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Auto blogWed, 30 Jan 2013 16:30:00 EST
Honda has partnered up with Apple to bring Siri to the Accord, Acura RDX and ILX. Owners who have an iPhone running iOS 6 will be able to ask the software to perform a number of tasks via voice command using the vehicle's on board microphone and speaker systems. What's more, the tech will put the iPhone into an "eyes free" mode, which turns the screen off to help reduce distraction while driving. Honda says it has reworked its Bluetooth and HandsFreeLink systems to accommodate the Siri functionality. While the tech will only be available on three of the company's models right now, we imagine it won't be long before it shows up elsewhere.
As you may recall, Chevrolet integrated Siri into its products with vehicles like the Spark and Sonic, but Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler have also toyed with the tech to varying degrees. The seamless voice command seems to be light years ahead of the tech manufacturers are currently playing with. Check out the full press release from Honda below for more information.
A recall has been issued for nearly 183,000 Honda and Acura brand vehicles from the 2005 and 2006 model years. The problem stems from a potential malfunctions to the vehicles' stability control and braking systems.
Drivers have reported a malfunction to Honda's Vehicle Stability Assist system, though to date, no crashes or injuries have been reported as a result of it. Some of the vehicles' Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) control units may have an electric capacitor that was damaged during manufacture. A damaged control unit could cause the VSA system to apply brake force for a "fraction of a second" without any driver input, or could add additional brake force if it malfunctions while the driver is already braking. Either example could increase the risk of a crash.
To fix the issue, Honda will install a new electrical sub-harness, free of charge to the owner. The recall specifies 101,000 Honda Pilot (pictured), 60,000 Acura MDX and 21,000 Acura RL vehicles from the 2005 model year will be affected. An additional 800 MDX crossovers from the 2006 model year are also included in the recall. In addition, 51,000 of the affected 2005 Pilots will be inspected to be sure that a ground bolt for the VSA system is properly tight. Should this bolt come lose, similar unexpected brake activation may occur.
Honda is in hot water due to an airbag glitch that is causing it to recall 405,400 vehicles. According to the campaign, the supplemental restraints might fire for no apparent reason. 342,000 of the affected vehicles are 2003 and 2004 Odyssey minivans, which gels with a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation we reported on in June.
Joining the Odyssey in the recall is the Acura MDX, with 63,400 units covered from the 2003 model year. Unlike the van, though, the MDX's recall covers Japan and Australia, in addition to the US and Canada. Both vehicles are suffering from an airbag control unit that is prone to malfunction when exposed to electrical noise, a condition that can cause the airbags to deploy without warning. Although no crashes have been reported in such scenarios, there have been some injuries typical of airbag deployment - abrasions and such.
Honda will be mailing recall notices to owners near the end of October, asking them to bring their vehicles into the dealership for installation of an electrical noise filter. The repair will take about an hour and be free of charge. Scroll down for the official announcement from Honda.