WASHINGTON - American Honda Motor Co. is recalling about 37,000 1998 Hondas and Acuras to repair a defect in the automatic transmission case. The defect may prevent the front wheels from locking when the transmission selector is placed in park.
The recall affects about 32,000 Accords and about 5,000 Acura CL coupes, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said last week. Dealers will install a collar on the transmission control shaft to bypass a casting irregularity that created the problem.
Honda spokeswoman Lynda Saito said the company has no record of accidents or injuries caused by the problem but is advising owners to use the parking brake until repairs have been completed.
In other action, NHTSA said Subaru of America Inc. is recalling 80,000 1997 and 1998 Legacy and Outback models.
In the first recall, involving 61,000 1997 vehicles, dealers will replace the throttle assembly if a throttle-shaft bearing is missing. A vehicle without the bearing eventually will idle too fast, NHTSA said.
Another 19,000 1997-98 Legacys and Outbacks, equipped with automatic transmissions, are being recalled for replacement of the shift lever assembly. NHTSA said poor welds can lead to shifting problems and stuck ignition keys.
The agency reported a recall aimed at preventing unwanted airbag deployment on about 55,000 Land Rover sport-utilities.
The recall involves the 1995 Range Rover and the 1994-98 Discovery.
The agency said the cruise-control wire can chafe on a steering wheel coupler. If the wire insulation wears away, it can electrically ground the coupler and set off the driver's airbag.
A far bigger recall on NHTSA's monthly list involves nearly 250,000 General Motors cars. The agency said interior lamps may illuminate unexpectedly and startle drivers.
Dealers are to test and, if necessary, replace lamp-control modules in 1996 Chevrolet Cavaliers and Berettas, Pontiac Sunfires and Grand Ams, Oldsmobile Achievas and Buick Skylarks.
Another safety campaign affects owners of 235,000 Ford Motor Co. cars and trucks, but they do not need to return the vehicles for repairs. NHTSA said owner's manuals contain unclear headlight aiming instructions.
The company is sending revised directions that are to be attached to the manuals in 1998 Ford Contours, Mercury Mystiques and Lincoln Town Cars, Continentals and Navigators.
A similar problem was found in the manuals for 1994-98 Saab 900s, which contained no instructions for aiming headlights. Inserts with directions will be sent out to nearly 93,000 owners, NHTSA said.
Mazda North America is sending booklets with instructions for proper removal, storage and installation of the glass panel that is part of the sunroof in 23,000 1991-93 Navajo sport-utilities.
Ford earlier notified owners of 187,000 1991-93 Ford Explorers after reports that sunroof panels flew off while the vehicles were being driven.
Here are other recalls on NHTSA's list:
1998 JEEP CHEROKEE, GRAND CHEROKEE, WRANGLER
Problem: A tear in the vacuum reservoir diaphragm increases engine speed and reduces power assist to the brakes.
Fix: Replace brake boosters.
1998 JAGUAR XK8, XJ
Problem: Throttle cable adjuster bracket nut comes loose.
Fix: Install wrap around the nut.
1998 CHEVROLET AND GMC FULL-SIZED PICKUPS AND SPORT-UTILITIES
Problem: Iron used in front brake rotors/hubs can fail.
Fix: Replace rotors/hubs.
1998 FORD RANGER WITH FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE AND OFF-ROAD OPTION
Problem: Tires and rims are improperly labeled.
Fix: Send new labels to owners.
1997 FERRARI F550
Problem: Wheel bolts loosen.
Fix: Replace with bolts treated with anti-seizing material.
1996-97 LAMBORGHINI DIABLO
Problem: A faulty switch in cars with automatic window retractors can keep doors from opening.
Fix: Replace switch and door latch assembly.