Sloppy coding has left some Honda cars stuck in the year 2002


Some Honda car owners have recently fallen into a time loop of sorts. Since the beginning of the year, the carmaker’s forums have been inundated with reports of people complaining that the clocks and calendars in their vehicles are stuck in the year 2002.

The problem seems to be widespread. It affects Honda and Acura models with GPS sat navs manufactured between 2004 and 2012, and there have been reports of people experiencing the problem in the US, Canada and the UK. Also, there doesn’t seem to be a solution at the moment. Every time someone starts their car, the clock is reset – even if they set it manually beforehand.

“Honda is aware of a potential concern regarding the clock display on certain older Acura and Honda models equipped with navigation systems,” an automaker spokesman told Jalopnik. “We are currently investigating this issue to determine potential countermeasures and have no additional details to share at this time.”

The problem seems to stem from a coding review. When a GPS satellite broadcasts the date, it uses a 10-digit binary number that contains a reference to the week. A single GPS era spans 1023 weeks, with the system rolling into week 1024. After the first GPS systems started counting time in 1980, they rolled over in 1999, then again in 2019. If a system isn’t coded correctly to account for those rollovers, what can happen is just what happens. we see here with Honda’s vehicles: they go back to the beginning of the calendar.

Funnily enough, this isn’t the first time Honda car owners have encountered this problem. In 2017, the clocks on Honda and Acura models from 1999 to 2004 with navigation systems were reset to 1998. The same problem occurred recently in 2021. In both cases, the clocks went back exactly 1024 weeks. Time knows how to make fun of everyone, but it seems like it has a special place for Honda’s software developers.

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