NHTSA is investigating why CR-V and HR-V SUVs keep losing power suddenly

More than 1.7 million Honda CR-V and HR-V SUVs are under preliminary investigation by the U.S. Department of Transportation for, basically, seizing up on the highway. The DOT has opened a preliminary safety probe, which is the first step before a recall, to study the issue. No accidents or injuries have been reported. But, you may want to look at your rear differential and make sure it’s not leaking.

The Investigation affects 1,720,768 CR-V and HR-V SUVs from 2018 to 2022

A blue 2021 Honda CR-V Touring driving
2021 Honda CR-V Touring | Honda

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the agency has received reports “that the loss of motive power occurs at highway speed with no warning.” So, you could be driving normally, and the SUV would simply stop going. The initial reports say there may be an issue with the rear differential, a part that keeps both of the wheels rotating properly in the axle. The lock-up “caused the driveshaft to fracture while the vehicle was in motion.”

The problem seems to be, according to the NHTSA, that the rear differential seal leaks, which means it runs out of oil and seizes. The report was opened on Nov. 28, 2022. It covers models made from 2018 to 2022.

The Honda CR-V and HR-V are reliable SUVs

Blue 2022 Honda HR-V driving by a large building
2022 Honda HR-V | Honda

The probe is focused on the previous generations of the two SUVs. Both, however, have excellent reliability ratings at RepairPal.com, which tracks vehicle reliability. The CR-V earns a 4.5 of five stars for reliability. The HR-V fairs even better, with a five-out-five rating, which ranks it first of the seven subcompact SUVs the site rated. At J.D. Power, however, owners rated the 2022 HR-V as “average” for quality and reliability. The CR-V earned a “great” score for quality and reliability.

The CR-V did see a few minor recalls, including a 2021 recall for a seatbelt retractor, and a clip on the fuel tank in 2022. The HR-V, too, saw some minor recalls. In 2021 Honda recalled the HR-V for a fuel pump issue, and in 2018 for a brake issue.

The Honda CR-V and HR-V are all new for 2023

Related

The New 2023 Honda HR-V Puts the + on Its Top Safety Pick Designation

The new HR-V and CR-V are both some of Honda’s best-selling vehicles, so any update needed to hit the mark. The new CR-V leans into the sporty realm of the SUV world with a new look that gives it some traditional SUV two-box looks. It also added, in some trims, a hill-descent control for off-roading and a snow mode for inclement weather. Honda is offering a new Hybrid version of the CR-V, as well as several gas-powered versions.

The 2023 Honda HR-V, too, saw a huge change this year. The new HR-V is longer and wider, and it has a significantly revised interior. The new interior features Honda’s new design language and echoes the Civic’s interior. The new exterior echoes the CR-V’s, with a more SUV-like front end and a practical lift gate in the rear. The new HR-V, unfortunately, isn’t any quicker than the outgoing model.