Honda is recalling nearly 6,800 Honda Accord Hybrids from the 2014 and 2015 model years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some of those vehicles may suffer from an electrical flaw that could disable the car's gasoline engine, leaving the vehicles to travel on battery power alone.
The problem lies with the Accord Hybrid's cell voltage sensor, or CVS. According to Honda, "The CVS may not have sufficient electrical noise toughness, which may result in the CVS incorrectly interpreting electrical noise from the hybrid battery inverter and motor circuits." Should that happen, the glitch can disable the car's gasoline propulsion system and put the Accord Hybrid in failsafe electric vehicle mode.
If that occurs, the car's speed will be limited to 40 mph. Because it will be running on battery power only, and because the Accord Hybrid's battery doesn't have the same power as the sort you'd find in a true electric vehicle, it only has a range of about two miles. When the battery charge runs out, the car will stall, increasing the risk of a crash.
The good news is that you should get plenty of warning if this happens to your vehicle. Not only will you notice the loss of gas power and the speed limitation, but the car will issue visual and audible warnings.
The recall affects 2014-2015 Honda Accord Hybrid vehicles built between August 29, 2013 and May 30, 2015. All told, the recall includes 6,786 vehicles registered in the U.S.
NHTSA documents show that Honda has received 58 complaints about this issue, but Honda has no reports of associated injuries.
Honda says that it will mail recall notices to owners around November 6, 2015. After receiving those notices, owners will be able to take their vehicles to Honda dealers, who will update the hybrid system software at no charge.
If you own one of these vehicles and have questions, you're encouraged to contact Honda customer service at 888-234-2138 and ask about recall JT7. You can also call NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and ask about safety campaign #15V602000.