Honda Extends Warranty On Civic, CR-V With 1.5-liter VTEC Turbo

Honda Extends Warranty On Civic, CR-V With 1.5-liter VTEC Turbo
Remember when Honda introduced the 1.5-liter VTEC Turbo in the Civic? How about when the CR-V switched to the 1.5 as the entry-level engine? As it happens, the four-cylinder powerplant isn’t the most reliable out there, and that’s somewhat worrying if you remember that Honda specialized in engine design and production when Soichiro was running the company.
Honda Extends Warranty On Civic, CR-V With 1.5-liter VTEC Turbo
Planned obsolescence is slowly but steadily eroding the Japanese reliability of old, a similar pattern to what happened to Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi in the 1990s. Turning our attention back to the 1.5-liter VTEC Turbo fitted to more than a million Civic and CR-V models, Honda decided to extend the warranties on those engines to six years from the time of purchase without a mileage limit.

That’s all swell considering that oil dilution has been reported by many customers, but nevertheless, an additional year of warranty doesn’t sound like a solution to the problem. Consumer Reports highlights that customers have also reported “a sudden loss of power” but Honda claims the problem is attributed mainly to extreme cold weather. If that were the case, how come there were issues in California, Texas, and other warm-weather states?

“Abnormal oil dilution remains extremely rare, especially outside of extremely cold weather,” said a spokesperson in an e-mailed statement. “In extreme and rare cases in the cold-weather states, where abnormal oil dilution has occurred prior to a vehicle receiving the software updates, this extension will provide extra time for any undetected engine damage to become apparent and be covered by the warranty.”

As much as we’d like to believe a software update is the proper fix to this mess-up, we’re not exactly sure that a few lines of code can stop the abnormalities of the 1.5-liter VTEC Turbo. Worse still, vehicles prone to stalling represent a safety issue. Like all safety issues, a recall would’ve been more appropriate.

In a memo sent to dealers, Honda explains the problem could cause the Civic and CR-V with this engine to experience a lack of power, cylinder misfires, and unwanted noise. If you happen to own such a vehicle, expect Honda to notify you about the extended warranty this month.

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