Torque Shop

I read about Honda's recall of the Vezel, which has a flaw which could pose a fire risk. How worried should I be and what precaution should I take? I am about to take delivery of a Vezel. My children use private-hire services regularly and they seem to ply a lot of Vezels. If you are about to take delivery of a Honda Vezel, then it is probably the facelifted version, which is not affected by the recall.

For the 11,000 or so other Vezels here that are affected by the recall, the risk of a fire is low (so far, there has been only one known fire since the recall was initiated in April last year).

But if your car is among the 75 per cent affected which have yet to be fixed, there is a simple precaution you can take. Just deactivate the stop-start function.

This fuel-saving device in the affected Vezel has a flawed electrical capacitor that makes it overheat. With high usage - as is often the case with private-hire vehicles - the chances of a fire igniting from within this device is higher.

If you are worried about your children, perhaps you can tell them to avoid using Uber for the time being. The ride-hailing firm has some 1,200 Honda Vezels in its fleet which are affected by the recall.

As of Aug 4, only 9 per cent of them have been fixed, according to Land Transport Authority records.

It would not be possible for commuters to know whether a particular Vezel is affected. So, if they are worried, they should avoid these cars for the moment.

But as mentioned earlier, the risk is low, especially if one were to consider the number of taxi fires in recent years.

CHRISTOPHER TAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 12, 2017, with the headline 'Torque Shop'. Print Edition | Subscribe