2006-2014 Corrosion Recall for Ridgeline sees return of Honda buyback program

Recalls, Warranties, & Class Actions

Honda recently recalled 2006-2014 Ridgeline pickups to address a rear frame member corrosion problem. In regions of Canada where salt is used extensively to de-ice roads, “the salt, along with mud and dirt, could accumulate along the rear frame, where the fuel tank is mounted. Over time, the accumulated salt/mud/dirt mixture could cause the frame surface, where the fuel tank mounting bands are attached, to corrode and possibly separate from the frame. Although no reports of fuel leaks have been received by Honda, it was predicted the fuel tank mounting band separation from a corroded rear frame could cause the fuel tank to become unsecured and damaged from undercarriage impact, possibly resulting in a fuel leak. The most common complaint related to fuel tank detachment has been noise from the rear of a vehicle. No fuel leaks have yet been reported in association with this issue.” The recall applies to vehicles in all of Canada, and 23 northern U.S. states.

Honda Canada has instructed owners to bring their vehicles in for an inspection. Depending on the level of corrosion, the dealer may:

  1. attach a reinforcement brace, clean the rear frame, and apply anticorrosive wax
  2. attach reinforcement repair plates if necessary
  3. repair a corroded frame; or
  4. offer to repurchase the vehicle.

Return of the buyback

This is Honda’s third campaign to address rear suspension corrosion on vehicles operated in Canada. Prior experience with similar programs on the Honda Element and CR-V revealed that Honda’s buyback valuations are sometimes low. They were offered on a “Take-it-or-leave-it” basis and then withdrawn completely if the vehicle owner didn’t signal their acceptance within a short delay.

Some CR-V owners told the APA that Honda Canada misled them. After their CR-Vs failed inspection, the promised more extensive Level II repair offer in the recall notice never materialized, and their free courtesy loaner quickly morphed into a daily rental billed to the customer. Many scrambled to find replacement vehicles.

In the case of the Ridgeline, which enjoys enviable resale value and is rare on the used vehicle market, Honda has pledged to “include a bonus amount over the vehicle’s estimated value.” Under the CR-V program that bonus, which was supposed to be 15 percent on top of the vehicle’s market value, was sometimes insufficient to permit the owner of an older or higher mileage CR-V to replace their vehicle with one of equal quality.

What you can do

Completion rates are typically low for vehicles that are recalled after eight years in service. In this case, the earliest Ridgelines recalled are now 16 years old and likely in the hands of third owners who may not even have Honda on their radar. If you own a first-generation Ridgeline, have the Vehicle Identification Number ready and use the recall lookup feature on the Honda Canada website, to determine if your vehicle is included. If it’s affirmative, book an appointment with a Honda dealer. If you believe your vehicle could be taken off the road after an inspection, remove personal items and vehicle accessories you want to keep before the inspection, and put on the most worn set of tires you have. In the case of the CR-V, vehicle owners were discouraged from retrieving vehicles that failed corrosion inspections and some owners had turned theirs in with equipment they intended to keep after their vehicles were written off.

The APA is inviting the owners of Ridgelines to contact the association and share their experiences, good or bad, with the recall process, particularly if they received a buyback offer from Honda instead of a repair.

Inspection and repair procedure from Honda’s Technical Service Bulletin

Test with a punch

Did the punch pierce the rear frame rail at any of the inspection points?

YES – Inform your Service Manager and/or Shop Foreman that the vehicle has pierced through the rear frame rail. Take the required photos of the vehicle… The vehicle is not eligible for the repair, and the Subframe Casting and Crossmember kit cannot be installed on the vehicle.

NO – Take the required photo

Fuel tank band attachment after repair procedure completed

C-point subframe mount attachment after repair procedure completed

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