Honda to recall Civics, major engine problems cited

Honda today announced that it had implemented a stop-sales order for 34,000 2016 Honda Civics. While the company declined comment, major Internet sources pointed to engine problems as the reason for the stop-sale order.

Honda has ordered dealers to stop selling some 2016 Civics as the automaker readies a recall for 34,000 copies of the popular subcompact for major engine problems.The stop-sales order comes just three months after the introduction of the wholly redesigned subcompact. When the 2016 Civic was introduced, the new version of the veteran nameplate was greeted by the automotive press with rave reviews. Its lines were given a thumbs-up as were its handling and performance. The four-cylinder-powered subcompact was also praised for its interior and its features. Civic was named the winner of the prestigious North American Car of the Year by a panel of automotive journalists.

According to Automotive News, Honda issued the stop-sales order on the Civics for engine problems. The problem involves the piston rings. On the affected vehicles, missing or mis-set piston rings can cause engine failure or stalling. The problem was first reported in a Honda service bulletin that appeared on CivicX.com, an enthusiast site and was later picked up by two major blog sites, Jalopnik and Autoblog. A spokesman for the automaker, while declining to specify the reason for the stop-sale order, confirmed it had been issued. Chris Martin said the order was issued while the automaker awaited approval of its recall plan from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Civic is an important line for the automaker. For the past three years, it joined the CR-V crossover and midsized Accord as a million-vehicle-seller. The Civic was also the fifth top-selling vehicle on the market in 2015. It was also the second top-selling car, behind Toyota’s Camry. For some years, according to Automotive News, Civic has been affected by quality issues. Indeed, one report noted that the restyling of the marque was spurred by a less-than-enthusiastic reception when the seventh generation Civic was introduced in 2012. The reception helped to spur the restyling. Normally, Honda commits to a major restyle of one of its vehicles on a seven-year basis. The restyled 2016 Civic was finished three years early.

The stop-sales order is in effect on a vehicle-by-vehicle basis. It will remain in effect until each of the impacted vehicles is inspected and, if necessary, repaired. As noted, Honda is awaiting NHTSA approval of its recall plan before issuing the recall.

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