Owners of a popular Honda are left perplexed because of a dangerous defect

One of Honda’s  (HMC) – Get Free Report most popular vehicles — the HR-V crossover SUV is the latest target of scrutiny by its owners because of a defect that could lead to expensive damage to their cars. 

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A 2024 Honda HR-V sits on a dealer’s lot on Nov. 27, 2023 in Miami. 

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

At the time of writing, owners of 2023 model year Honda HR-Vs have filed 487 complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) because of back window glass that can shatter when using the defroster. 

Owners reported incidents that occurred both while their HR-Vs were parked on their driveways and in parking garages, as well as while the vehicle was in motion, with some owners describing the glass shattering noise as akin to “gunshots” or a “loud bang”, only to find their rear glass in pieces or completely shattered.

One particular HR-V owner from Irvine, Calif., wrote in a written complaint to the NHTSA that her HR-V’s back glass shattered while parked, and noted that they “don’t feel comfortable driving the car anymore” because it was the “primary vehicle used to transport myself and [their] daughter.” 

A 2023 Honda HR-V EX-L is seen on a gravel road.


Honda has recognized the issue, and has revealed through their own investigation that the sealer used to secure the rear glass may come into contact with the heating coils used for the rear defroster, which in turn, can create a hot spot and weaken the glass over time when the defroster is used. 

However, the automaker has not issued a recall, instead telling dealers to replace broken glass under a customer-satisfaction campaign that is expected to begin in April or May 2024. 

Consumer Reports’ own test HR-V also suffered from the same defect, as it noted that its back glass shattered while parked whilst warming up on the driveway. The publication’s associate director of safety policy William Wallace suggested more drastic measures from the Japanese automaker. 

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“This is a known defect in some Honda HR-Vs, and especially if someone’s driving at high speed or in dense traffic, it could all too easily lead to a crash,” said Wallace. “For the sake of its customers and everyone on the road, Honda should convert its service campaign to an official safety recall of all affected vehicles, which would help get the word out and maximize the number of owners who get their cars fixed.”

In a statement to TheStreet, a representative from the NHTSA said that it “is aware of the issue and is discussing it with Honda.” 

TheStreet has reached out to American Honda Motor Co. for comment.

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