Concerned Over Leaking Gas, Honda Offers Warranty Extension on Civic Hybrids

By Blake Z. Rong | December 20, 2011
Honda wants you to know that it is not officially recalling 2006-2011 Honda Civic Hybrids over leaking fuel tanks. In fact, while a gas leak may sound scary—and deservedly so—Honda's PR team says the company is confident that this is “not a safety problem,” and that not every example of the 80,000 Civic Hybrid models sold is going to experience this. At issue is a gasoline leak that can develop in 2006 to 2011 model year Civic Hybrids, right where the fuel filler joins the gas tank. It's neatly tucked away from any place where a spark or flame could occur, such as the engine, for example, or the cigarette lighter, or the parking lot of a 7-Eleven. There have been no injuries or fires reported, and just a handful of reports about leaks coming from the bottom of the car. That said, consumers may smell the whiff of gasoline, a scent that is both intoxicating and panic-inducing, and gasoline may leak out into puddles underneath the car. The problem appears more frequently in areas with hot weather, and leaking gasoline is, as always, still a hazard. Honda has agreed to extend the warranty on all Civic Hybrids to 10 years or 120,000 miles since the car was purchased new, and will replace any fuel tanks if a leak does occur. Is this legal? Well, yes. Federal safety standards allow for a tiny bit of fuel to leak after a crash test, which in itself is a controversial notion. Either way, compared to the cost and potential penalties (which are being increased) that a recall can carry, a warranty extension is no sweat off Honda’s brow. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the matter closely, and monitoring future complaints. If you have any questions or concerns about your own Honda, you can reach the company at (800) 999-1009 and selecting option 4, or go to Honda’s recall website. Source: New York Times