• Recall affects 820,000 Honda Pilot and Civic models.
  • Headlights can fail due to faulty wiring.
  • The recall follows a similar action in March.

Honda recently announced the recall of around 820,000 Civic compacts and Pilot SUVs for a problem that can cause their headlights to fail. According to the automaker and the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the recall affects 2002-2003 Civic and 2004-2005 Pilot models, and expands on an earlier recall that affected CR-V and Pilot crossovers.

According to NHTSA, the recall is necessary because a wiring problem in the headlight switch could cause low-beam headlights to fail in affected vehicles. Of course, this could limit a driver's ability to see the road at night, increasing the risk of injury and potentially leading to a collision. That's the same issue that led Honda to recall its 2002-2004 CR-V and 2003 Pilot back in March, which affected more than 550,000 vehicles.

Honda says it will mail recall notices to drivers of affected vehicles urging them to visit a dealership service department. Dealers will inspect vehicles and, if necessary, replace the headlight wiring system free of charge.

But for shoppers interested in a used Pilot or Civic--or for drivers who recently purchased one--getting recall information might not be as easy as checking the mail. Indeed, as cars change hands, it's challenging for automakers to get recall notices to second or third owners. Fortunately, Honda says drivers unsure about whether the recall includes their vehicle can call the automaker at 1-800-999-1009. Using a vehicle's VIN number, Honda can identify affected vehicles, providing peace of mind to concerned drivers.

The headlight action comes on the heels of another major recall from Honda announced just days ago. On Oct. 1, the automaker said it will recall more than 570,000 Acura TL sedans and 2003-2007 Honda Accord V6 models due to leaking power steering hoses that could cause fires. In that case, Honda is delaying the recalls into early next year as it waits for parts to fix the problem.

What it means to you: If you have a 2002-03 Honda Civic or 2004-05 Honda Pilot and you're concerned you might not get a recall notice, call Honda at 1-800-999-1009 to find out if the recall affects your vehicle.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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