The feds are now looking at more models for the same issue that afflicted the Civic.
The investigation has now been extended to the 2023 Honda CR-V and Acura Integra, bringing the total estimated number of affected vehicles to 532,535. This includes the over 238,000 units of the 2022-2023 Civic reported in March 2023.
According to the agency, the steering wheel issue can stick and cause a momentary increase in steering effort. In some cases, owners had to overcorrect the steering to turn the compact sedan in the right direction. Reports also say the issue makes a clunk and rattling noises when driving under 10 mph.
Unfortunately, the agency recorded over 1,300 incidents related to the "sticky steering" issue - 14 of which resulted in a crash. The 11 crash incidents allege roadway departure due to owners being unable to overcome the momentary increase in steering effort, while two crash reports claim overcorrection of the wheel.
Honda has cooperated with the NHTSA throughout the investigation, displaying its commitment to safety. The automaker said the issue could be traced back to manufacturing. The worm wheel's annealing and component conditioning processes caused internal strain within the steering component, which could result in the deformation of teeth over time. This would eventually affect the condition of the worm gear as well. The application of too much grease was also another factor cited by Honda.
As part of the remedy, Honda directs dealerships to replace the electronic power steering (EPS) gearbox with a new one. The company stated that the maximum steering effort of all returned parts under warranty was 2.4 pounds.
We expect Honda to rectify the issue soon, given that the Japanese marque is a stickler for keeping its cars safe. However, the heightened investigation has not determined whether the automaker will roll out a recall. With the number of incidents relating to the issue, the automaker should get moving fast.