A 'Y2K22' bug is reportedly hitting various Honda and Acura vehicles released from 2006 to 2014 in the U.S, Canada, and U.K.
First reported by Jalopnik (via The Verge), people report that the clocks in some of these vehicles jumped back in time some 20 years on New Years Day. Reports have cropped up on Honda and Acura forums, Twitter, and other social media.
Vehicles hit by the problem show the wrong date on the navigation system (typically the year 2002) and a time that's several hours off. Some vehicles with a separate radio clock also show an incorrect time there as well. Attempts to manually tweak the time and date don't seem to work as the next time owners start their cars, it's back to 2002.
While many vehicles are impacted, not all are -- I drive a 2006 Honda vehicle but haven't experienced a clock issue, likely because my vehicle doesn't have a built-in GPS system (more on how the GPS system might be causing the problem below).
A post on the CR-V Owners Club forum shares two responses from Honda USA and Honda UK:
"We have escalated the NAVI Clock Issue to our Engineering Team and they have informed us that you will experience issue from Jan 2022 thru August 2022 and then it will auto-correct. Please be assured that we will continue to monitor this and will advise you if a fix is available before that time."
"We have just received some more information regarding this and were advised that the Honda technical department are currently working on this.
Once there is a fix for this issue Honda authorized dealers will be made aware of it and will be able to assist with this at that point.
A service bulletin will be issued to our dealers from Honda UK on how to fix this.
As such it would be best to check with your local Honda authorized dealer for any updates as they would have the latest information for this and will be able to assist once the fix is released.
They can also contact the Honda technical department for additional assistance with this if necessary.
You can see the nearest Honda authorized dealers and their contact details by using the link below."
The statements are somewhat contradictory, with Honda USA saying there isn't a fix but that the issue should "auto-correct" in August. Honda UK, on the other hand, indicated the company was working on a fix but didn't have a timeline for its availability.
Jalopnik notes that a coding issue could be behind the problem. The explanation is somewhat lengthy, but the condensed version is that GPS systems use a starting point (sometimes called an epoch) to determine the date and time. The start point uses a string of 10 binary digits that represent the current week, starting at zero and ending at 1,023. At 1,024, the system should reset to zero -- there's a widescale GPS week number rollover every 19.7 years, the most recent of which happened on April 6th, 2019. It's possible that Honda's navigation system didn't account for a rollover that happened on New Year's Day, leading systems to return to the beginning of the calendar.
The Verge notes that this isn't the first time that Honda and Acura vehicles have had strangle clock issues. On August 16th, 2017, navigations systems on older Honda and Acura models failed and were mysteriously stuck on '0:00.'