GL1800 frame recall begins in UK
November 1st 2003.... Letters have started dropping through letterboxes of GL1800 owners in the UK, asking them to contact a dealer to arrange for their bike to have its frame inspected for cracks and rewelded. As in the US, where the same process has been ongoing for several weeks, some owners are up in arms about the proposed "fix".
Stuart Ormerod of Lancs & Lakes Wings is urging people not to rush into the repair just yet. He and some colleagues are trying to gather all relevant technical and legal data so as to put them into a position to make an informed decision on whether repair is indeed the appropriate course of action in the UK.
Stuart wishes to speak with all those affected by this issue in the UK, and is asking people to contact him. Honda have assured him that there is no danger in riding the bikes as they are, so he feels it is better to hang on for a few weeks. He hopes this might permit some sort of concerted action by those who are willing to share information and knowledge - and perhaps enable the group to speak to Honda UK with a common voice. Stuart is willing to act as a focal point for this activity unless someone else wishes to take on the role.
Vehicles within a range of VIN numbers are known to be affected by the recall. Those intended for the UK market are GL1800A-2, 2002 model, from 1HFSC47A72A101111 to 1HFSC47A12A101170 and for GL1800A-3, 2003 model 1HFSC47A43A200051 to 1HFSC47A53A200110.
You can download a big chunk of the US story from here or here, but beware - this is a LARGE 6MB, 117-page, Acrobat document! It shows what the US National Highway Traffic Administration found out from Honda (including all their test results) together with full details of the recall, bike disassembly, frame inspection, frame weld and bike reassembly procedure.
Nov 14th: Canadian frame recall just started - numbers are 1HFSC475*3A200001 to 1HFSC475*3A200280
GL1800 recall in USA
September 12th 2003.... The following was sent to all US Honda dealers today:
RE: GL1800/A - Frame Weld SAFETY RECALL NOTICE
Non ABS Model: From VIN: 1HFSC470X2A111803 Thru VIN: 1HFSC47082A113582
ABS Model: From VIN : 1HFSC47432A102394 Thru VIN: 1HFSC47402A102823
Non ABS Model: From VIN: 1HFSC47013A200001 Thru VIN: 1HFSC47033A204860
ABS Model: From VIN : 1HFSC47483A200001 Thru VIN: 1HFSC47403A201126
Dear Honda Dealer:
American Honda is conducting an important SAFETY RECALL on 2002 and 2003 GL1800/A Gold Wing motorcycles per the VIN ranges listed above. The recall procedure will be to add additional TIG welding to the frame where the lower cross member meets the side rails. Under certain conditions, some existing un-reinforced welds can crack, or fail.
Effective immediately, YOU MUST NOT SELL any affected GL1800/A in your inventory until the required repairs have been completed. Please make sure ALL DEPARTMENTS in your dealership, Parts, Sales, and Service, are made aware of this action. Any sales of an affected motorcycle after receiving this notice and prior to repair is a violation of Federal law.
The Service Bulletin for this recall will be mailed to your dealership the week of September 29, 2003. The Bulletin will contain all instructions necessary to complete the repair along with a copy of the Customer Notification Letter that will be sent to all registered owners of affected GL1800/A motorcycles.
The services of a competent and qualified welder to perform TIG welding on aluminum will be required. Please confirm that you have access to such a welder. If you need assistance locating a qualified welder, contact either American Honda’s Techline or your District Service Manager.
A kit containing required items that will assist the welder in performing the additional welds for this recall will be included with the Service Bulletin mailed to your dealership. If you have recently sold a GL1800/A, please submit the warranty registration information. This recall does not affect the 2004 model GL1800/A, or 2002/2003 GL1800/A’s not included in the VIN range listed above.
New twist in GL1800 frame crack investigation
August 14th 2003.... The NHTSA has now directed Honda to answer 12 questions regarding all GL1800's and those experiencing frame failures in particular. According to the letter, Honda must respond to these questions on or before September 5, 2003.
A verifiable count of known frame failures is now said to stand at 27.
Official investigation into GL1800 frame cracks
August 11th 2003.... The US Dept of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened a "Preliminary Evaluation" (their term for investigation) into several recent frame breaks on Honda's flagship model.
The investigation names all GL1800 bikes - 2001 thru 2003.
GL1800 overheating fix
June 2003.... After inviting 40 customers with overheating GL1800's to Marysville, Ohio for extensive analysis in December 2002, Honda USA seems finally convinced!
American Honda's Motorcycle Division is now conducting a phased "Product Improvement Campaign" to replace Engine Control Modules (ECM's) that may affect engine coolant temperature during certain riding conditions.
The campaign consists of the following steps:
1. Replace ECM
2. Inspect Cylinder Head coolant capacity
3. Inspect Left Side Radiator
4. Inspect/install Coolant Gauge Sub-Harness
5. Pressure test cooling system
As of mid-August, the majority of people who have had the work done believe it has totally solved their problem.