When Honda first announced that it would start using dual clutch transmissions in its cars, I thought that while Honda was late to the game, perhaps it was because it wanted to perfect the technology before introducing it. After all, the Japanese are traditionally more conservative, and we all know dual clutch transmissions – especially the dry lubrication variants – can be problematic in hot climates.
It seems that Honda has hit a snag with its dual clutch transmissions, specifically the 7-speed one in the Fit Hybrid and Vezel Hybrid. It has issued a recall for over 80,000 cars fitted with the transmission, to have either its software updated or the transmission changed.
Honda will first check each DCT’s gear change history. For vehicles with a gear change history that indicates the non-engagement of gears, Honda will replace the DCT component in order to mitigate against the possible damage to internal parts of the DCT and then change the control software program. For vehicles with a gear change history that does not indicate non-engagement of gears, they will provide advice for the use of vehicles as an interim step and begin changing the software control program. In the meanwhile, deliveries of all affected models have been suspended.
This is actually the third time it has done a recall for cars fitted with its dual clutch transmission, with the first two being in October and December 2013. Both are also related to defects in the software program. In the first recall, some users experienced a blinking of the transmission warning lamp, the display of the service notification indicator on the meter display, an inability to start driving when first gear does not engage and the ability to drive only with odd-numbered gears when second gear does not engage.
In the second recall, due to an incorrect software program for the DCT control computer, some vehicles equipped with the 7-speed DCT could have experienced the non-engagement of gears, a delay in the ability to begin driving, the blinking of the transmission warning lamp, and the display of the service notification indicator on the meter display.
More details below.