Honda Recalls 245 Ridgelines, Passports Because Someone Messed Up With the Torque Wrench

In an age of AI this and automation that, this sort of recall is almost refreshing.
Jerry Perez

Honda is issuing a recall on 245 Ridgeline trucks and Passport SUVs for a rather quaint reason: somebody on the assembly line messed up with a torque wrench.

According to the NHTSA report, it all has to do with an “inner ball joint housing may not have been fastened to the correct torque specification, resulting in a loose inner ball joint housing that can detach from the steering rack.” Of course, a ball joint detaching from the steering rack is definitely not something you want happening, hence the recall.

All Ridgelines and Passports affected come from the 2023 model year, and out of the 245 vehicles potentially affected, Honda estimates just 1% will be found defective—or, approximately 2.45 cars. Faulty cars could exhibit “abnormal noise and/or vibration from the steering system,” but as of March 1, 2024, Honda has not received any claims of warranty, injury, or death related to the issue.

2023 Honda Passport TrailSport. Honda

What makes this recall interesting, however, is how it apparently happened and the specificity with which Honda and supplier NSK were able to pinpoint the affected cars and affected parts. Per the report: “Due to a lack of maintenance to the steering gearbox workbench (pallet & clamps), the steering gearbox was improperly secured to the workbench, triggering an alarm during the tightening procedure. To subvert the alarm, the operator inappropriately performed the procedure by applying the torque wrench to the torque analyzer rather than the part itself.”

In an age of AI this and automation that, it’s almost refreshing to hear that there are still automakers out here having to recall cars because *checks notes* Bob didn’t use his torque wrench properly. In any case, affected owners will be notified by mail and cars will need to be taken to dealers to be inspected and, if needed, have their steering gearboxes replaced.

According to the report, NSK has since taken measures to prevent this from happening again. Related workbenches were inspected and repaired back in September, pre-shift workbench inspections were initiated, and, most crucially perhaps, operator training was “improved.”

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