The Honda Fit is on Fire – But Not in a Good Way

by jburney on February 8, 2010

There’s more bad news for Honda: The company is recalling 646,000 Honda Fits worldwide for a potentially dangerous problem with the vehicles’ power-window switches. It turns out that if these switches get wet—via an open window in the rain, for example—they can start burning and eventually catch on fire. The cars involved are from the 2007-2008 model years, and the recall affects about 120,000 vehicles in the U.S.

It’s another blow for Honda, which seems to have entirely lost its mojo in the marketplace. Sales of the once-ubiquitous Fit were off more than 38 percent in January of 2010, and that was before the recall was announced. A Fredericksburg Honda auto body repair shop believes the Fit issues are just a minor speed bump in an otherwise strong record of safety and quality.

The only Honda vehicles to see sales improvements last month were the Honda Accord and Honda Civic. Things weren’t much better for Acura, where only the Acura MDX  from Acura Washington DC was able to improve on its January 2009 performance.

Honda CR-Z

That automaker also has been having a surprising amount of difficulty with its hybrid offerings. The Honda Insight has been a major disappointment, and its new sports-car hybrid concept, the CR-Z, got a lackluster reception when it debuted at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show.

Honda Skydeck

One possible bright spot on the horizon could be the introduction of the next-generation Honda Odyssey, slated for this year’s Chicago Auto Show—especially if the new model takes its cue from the Honda SkyDeck concept shown late last year in Tokyo. The SkyDeck is more of a large multipurpose vehicle than a minivan, featuring an aggressive, very un-minivan-like silhouette while still retaining the functionality soccer moms—and dads—expect.

There’s still room for growth in the minivan segment as dealers like Colorado Springs Honda still sees demand, and a newly styled Odyssey could help Honda get its share, while also pulling the company out of its recent doldrums.

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Stick around for more Honda news.

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