel Pump Recalls?

Key Points

  • Low-density impellers inside Denso branded fuel pumps are cracking and limiting the amount of gas reaching the engine.
  • An industry-wide effort is underway to recall and repair over 2 million defective fuel pumps.
  • Honda (Acura's parent company) has issued two recalls, with the latest expanding recall coverage to over 700,000 vehicles.
Posted on
Author
Scott McCracken
Tagged
#fuel-system #recall #lawsuit

This post originally appeared on hondaproblems.com

Low pressure fuel pumps installed in thousands of Honda vehicles have major internal defects that can cause the engines to stall out in the middle of the road.

The DENSO brand fuel pumps have low-density impellers that can crack, absorb fuel, and deform to the point that they stop reliably sending fuel to the engine. As you might imagine this causes the engine to sputter, run rough, or completely stall out.

An Industry Wide Recall

DENSO believes the pumps were exposed to a solvent drying agent during production that caused some of the impeller surfaces to crack. In May of 2020 they announced more than 2 million of the pumps would need to be recalled.

DENSO provided defective fuel pumps to Honda, as well as Ford, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, and Toyota. Each automaker was responsible for setting up their own recalls.

Problems downstream

There was a sense of urgency in these recalls, because a failing fuel pump can damage multiple other components further "downstream" in a vehicle. This includes:

  • The high-pressure fuel pump won't have enough lubrication and can overheat.
  • The engine will eventually run rough, and the excess shaking causes premature wear on the rubber mounts for the engine and drivetrain.
  • The shaking can also damage materials in the catalytic converter.

Honda sued before they could issue their first recall

Following the DENSO announcement, Honda was sued for knowingly selling vehicles with defective fuel pumps.

The suit pointed to a 2019 fuel pump recall as evidence, but as Honda pointed out, that recall was because sodium particulates were sticking to internal components of the fuel pump. Sure, the end results are the same but the problems were completely different.

Honda's DENSO Fuel Pump Recalls

A month later, Honda issued its first DENSO recall involving over 1.4 million Honda and Acura vehicles worldwide. Of those, only 136,000 were in the USA and 10,000 in Canada.

Owners were told to expect recall notices by the end of July 2020.

MakeModelYears
AcuraNSX2018-2019
RDX2019
RLX2019
RLX Sport Hybrid2019
HondaAccord2018-2019
Civic Hatchback2018-2019
Civic Type R2018-2019
Fit2019
HR-V2018-2019
Insight2019-2020

The recall was followed by more lawsuits.

A couple of Canadian lawsuits didn't believe the recall goes far enough in making sure owners aware of the potential dangers, and in holding Denso and the automakers accountable.

A separate lawsuit accused Honda of not covering all the affected vehicles in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

A second recall expands coverage to 708,000 vehicles

By March of 2021, Honda revealed they had received 583 warranty claims and 166 field reports related to the faulty fuel pumps.

That same month they issued a second DENSO recall which greatly expanded coverage to include more than 628,000 vehicles in the USA and more than 80,000 in Canada.

Additionally, Honda says some owners might be eligible for reimbursement if they previously paid for fuel pump repairs.

MakeModelYears
AcuraILX2019
MDX2019-2020
MDX Hybrid2019-2020
RDX2019-2020
TLX2019-2020
HondaAccord2019-2020
Accord Hybrid2019
Civic Coupe / Si Coupe2019
Civic Hatchback2019-2020
Civic Sedan / Si Sedan2019
Civic Type R2019
CR-V2018-2019
Fit2019
HR-V2019
Insight2019-2020
Odyssey2019
Passport2019
Pilot2019
Ridgeline2019

Generations Where This Problem Has Been Reported

This problem has popped up in the following Acura generations.

Most years within a generation share the same parts and manufacturing process. You can also expect them to share the same problems. So while it may not be a problem in every year yet, it's worth looking out for.

  1. 1st Generation ILX

    Years
    2013–2020
    Reliability
    15th of 30
    PainRank
    1.15
    Complaints
    17
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a ILX
  2. 3rd Generation MDX

    Years
    2014–2020
    Reliability
    24th of 30
    PainRank
    4.98
    Complaints
    110
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a MDX
  3. 1st Generation MDX Sport Hybrid

    Years
    2017–2019
    Reliability
    3rd of 30
    PainRank
    0.18
    Complaints
    1
    Continue
  4. 3rd Generation RDX

    Years
    2019–2020
    Reliability
    28th of 30
    PainRank
    5.92
    Complaints
    29
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a RDX
  5. 1st Generation TLX

    Years
    2015–2020
    Reliability
    29th of 30
    PainRank
    7.49
    Complaints
    204
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a TLX

Further Reading

A timeline of stories related to this problem. We try to boil these stories down to the most important bits so you can quickly see where things stand. Interested in getting these stories in an email? Signup for free email alerts for your vehicle over at CarComplaints.com.

  1. Over 708,000 Honda and Acura vehicles are being recalled to replace their DENSO fuel pumps.

    The pumps have a defect that'll cause them to stop pumping fuel to the engine. You don't need to be a mechanic to see why that's a problem.…

    keep reading

OK, Now What?

Maybe you've experienced this problem. Maybe you're concerned you will soon. Whatever the reason, here's a handful of things you can do to make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

  1. File Your Complaint

    CarComplaints.com is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases.

    Add a Complaint
  2. Notify CAS

    The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits.

    Notify The CAS
  3. Report a Safety Concern

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues.

    Report to NHTSA