While Honda has never seemed like a company to follow the old saw “We do it right because we do it twice,” the company has just announced a second recall of 126,000 GL 1800 and GL 1800A models to address a dragging rear brake problem that is serious enough to potentially cause a fire. We feel comfortable saying that this is certainly not the type of heated seats Gold Wing riders would want to have.
The affected models come from a variety of years. GL 1800s manufactured from 2001–2010 and in 2012, as are GL 1800As produced between 2001–2005. Now, we know that GL owners already took their bikes in for recall repairs in 2011. As we noted at the time of the previous recall, the issue was caused by a pressure compensating port being blocked as the result of “production tolerance stack-up” resulting in ”the master cylinder [possibly being] mounted at a higher angle than design specification.” This situation, unfortunately, could set off a chain reaction of events where “the combined braking system may cause the rear brake caliper to drag, increasing the temperature of the brake fluid, causing it to expand and further increase brake drag. The issue may lead to unexpected application of the rear brake and, if the heat is sufficient, may cause the rear brake to catch on fire.”
In the new recall, number 14V–472 (which is available online), Honda states that the previous recall did not fully repair the problem:
“After the previous recall remedy (11V–567), some vehicles may still experience rear brake drag after the rider releases the rear brakes. Unexpected braking/dragging increases the risk of a crash and continued riding with the rear brake engaged/dragging may generate enough heat causing the rear brake to catch fire.”
While Honda doesn’t know how many vehicles are affected, the company does note that “[a]s of July 24, 2014 a total of 533 complaints were received regarding rear brake dragging on affected vehicles in the U.S that had received recall repairs; eight of the complaints reported a small fire in the rear brake area.” Fortunately, there have been no crashes or injuries as a result of this problem.
At press-time, Honda has no repair program in place but is issuing the recall to notify Gold Wing owners of how to check for this problem and contact their local dealer to make arrangements for getting the issue resolved when a solution is available.