FCW System Failed Message Explained

Multiple Honda owners are reporting issues with their Forward Collision Warning system, as they get a warning message on their dashboard saying FCW System Failed. Common models that have this issue include Honda Accord, Honda Odyssey, and Honda Crosstour.

Here is what FCW System Failed means:

If you get an FCW System Failed warning message, it is most likely from severe weather conditions. In the owner’s manual, Honda states that the FCW system can give a false warning when driving in the rain, fog, snow, or extreme heat.

You should pull over when safe to do so and shut the engine off. After ten minutes, start the car, and the message should go away. If the message is still there, it is recommended to visit a Honda dealer for a car inspection.

FCW System Failed message Honda

What Is FCW System?

FCW (Forward Collision Warning) system analyzes the traffic in front of your Honda when your vehicle speed is ten mph or higher.

It determines the likelihood of a frontal collision and provides you with visual and audible warnings to apply brakes.

The system evaluates the distance of your vehicle from the vehicle in front, and if the distance decrease to cautious levels, it warns the driver to slow down with a “BRAKE” message on the dashboard along with an audible beep.

The minimal distance at which the FCW system warns the driver can be set from short, normal, and long in the Driver Assist System Setup on the vehicle’s infotainment system.

The FCW system does not include a braking function. It is always your responsibility to safely operate the car and avoid collisions.

Other Honda Owners read: Why Is the Drive Light Blinking on My Honda Pilot?

Conditions in which FCW might not work

FCW uses a camera mounted on the windshield behind the rearview mirror to acquire the visual data of the traffic in front.

So, any dirt or debris on the windshield hindering the camera’s view can cause the FCW system not to work properly.

The FCW might not be able to work in the following conditions as stated by Honda

1.       Extreme weather

2.       Extreme interior heat

Extreme weather, especially rainfall or hail, can easily cover the camera’s view, resulting in a false positive or FCW failure message on the dashboard.

It has also been observed that aftermarket headlights (HIDs and LEDs) or extra bright aftermarket cabin lights might interfere with the FCW system and cause it to pop up an FCW system failed pop up.

Can a Bad ABS Modulator or VSA Module Cause this Message?

According to multiple owners from Driveaccord.net, various parts can fail, resulting in this error message coming up.

These parts include the ABS modulator, which can cost up to $1500 to fix, and a bad VSA module, which will also cost over $1000 to fix.

Sometimes a software update might be able to fix this error if your car has not been in a dealership for a long time.

FCW System Failed Error Message

The FCW system failed message can occur due to several issues. A windscreen replacement can cause the FCW failed error message to pop up. It would help to recalibrate your front camera either statically or dynamically to remove the message after windshield replacement. The error message can also pop up in the conditions stated by Honda above.

Rain or snowfall during driving can cause the error message to pop up, but it should go away after the weather is back to normal and after you have cleaned the windshield.

Extremely hot weather conditions can also overheat the camera and cause the error message to pop up. Turning the AC on and directing it towards the windshield can help if caused due to hot weather.

Several other variables also seem to cause the FCW error message to pop up. Using aftermarket headlights or bulbs can also interfere with the FCW system.

Aftermarket bright interior lighting may also affect the FCW system. Issues in other vehicle systems, such as ABS or powertrain, might also pop the FCW system failed message on the dashboard.

It is advisable to keep the windshield clean, especially from the area in front of the camera, so you do not face any errors or warnings due to any dirt obstructing the camera’s proper view.

Other Honda Owners read: Why Does My Honda Pilot Says Keyless Start System Problem?

How Do I Reset My FCW?

You will require a professional Honda Diagnostic Scanner to reset your FCW system completely. It cannot be reset from any buttons on the vehicles.

If you do not have any dealerships with access to the scanner, you do not want to take your car to the shop. You can try resetting the entire ECU by disconnecting both the battery terminals for 20 to 30 minutes.

It will also reset the FCW system and all other systems in your vehicle. The date and time on your infotainment system will also require readjustment afterward.

How Do I Recalibrate My FCW?

You might require recalibrating the FCW system camera aiming after a windscreen replacement on your Honda. Static or dynamic camera aiming can get the system back online.

Static aiming is done in the shop. The camera aiming is calibrated with targets that must be set up according to the vehicle’s service manual. Aiming is necessary anytime the camera or the windshield is removed or replaced.

Before performing static aiming, ensure that the parking brake is applied, the headlights and DRLs are turned OFF, and that the vehicle is not facing a direct light source.

How Do I Turn Off My FCW Honda Accord?

To turn the FCW on a Honda Accord or access the FCW intensity setting, you must follow the following instructions.

1.       Press the settings button on the dashboard below the infotainment screen.

2.       Select the “Vehicle Settings” option on the infotainment screen.

3.       Navigate to the “All” or “Driver Assist System” tab.

4.       Select the “Forward Collision Warning Distance” option.

5.       Select “OFF” to turn off the FCW warning system.

6.       Press the BACK button to exit the menu.

Where Is the FCW Sensor Located?

The FCW sensor is a camera mounted onto the windshield just behind the rearview mirror if your Honda is equipped with the system.

Other Honda Owners read: What does Emissions System Problem mean on a Honda Pilot?

How Does a Forward Collision Warning System Work?

The Forward Collision Warning system is a driver assist feature available on modern Hondas to warn the driver of any obstacle that is too close to the vehicle while it is in motion.

The system works with a camera mounted on the windshield that detects objects in front of the car, and if any vehicle or object comes too close to the vehicle, a warning message and beep is rung to warn the driver of the situation.

Is there a recall for FCW System Failed?

According to Honda Recall Lookup, as of now, there are no recalls addressing this issue. However, if your car is still under warranty, a trip to your local Honda dealer is the best thing to do.

Final Thoughts

The FCW System Failed message can be caused by extreme weather conditions and a bad ABS or VSA module. One can reset the system by disconnecting the car battery for at least 20 minutes or performing a system update. If this fails, I recommend getting the car to a dealership for a proper diagnosis.


Forward Collision Warning – Honda Owners