Honda has recalled 18,500 snowblowers after receiving over 90 reports of fuel leaks. The machines are a fire hazard, according to the recall notice from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, although no fires or injuries have been reported.
The CPSC says fuel can seep or drip from the fuel tank joint and O-ring located on the underside of the fuel tank. The recall involves models sold at Honda Power Equipment dealers nationwide from April 2005 through November 2010 for between $2,000 and $3,400.
The recalled machines carry the following model/frame serial number combinations: model number HS724 with frame serial numbers SZBE-1037913 through 1046577; model number HS928 with frame serial numbers SZAS-1151080 through 1169012, and model number HS1132 with frame serial numbers SZBF-1018734 through 1025998. The snow blowers are red and black, with the model number located on the side of the front scoop; the frame serial number is located on the rear of the machines just below the engine.
Update: Consumer Reports tested the Honda HS928 for our latest report on snow blowers. While it scored excellent in three categories—surface cleaning, controls and tackling piles like those left behind by municipal plows—a poor score in handling kept us from recommending it.
Owners should contact any Honda Power Equipment dealer to arrange for a free fuel tank joint and O-ring replacement. They can also contact Honda at (888) 888-3139 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or via Honda's website.
Earlier this year, Toro recalled 38,000 snow blowers after getting 2,200 reports of carburetor leaks that the CPSC says were caused by ethanol in gasoline; Consumer Reports is continuing to monitor the issue of ethanol's effects on outdoor power equipment.
More snow blower safety advice: "Six ways to blizzard-proof your snow blower" offers a quick primer on essential maintenance to keep a snow blower operating safely and effectively.