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Honda Fuel Pump Recall: What to Know

Over 750,000 2018-2020 Hondas and Acuras have been recalled for a bad fuel pump. So, owners of a Honda Accord, Civic, CR-V, Fit, HR-V, Insight, Odyssey, Passport, Pilot, or Ridgeline, or an Acura ILX, MDX, NSX, RDX, RLX, or TLX that stalls or won’t start should know about the problem. 

Minsk, Belarus - Mar 2020. Honda Accord X full led headlamp close up. LED daytime running lights. Head lamp of Honda Accord. Tenth generation Accord production began on September 2017
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Today’s automobiles are complex combinations of the latest technologies, with the potential for all sorts of troubles. But, sometimes, the most fundamental system is the source of headaches for car owners. Such is the case for many people with late-model Honda and Acura vehicles and faulty fuel pumps. 

A fuel pump is a fundamental component of most vehicles; it’s usually located near the fuel tank and transfers gas (or Diesel) to the combustion chamber for ignition and power. However, a malfunctioning fuel pump can cause a car to stall and create a danger to occupants and nearby vehicles. In 2020, Honda discovered this situation with numerous 2018 to 2020 Honda and Acura automobiles and issued a recall to correct the problem. The recall was expanded in 2021 to cover more vehicles from these same model years.

Let’s explore the details of the Honda fuel pump recall, including a summary of the problem and what owners of the affected vehicles need to know. 

Overview: Honda Fuel Pump Troubles

Toronto, Canada - February 13, 2015: Honda Pilot in the Canadian International AutoShow, CIAS for short, is Canada's largest auto show and most prestigious consumer event in Canada.

Newer Honda and Acura models with bad fuel pumps are troubling for owners and those considering buying one of these affected cars. Unlike minor automobile problems that occur from time to time, a faulty fuel pump is a serious safety matter. A car that stalls in the middle of traffic could be hit by another vehicle if its driver doesn’t stop or go around in time to avoid a collision.

There are several signs that a Honda or Acura has a malfunctioning fuel pump:

  • A check engine light with a P0174 or P0171 diagnostic trouble code (DTC) indicates an improper fuel and air mixture.
  • A distinct whining sound from the rear of the car (near the back seat or fuel tank).
  • An engine that’s hard or impossible to start
  • Engine hesitation or stalling
  • Reduced engine power while accelerating or climbing a hill
  • Engine stalling accompanied by above-normal coolant temperature

An owner of a Honda and Acura automobile with any of these signs should have their car looked at immediately and see if the issue has been addressed through a fuel pump recall.

Honda Action on the Fuel Pump Problem

Recalls are a last resort for automakers; it’s an expensive and time-consuming process that must include the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to oversee the action. Further, the fewer cars involved in a recall, the less costly it is for a car maker. But, frequently, a recall is just the tip of the iceberg. And that’s what happened with Honda and its infamous fuel pump recall.

American Honda Motor Company, the parent of the Honda and Acura brands in the U.S., initially announced a recall for about 136,000 vehicles on May 28, 2020, citing a defective fuel pump. Specifically, the impeller (the rotating component inside the pump) could fail, resulting in a stalled vehicle. 

However, Honda soon discovered that the fuel pump problem impacted more of its vehicles. As a result, a second related recall was issued on March 25, 2021, involving almost 625,000 additional Honda and Acura models. 

Here’s the specific recall information.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 20V314000

Manufacturer: Honda (American Honda Motor Co.)

Date: May 28, 2020

Title: Fuel Pump May Fail

Potential Number of Affected Units: 135,995

Affected Vehicles:

2018-2019 Honda Accord
2018-2019 Honda Civic
2019 Honda Fit
2018-2019 Honda HR-V
2019-2020 Honda Insight
2018-2019 Acura NSX
2019 Acura RDX
2019 Acura RLX
2019 Acura RLX Hybrid

NHTSA Campaign Number: 21V215000

Manufacturer: Honda (American Honda Motor Co.)

Date: March 25, 2021

Title: Fuel Pump May Fail

Potential Number of Affected Units: 624,552

Affected Vehicles:

2019-2020 Honda Accord
2019 Honda Accord Hybrid
2019-2020 Honda Civic
2019 Honda Civic TYPE-R
2018-2019 Honda CR-V
2019 Honda Fit
2019 Honda HR-V
2019-2020 Honda Insight
2019 Honda Odyssey
2019 Honda Passport
2019 Honda Pilot
2019 Honda Ridgeline
2019 Acura ILX
2019-2020 Acura MDX
2019-2020 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid
2019-2020 Acura RDX
2019-2020 Acura TLX

You may notice that some model years and models, like the 2019 Honda Fit, appear on both recall lists. This means that Honda later expanded the number of these vehicles affected by the bad fuel pump issue.

Understanding What’s Involved With the Honda Fuel Pump Recall

BRUSSELS - JAN 18, 2019: Honda CR-V car showcased at the 97th Brussels Motor Show 2019 Autosalon.

As with all vehicle recalls, the affected automaker will mail a written notice to the registered owners announcing the action. But, owners with a different address or subsequent owners may still need to receive this information. The same can be said if you’re considering buying one of these affected Honda or Acura models as a second-hand car.

So, it’s always a good idea to verify the details by visiting the NHTSA recall lookup website and entering the vehicle identification number (VIN) or model year/model. Details are also available through the recall websites for Honda and Acura. Similarly, an authorized Honda or Acura dealer can confirm a vehicle’s recall status. 

If your Honda or Acura is subject to a recall for a defective fuel pump, contact the service department at an authorized dealer for repairs. Don’t delay, as this trouble can cause a safety problem (stalling or poor engine operation). 

Fixing a Bad Honda Fuel Pump

Repairing a Honda with a defective fuel pump is a straightforward fix but is best handled by an experienced mechanic, especially if there’s no cost for recall work. There are multiple steps involving flammable gasoline and sensitive electronics. Further, replacing the fuel pump typically requires removing a difficult-to-reach access panel. In short, leave this repair to the professionals.

Importantly, an authorized Honda or Acura dealer is the only place for no-cost recall repairs for a faulty Honda fuel pump. Take this issue anywhere else, and you’re responsible for the bill.

Frequently Asked Questions: Honda Fuel Pump Recall

Munich, Germany - January 2022: supercar Acura NSX finished in red

What Honda models have been recalled for a faulty fuel pump?

The list of Honda and Acura vehicles recalled for a fuel pump problem is extensive and includes:

Honda
2018-2020 Honda Accord
2019 Honda Accord Hybrid
2018-2020 Honda Civic
2019 Honda Civic Type-R
2018-2019 Honda CR-V
2019 Honda Fit
2018-2019 Honda HR-V
2019-2020 Honda Insight
2019 Honda Odyssey
2019 Honda Passport
2019 Honda Pilot
2019 Honda Ridgeline
Acura
2019 Acura ILX
2019-2020 Acura MDX
2019-2020 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid
2018-2019 Acura NSX
2019-2020 Acura RDX
2019 Acura RLX
2019 Acura RLX HYBRID
2019-2020 Acura TLX

How many Honda vehicles are recalled for a bad fuel pump?

According to American Honda Motor Company, 764,119 vehicles wearing a Honda or Acura badge have been recalled in the U.S. for defective fuel pumps.

What Honda model years are affected by the fuel pump recall?

In the U.S., select 2018, 2019, and 2020 Acura and Honda vehicles are covered by the two separate fuel pump recalls. 

What is the lifespan of a Honda fuel pump?

Under normal circumstances, a Honda fuel pump can last the life of the car, meaning 250,000 miles or more. However, factors (outside of a recall) like poor quality fuel and debris in the gas tank can shorten the lifespan of a fuel pump. Of course, a manufacturing defect can cause a fuel pump to fail prematurely.

What are the signs that the fuel pump on my Honda is going bad?

One of the first symptoms of an ailing fuel pump is a whining or whirring noise from the fuel tank. Additional red flags can include an engine that’s reluctant to start (or won’t start), engine sputtering, and a power loss during extreme use (such as uphill driving and acceleration). Additionally, high engine temperature accompanied by stalling is another indicator of a fuel pump problem.

What is the cost of replacing a defective Honda fuel pump?

There is no cost for a fuel pump replacement performed by an authorized Honda dealer under an official recall. Otherwise, expect to pay $806 to $967 for similar work. 

Does a Honda fuel pump need replacement? 

Unlike some vehicle components that wear down with use (like brakes and tires), a normally functioning fuel pump doesn’t need to be replaced. 

Can a fuel pump unexpectedly go bad? 

Any vehicle part can go wrong without notice, and a fuel pump is no exception. Yet, the sudden failure of a fuel pump can be particularly troubling because an underpowered or stalled car can be a safety hazard. Early warning signs (like the whining noise mentioned above) are clues to a potential fuel pump problem. 

References

  1. Statement by American Honda Regarding Fuel Pump Recall: Certain 2018-2020 Acura and Honda Models (March 30, 2021). Retrieved January 3, 2023, from https://hondanews.com/en-US/releases/release-4be69598414076c7170989089413694f-statement-by-american-honda-regarding-fuel-pump-recall-certain-2018-2020-acura-and-honda-models
  2. Owner Notification Letter, Acura Automobile Division, American Honda Motor Company (July 2020). Retrieved January 3, 2023, from https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/rcl/2020/RCONL-20V314-1996.pdf
  3. Owner Notification Letter, Honda Automobile Division, American Honda Motor Company (May 2021). Retrieved January 3, 2023, from https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/rcl/2021/RCONL-21V215-8573.pdf
  4. Honda Service Bulletin 20-040, American Honda Motor Company (July 30, 2021). Retrieved January 3, 2023, from https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/rcl/2020/RCRIT-20V314-6998.pdf
  5. Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Fuel Pump ( January 08, 2016), Yourmechanic.com. Retrieved January 3, 2023, from https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/symptoms-of-a-bad-or-failing-fuel-pump#:~:text=Common%20signs%20include%20a%20whining,inability%20to%20start%20the%20car.

Dave Goldberg is an automotive journalist and lifelong car fanatic. He writes for numerous enthusiast and business outlets and is an ongoing contributor to HotCars.com, one of the most popular car culture websites. When he’s not writing or driving, Dave is either under a hood or asleep. His credentials include a BA in Journalism from The George Washington University.

We’re here to help you simplify car care and save, so this post may contain affiliate links to help you do just that. If you click on a link and take action, we may earn a commission. However, the analysis and opinions expressed are our own.

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About the Author

David Goldberg

David Goldberg

Dave Goldberg is an automotive journalist and lifelong car fanatic. He writes for numerous enthusiast and business outlets and is an ongoing contributor to HotCars.com, one of the most popular car culture websites. When he’s not writing or driving, Dave is either under a hood or asleep. His credentials include a BA in Journalism from The George Washington University.

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