Honda Ridgeline ute spontaneously combusting after being washed…

2019 Honda Ridgeline

Ok, so we don’t get to see any ‘proper’ Honda four-wheel drives over here, but a story from the US, giving you all the reasons in the world NOT to wash your 4X4, is just too good not to share.

Sure, the Ford Rangers have a problem with bursting into flames when you park them in long grass after giving them all of the jandals*, but with the Honda*, this appears to be a non-jandal related issue.

Where the Honda Ridgeline has come unstuck, is that certain acids in some car-wash products have an incredible ability to eat up dirt and grime, and apparently also fuel pump housings. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have recalled some 106,683 Honda Ridgelines made between 2017-2019 due to the acid within the soap degrading the fuel pump feed lines. This then obviously allows fuel to leak, greatly increasing the odds of spontaneous combustion. The issue was initially discovered in early January, however the recall is not being launched until March 7. Apparently the stand-in motto for the NHTSA is ‘Safety third’.

Interestingly enough, speaking of Ford recalls, this recall from Honda comes closely on the heels of more than 1.8 million cars and ‘trucks’ that have been recalled by Ford in the US. 1.5 million F-150s have been recalled due to the auto gearboxes randomly downshifting to 1st gear, regardless of what gear you’re in, or what speed you’re doing. Brake check, anyone? We’re still waiting to see if there is any flow-on effect to the Aussie Fords, however the recall appears to only be an issue in the F-150s from the US.

Where we are a little concerned with this Honda Ridgeline recall, is that the first Takata airbags found to have issues were in the Hondas. Wonder who else uses the same fuel pumps, or materials? Takata V2.0 anyone?

2019 Honda Ridgeline

*Disclaimer – No Hondas or jandals were harmed in the writing of this article.


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  • Many years ago, washing a vehicle with CT 18 could cause heaps of rust and corrosion damage. Apparently the “C” was a short version of “Caustic”. Had problems with any alloy/alluminium bodywork, wiring in side and tail lights etc.

  • If it eats dirt and it’s says acid it’s gunna dissolve other stuff peeps. I’m pretty sure the handbook which nobody reads will says use mild detergents, not soap and degreasers that contain acid. Once again problems caused by owners using aftermarket miracle products without reading the labels. Fires in motor cars and peoples safety are no 1 concerns for OEMs, I don’t think that the Ridgeline fuel line issue with Honda could have been predicted but at least they are fixing it regardless of who’s at fault. On the issues of Takata air bags which impacts many brands and millions of motor cars around the world once again Honda put peoples safety fisrt hence prompting further investigation and other brands then followed . Good on you Honda for being proactive. Please bring Ridgeline to Australia ?

    • That’s why they are replacing the Takata air bags with another the same, as they do not have enough in stock to replace all & are telling those owners that they will be booked in to get another replacement as soon as new stocks arrive.
      Quoted from the largest RAC magazine Jan-Feb 19

  • I think if you look up the Aussie recalls site you’ll find the Ford Rangers a couple of years back also had the autos downshifting back into first gear issue.

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