DETROIT – Honda Motor Co. is recalling CR-V crossovers from the 2002 to 2006 model years because an electrical switch in the driver's side door could melt and cause a fire.
Honda and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the recall Saturday.
The problem involves around 268,000 vehicles. Honda said rain or other liquids could enter through a driver's open window and damage the master power switch on the door. If that happens, the switch could overheat and melt, causing a fire.
NHTSA said owners should park CR-Vs from those model years outside until the recall is performed to avoid any property damage from a fire. A fire could start even when the ignition is off and the CR-V is parked.
But Honda said it isn't necessary to park the vehicles outside. The switch can be seriously damaged only if someone spills liquid onto it or lets a large quantity of rain water into the car through the driver's side window, Honda spokesman Ed Miller said.
Customers concerned that their switches may have been damaged that way can ask a dealer to inspect their cars. Most vehicles will only need to have a cover plate installed inside the switch to prevent any liquid from coming in, Miller said.
Honda said owners have reported four fires but no injuries or crashes associated with the issue.
The company will begin contacting owners next month and will repair the vehicles for free.
It was the third major recall this week for the Japanese automaker, which usually sits near the top in J.D. Power and Associates' annual rankings of vehicle quality.
Earlier this week, the company said it was recalling 820,000 Civic compact and Pilot SUVs from the 2002 through 2004 model years because the headlights can fail. CR-Vs were recalled earlier this spring for that same issue.
Honda also said this week that it's recalling 600,000 Accord midsize cars because a faulty power steering house can leak and cause a fire. That recall affects Accords with V6 engines from the 2003 to 2007 model years.
NHTSA also announced earlier this week that it's investigating complaints that Honda Odyssey minivans and Pilot SUVs can roll away after drivers remove the ignition key. That investigation involves vehicles from the 2003 and 2004 model years.
Also Saturday, the government announced a recall of 44,300 Ram 1500 and Dodge Dakota pickup trucks from the 2009 and 2010 model years. The trucks have a nut that could loosen on the rear axle, causing drivers to lose control of their vehicles. The government and Chrysler Group LLC said there have been 15 reports of rear axle failure and three minor injuries related to the issue.