U.S. opens safety probe into 1.1 million Honda Accord vehicles

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on Monday it was opening a formal safety probe into more than 1.1 million Honda Motor Co Ltd (7267.T) Accord vehicles over sudden loss of steering control reports.

The agency said the engineering analysis covers 2013 through 2015 models and said “under normal driving conditions, with no warning or input from the driver, the vehicle may veer or jerk out of its intended path of travel.”

Honda said it was aware of the investigation and “takes all safety-related concerns seriously and will continue to cooperate with the NHTSA through the investigation process, as we also continue our own internal review of the available information.”

NHTSA said it has 107 complaints and two injury incidents related to the issue.

One consumer in Dunnellon, Florida, told NHTSA he was driving at 25 miles per hour (40 kph) and the “steering wheel took over the wheel and he could not control vehicle.” The car went into the woods and hit some small trees. The vehicle was declared a total loss.

NHTSA received a petition asking for an investigation in October regarding an alleged defect in the steering system in 2013 Honda Accord vehicles.

The agency said the petition alleged Honda vehicles “are experiencing a sudden loss of steering control as the vehicle veers from its intended path of travel.”

The petition said the “deviation from the intended path of travel occurs without warning or driver input while operating the vehicle under normal driving condition,” NHTSA added.

NHTSA opened a defect petition review and sent Honda two information requests on steering anomalies in Honda Accord vehicles.

The agency said it “performed extensive analysis on the

information obtained from Honda as well as information in NHTSA’s databases.”

The engineering analysis will assess the scope, frequency and potential safety related consequences of the alleged

defect.