DETROIT — Honda is recalling a half-million vehicles in the U.S. and Canada because the front seat belts may not latch properly.
The recall covers some of the automaker's top-selling models including the 2017 through 2020 CR-V, the 2018 and 2019 Accord, the 2018 through 2020 Odyssey and the 2019 Insight. Also included is the Acura RDX from the 2019 and 2020 model years.
Honda says in documents posted Wednesday by U.S. safety regulators that the surface coating on the channel for the buckle can deteriorate over time. The release button can shrink against the channel at lower temperatures, increasing friction and stopping the buckle from latching.
If the buckle doesn't latch, a driver or passenger may not be restrained in a crash, increasing the risk of injury.
Honda says it has no reports of injuries caused by the problem.
Dealers will replace the front seat belt buckle release buttons or the buckle assemblies if needed. Owners will be notified by letter starting April 17.
Last month, Honda and the U.S. government urged owners of about 8,200 older vehicles not to drive them until dangerous air bag inflators are replaced.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a “Do Not Drive” advisory for the 2001 through 2003 vehicles with Takata inflators that have a high possibility of exploding and hurling shrapnel in a crash.
The safety agency says the risk to drivers and passengers is dire because the so-called “Alpha” inflators have a 50% chance of exploding in a crash. If the inflators blow apart, they can shoot shrapnel toward a driver's face that could kill them or cause serious injuries.
The agency says the Honda and Acura vehicles were recalled previously but records show that repairs have not been made in the affected vehicles. Honda already has replaced 99% of the dangerous inflators.
Vehicles affected include the 2001 and 2002 Honda Accord and Civic, the 2002 Honda CR-V and Odyssey SUVs, the 2003 Honda Pilot, the 2002 and 2003 Acura 3.2 TL and the 2003 Acura 3.2 CL.
Owners can check to see if their cars are covered by going to https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls and keying in their 17-digit vehicle identification number.