Honda is recalling a large swath of Pilot and Passport SUVs and Ridgeline pickups to address potentially defective hood latch equipment that can fail while the vehicles are underway, potentially allowing the hood to open unexpectedly, creating a safety hazard. The recall covers 2019 Passports, 2016-2019 Pilots and 2017-2020 Ridgelines – just shy of 725,000 vehicles.
The company’s defect notification indicates that the issue can actually be traced back to a faulty seal between the hood and grille. Air entering the gaps in the seal can cause buffeting at highway speeds. The vibrations from this buffeting can cause minor damage to the hood latch striker where it meets the hood itself. These stress fractures can eventually cause the striker to separate from the hood completely, allowing it to fly open.
“Hood vibration noises or a loose hood are potential warnings of a failing hood latch striker,” Honda said. “A separated hood latch striker may allow the hood to open, obstructing the driver’s view and increasing the risk of a crash.”
Customers with vehicles built within the specified production range should expect to be notified of the recall by January. Honda will inspect customer vehicles and either reinforce the hood latch striker attachment point or replace the hood entirely if it is beyond repair.