Honda has just announced that it will be giving some 80,000 owners of its 2006-2011 Honda Civic Hybrid an extended warranty after concerns that small cracks may form in the car’s gas tank.

“The potential fuel leakage is very small from the top area of the tank where the fuel filler meets the tank,” Honda spokesman Chris Martin told The New York Times yesterday, adding that the potential leaks were not in an area “with a likely ignition source nearby.”

According to a technical service bulletin sent to Honda dealers, the fuel tank cracks are likely to occur where the fuel-filler pipe joins the gas tank. 

In 2008, Honda recalled 2009 model year Honda Civics after it noticed a fuel hose connector bracket may have been incorrectly fitted at the factory, posing an increased fire risk in a crash.

2006 Honda Civic Hybrid

2006 Honda Civic Hybrid

Given the unlikely set of events that would lead to a cracked fuel tank, along with only one documented report on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s consumer complaint website, Honda is not required at this time to undertake an expensive, official recall of all 80,000 cars. 

Instead, it has chosen to offer an extended warranty on all affected cars, valid for 10 years or 120,000 miles from the point of manufacture. 

In accordance with all federal safety legislation, Honda has notified the NHTSA of the issue, as well as inform the agency of the number of repairs it has to perform. 

“The NHTSA is closely monitoring this issue and will determine if additional action is needed,” said NHTSA spokeswoman Karen Aldana. “We’re looking into the issue -- monitoring complaints and other data. 

If it becomes apparent that the problem is more widespread than thought, the NHTSA will work with Honda to put an official recall into place. For now, we’d reiterate Honda’s advice: if you smell strong gasoline vapor near your car or see gas spilling onto the ground underneath your Honda Civic Hybrid, call your local dealer.  


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