Honda's handbrake warning

* 80,000 Civic owners receive letter * Handbrake may not stay on * Owners offered new part...

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Jim Holder
25 March 2008

Honda's handbrake warning

Honda has written to 80,000 UK Civic owners for a second time, warning them about a potential handbrake problem.

It initially contacted owners last November, warning them that the handbrake may not remain on if it is applied while pushing the release button at the same time.

However, following consultations with the handbrake's designers and the Vehicle and Services Operator Agency (VOSA), Honda has now decided to write to all Civic owners offering them a new handbrake free of charge.

Despite this, Honda is not issuing a recall for the car. Company officials say a recall is not warranted as the handbrake is not faulty as long as it is operated within guidelines laid out in the users' manual.

A spokesman said: 'There have been just 29 reported cases of the handbrake causing a problem. However, further to our letter of last November highlighting to owners the correct operation of the handbrake, we have decided to offer a new handbrake for free.

'As it stands, there is only a tiny chance of the handbrake failing if it is incorrectly applied. However, to give owners 100% peace of mind, we will be sending out letters recommending that they visit their local Honda dealer to get an improved handbrake fitted.'

The problem affects Civics produced between November 2006 and November 2007. The handbrake design was subsequently revised.

A replacement part will be fitted for free to all owners of cars affected who contact a dealer.

Until owners can get to a dealer, Honda recommends they apply the handbrake without using the button.