Consumer Reports says Honda CR-V is plagued by an engine defect

The Honda CR-V crossover, one of the best-selling cars in America, has a fuel leakage problem, according to Consumer Reports.

The problem, which is limited to 2017 and 2018 CR-Vs with Honda’s 1.5-liter turbocharged engine, involves gasoline leaking into the vehicle’s oil supply. To date, customers in the United States have purchased more than 500,000 of the affected model-year CR-Vs.

toyota rav4 vs honda cr v 2018
2018 Honda CR-V

The consumer product testing company wrote nine of its members have reported the specific problem to them this year. One of the members, Kurt Witzig, told Consumer Reports his CR-V had the problem four months after purchase when it stalled and then wouldn’t go faster than 20 mph.

When his Honda dealer found that gasoline was leaking into the oil supply but didn’t know how to fix it, Witzig researched the issue. He found that dozens of CR-V owners had complained about the same problem to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and “hundreds more” talked about the issue on Honda owner online forums.

After Consumer Reports queried the automaker multiple times about the problem, a Honda spokesperson issued a statement, “Honda has been investigating the situation and developing a remedy, which we hope to make available through authorized Honda dealers by mid-November 2018.”

“The irregular high oil level condition is not as widespread as some internet chatter may imply,” the statement said, although it did not address the number of the 500,000 cars sold in 2017 and 2018 that were involved. Honda also said the fix would be covered by vehicle warranty and the company would apply the fix to upcoming 2019 CR-Vs.

Honda recalled 380,000 2018 CR-Vs and 2016 and 2017 Civics with gas leaking into oil supplies in China in February, according to Consumer Reports. It’s important to note that Civics sold in the U.S. do not use the same engine.

Honda does not consider the problem a safety issue, but Consumer Reports objects. “There are many ways stalling can be a safety issue, so if these cars are stalling, they need to be recalled,” says David Friedman, Consumer Reports vice president for advocacy and former NHTSA acting director. “Even if it turns out there’s no specific safety defect, Honda still should take care of their customers and notify them to go to a dealership for a free repair.”

If you own a 2017 or 2018 Honda CR-V, watch for any indications of problems with the oil system, including oil indicator lights or the smell of gasoline inside the vehicle. If you have any issues, take your car to a Honda dealer to have it checked. Also, Consumer Reports suggests that if you have problems to report them to Honda and the NHTSA. To date, the NHTSA has not issued a recall.

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