Honda Orders Stop-Sale on 2016 Civic, Official Recall Pending

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Honda has issued a stop-sale and safety-recall notice for 2016 Civics equipped with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine due to a manufacturing inconsistency that could cause engine damage or failure. Although an official campaign number has not yet been issued by NHTSA, what appears to be official Honda dealership correspondence detailing the action was recently posted to an enthusiast forum on the CivicX website, indicating the stop-sale of vehicles currently in dealer inventory and the plans to recall and inspect affected vehicles already in customers’ hands.

Issued on January 30, 2016, Honda Service Bulletin number 16-017 states: “A small number of engines were produced with piston ping snap rings that may not be completely seated. If the snap ring is not completely seated, it will come out allowing the piston pin to contact the cylinder wall which can damage the engine.”

While Honda has not yet taken official public action, the automaker told Autoblog, “While the specific details of this action are still being determined, American Honda has provided preliminary information to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration and intends to provide more details in a formal notification to NHTSA on Friday, February 5.” Honda also said that cars with the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine were not affected.

Accompanying the service bulletin found on the CivicX website is a copy of a claimed official email sent to all Honda parts and service managers stating that on January 29, Honda notified NHTSA of a stop-sale and safety recall affecting approximately 34,000 2016 Civic vehicles in the U.S., due to “potentially missing or misset piston pin snap rings that may cause engine stall or failure.” According to the letter, the remediation process includes inspection of the engine with a borescope to determine correct pin snap ring placement. Vehicles exhibiting any concerns with the piston pin snap ring placement “may require the replacement of damaged pistons, piston pins or rings, or other related engine components.”

Unfortunately for current owners, it appears Honda may need some time to assemble a steady supply of replacement parts and borescope tools needed to identify and rectify the problems, citing mid-March as the target date for notifying owners. In light of recent reports, however, that timetable may need some adjusting. Until then, owners of 2016 Honda Civics with the 2.0-liter are advised to gather their vehicle paperwork including the all-important VIN (not all vehicles are affected) and contact their dealer or American Honda for further assistance.

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