27 September 2023

Honda’s SUV starts mixing its own diesel

Start the conversation

By Karl Peskett.

Honda has an issue. One of its most popular SUVs is trying to create its own diesel. Normally, you’d pull up to a service station, lift the nozzle on the bowser and that’s how you’d get a tank of the oily fuel.

Unfortunately, some of Honda’s latest CR-V models are mixing petrol with oil, and the result is a diesel-like substance. One of the first reports was from Minnesota, with the affected vehicle first stalling and then only being able to limp along. After two weeks of sitting at the dealership, the customer was advised that the petrol was leaking into the oil supply.

Hundreds of affected customers also complained about the same issue, with the company finally conceding that the issue was limited to the latest model – the 1.5-litre turbo four-cylinder – and that it only happens in cold climates where the vehicle was only being driven short distances.

So far, Honda says that the problem is confined to the United States and China, however there are plenty of other countries that also have cold weather which also use the same engine. And while Chinese vehicles are covered by a recall, the US vehicles aren’t. The Chinese cars have a fix which sorts out an “inappropriate fuel-injection setting”, while US vehicles can be sorted with something similar if requested.

Australia hasn’t yet listed a recall, but if you’re a 2017-18 Honda CR-V owner, then keep your eye on the Australian Government’s recall website: www.recalls.gov.au

No utes in BMW’s lineup – ever

You may recall a few years ago that BMW created an M3 utility, or “ute” as we know it. It was created as an April Fools joke in 2011, as a fully working vehicle. With a V8 engine under the bonnet and six-speed manual, it’s driveable, licenced and it still resides in Munich.

Unfortunately, that’s as close as BMW is ever going to get to creating a tradie’s vehicle. This week, at the Paris motor show, one of BMW’s executives put the kybosh on any plans for the German carmaker to create a commercial vehicle.

Speaking with Motoring, BMW’s development chief Klaus Frohlich said that the numbers just don’t stack up.

“I’m the bad guy,” Frohlich said. “I see no evidence that we can ever do a good proposition. For us, the market segment is too small, because we are at the higher price level for pick-ups. The premium side of that market is extremely small … there’s only a few regions of the world – Australia is one of them.”

This is despite Mercedes-Benz entering the segment with its X-Class ute, however BMW’s view is that the X-Class isn’t different enough from the Nissan Navara that it’s based on. It was famously quoted as calling the Merc “appalling” thanks to its Nissan origins. BMW doesn’t do, and won’t ever do, badge engineering, so don’t expect any HiLux ripoffs with blue and white roundels, either.

Escorting your money out the door

Fans of old-school rally cars will appreciate the 1972 Ford Escort. With its light-weight body, Cosworth engine and trick suspension, it was a driver’s dream. Even without the Cosworth under the bonnet, the Escort was able to be coaxed into achieving some amazing cornering and blinding speed.

The chassis balance was one of the best things about the Escort, which is why it was so effective at rallying without needing all-wheel-drive.

This week, an RS1600 with a Formula 3 engine went under the hammer. It is one of only 1137 of its type ever made, and with many biting the dust early on, there aren’t too many surviving examples that have stayed in pristine condition.

This particular vehicle set a world record for its type, with the new buyer picking it up for the princely sum of $131,799 plus brokerage fees.

Not cheap, but then there aren’t very many like it around. And with its lime-green bodywork being as straight as they came out of the factory, there won’t need to be much money spent on it. That’s if the new owner is daring enough to take it out on the road.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.