Skip to main content

Honda just announced a huge recall of 250,000 SUVs made between 2015 and 2020. The problem is rod bearings failing prematurely. This can cause the crank to seize, which will destroy the V6 this recall centers around. Rod bearings are the two-piece bearings at the connecting point of the connecting rod and crankshaft assembly. 

The V6 in question is the 3.5-liter engine with 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. Here are the Honda models that are part of this recall:

  • Acura TLX – 2015 to 2020
  • Honda Ridgeline – 2017 and 2019
  • Acura MDX – 2016 to 2020
  • Honda Odyssey – 2018 to 2019

Why are Honda SUV engines seizing?

2017 Honda Pilot SUV in front of hotel
2017 Honda Pilot SUV | Honda

“If the connecting rod bearing seizes, the engine can be damaged and run improperly, stall, stop while driving, and/or not start, increasing the risk of a fire, crash or injury,” says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Realistically, that means in a short time, it can lead to the engine seizing.

Honda says a manufacturing defect in the crankshaft is causing premature rod bearing failure. The proper settings for the crankshaft machining operations were not the correct ones, making the cranks out of spec. What drivers might notice is unusual engine noise, stalling, loss of power, and/or a Check Engine light. The bearings are not getting the proper amount of oil due to the incorrect machining. 

Honda will fix the issue free of charge, including replacing the entire engine. By the fact that it means a teardown of the bottom end of the engine, it will require time to disassemble, inspect, and reassemble. That’s regardless of whether there is a problem or not. Unbolting connecting rods from the crankshaft is the only way that an inspection can happen. 

Is the Honda 3.5 V6 engine reliable?

Red 2017 Acura MDX SUV at sunset
2017 Acura MDX SUV | Acura

What Real Honda Pilot Owners Dislike Most About Their SUVs

The Honda V6 has been in production since 1998 in various forms and has a good record of reliability. However, there are three problems that pop up that these engines experience. They are variable cylinder management causing excessive oil consumption, timing belt wear, and carbon buildup in cylinders as a result of the direct injection system. 

So far, since it was first discovered in 2020, Honda has gotten 1,450 warranty claims because of the rod bearing problem. In these cases, as will be the case for all the vehicles in this recall, either the crank was reground, or if the damage was excessive, the engines were replaced. 

Notifications about the recall will go out in January 2024. If you have any further questions or concerns about your Honda, you can go to the site Honda dedicates to recalls, or you can contact the NHTSA. Have your vehicle’s VIN handy, as you’ll need it to find out more on these sites.