TOKYO (Bloomberg) -- Honda Motor Co. told U.S. dealers to stop selling some of its Acura TLX sedans because the parking lock may fail to engage, the latest quality shortcoming at the automaker after President Takanobu Ito took a pay cut.
A nine-speed version of the 2015 TLX, the best-selling sedan from Honda’s premium Acura brand, may roll away despite being in the park mode, the company said in a statement on its website. The automaker said it plans to start notifying customers from Jan. 6 about the recall.
The stop-sale order follows repeated recalls by Honda in Japan for its top-selling Fit models for software glitches and at least 13 million vehicles with Takata Corp. airbags that have been linked to five deaths. Ito stood on a tangerine crate last month at a company event to exhort employees to go “back to basics,” after taking a 20 percent pay cut for three months to show contrition for quality issues plaguing the automaker.
“Honda’s creating a lot of challenges for themselves and is over-stretched,” said Satoru Takada, an auto analyst at Toward the Infinite World Inc. “Recalls related to Takata airbags and the Fit also make them extremely sensitive about any possible quality problems."
The automaker is still investigating whether there have been any accidents related to the defect, said Ben Nakamura, a company spokesman.
Honda had already delayed the sale of the 2015 TLX to August from the first half of this year to ensure features including its new software and safety technology were ready.
Honda has recalled the Fit in Japan five times since the car was introduced in September 2013. That has delayed new model introductions by as long as six months and triggered a cut in the company’s sales forecast.
The TLX, with a starting price of $30,995, has become Acura’s best-selling model after the MDX crossover, selling 15,293 vehicles since its introduction.