WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened an investigation into an estimated 374,000 2013 Honda Accords after consumer complaints that the electric power steering can suddenly fail.
The problem results in increased steering effort.
"Four complaints allege that the failures resulted in crashes, which all occurred at speeds less than 30 mph," NHTSA said in its summary of the probe.
The federal agency, which oversees vehicle safety in the U.S., said it has identified 24 unique VIN complaints alleging loss of power steering and/or a sudden increase in steering effort in the 2013 Accord.
"Just over half of the (complaints) indicated observing a power steering warning message as the failure occurred," NHTSA said. "Some reported that the condition was corrected by turning the vehicle off and restarting. However, several indicate the condition returned again after restart."
NHTSA has opened a preliminary evaluation into the matter. Such an action sometimes precedes a vehicle recall.
"Honda has recently learned that the NHTSA has initiated a preliminary evaluation regarding the potential for the loss of electric power steering in 2013 model year Honda Accord vehicles," wrote Honda Spokesman Chris Martin in response to an Edmunds query on Monday. "Honda will cooperate with the NHTSA through the investigation process, and we will continue our own internal review of the available information."
Edmunds says: The 2013 Honda Accord has not been recalled at this point, so there's not much consumers can do except wait for federal safety regulators to finish their work. But if you are experiencing a problem with your car, it's best to contact your Honda dealer.