by Steve Lague

Honda has recalled its BF250 iST outboard motor because of a faulty gear shift actuator. The issue could cause the engine to unexpectedly change into forward or reverse gear while the indicator shows it is in neutral causing the boat to move abruptly. If this does happen it may not be possible to get the gearbox back into neutral.

According to the recall notice only outboards fitted with Honda’s intelligent shift throttle (iST) option are effected by the fault.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which issued the recall, said there was also a possibility the engine may remain locked in gear when the operator tries to shift into neutral. This could happen when shifting from forward or reverse gear.

Because of the possible severity of the consequences the ACC also has strongly recommended owners of the affected Honda BF250 engines not to use them until they have been repaired.

Unfortunately this is going to mean an early end to the boating season for those owners with Honda not expecting a replacement part to be available until March.

honda BF250 recall

Honda BF250 recall 1The number of BF250 outboards that may have been fitted with the faulty actuator, caused by a loose or intermittent ground wire connection, has not been revealed but the outboards were built between January 1, 2016 and December 10, 2016. They also have the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) BBJJ- followed by a seven-digit number. See the attached photos to see where the VIN number can be checked.

Honda has said that owners of the affected BF250 outboards will be contacted when parts are available, inviting them to take the motor to an authorised Honda marine dealer for repair.

Anybody wanting additional information can contact the Honda Marine and Power Equipment’s Customer Relations Department on (03) 9270 1348 or via email at [email protected].