The problem affects Honda's range of small SUVs such as the CR-V, as well as MPVs and the Honda Accord, all with four-cylinder engines. Up to 1.5 million cars in the recall are said to be from the US, while 135,132 come from Canada and another 760,000 from China.
The recall also affects cars from parts of Europe, the Middle East and Puerto Rico. CarAdvice contacted Honda Australia about the recall and a representative confirmed that no cars in Australia are affected.
According to Honda US, if the software is not updated on the affected cars, transmission faults may arise if the driver rapidly selects between gears. These faults could include stalling of the engine and a difficulty in selecting Park.
This recall isn't said to be helping Honda's falling reputation in the US. Last week, Consumer Reports rated the 2012 Honda Civic very poorly, saying that it was not a recommended car, mainly criticising its interior materials.
Honda US has since disagreed with the report and says this recall is not a sign of larger problems at Honda. Honda spokesman at the company's US headquarters in California, Chris Martin, spoke about the recall in a recent Automotive News report:
"The far majority of our consumers would never really encounter this. It's software programing. It's not a weakness in the transmission per se."