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Recall: 870,000 Honda models for rolling away

The 2003-2004 Odyssey and Pilot, as well as the 2003-2006 Acura MDX, are affected by the automaker's chronic problem.

By Exhaust Notes Dec 12, 2012 7:41AM
Honda is recalling 870,000 vehicles for faulty ignition interlocks that can let them roll away unexpectedly when parked, Honda said today in a statement.

About 807,000 vehicles are affected in the U.S., including the 2003-2004 Honda Odyssey and Honda Pilot, and the 2003-2006 Acura MDX. Honda says the ignition mechanism can become "damaged or worn during use" and allow a driver to remove the key even when the transmission is not set in "park."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had opened an investigation in October after receiving 43 complaints from Odyssey and Pilot owners. More than half of the complaints involved stories of a runaway vehicle, including one in which a 2003 Odyssey ran over its owner's leg as she was attempting to stop it from rolling into a crowded street. Honda says it is aware of two related injuries.

Dealers will begin repairs starting in February. Affected owners can visit the official recall websites ( and or call the company at 1-800-999-1009.

Ignition interlock failures have been a chronic problem for Honda; more than 1.4 million other vehicles have been recalled since 2003. In that year, Honda recalled more than 563,000 vehicles, including the first-generation 1999 Odyssey, for interlock failures. The same problem resurfaced in a 2005 recall of more than 483,000 Accords, Preludes and Acura TLs. In 2010, Honda recalled more than 384,000 Accords, Civics and Elements from the 2003 and 2004 model years, again for the same problem. NHTSA collected reports of 18 alleged crashes and one injury due to 2010 recall.

Other vehicles have also posed a risk for rolling away. In October, BMW recalled the previous-generation 7-Series for a software problem that would select neutral when the car was shut off. NHTSA has also been investigating the 2002-2005 Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers since 2009, citing 12 alleged crashes due to the vehicles rolling away while parked. The investigation is ongoing.

[Source: Honda, NHTSA, Detroit News]

Dec 12, 2012 9:22AM
Just think, this "safety interlock" is obviously the result of the manufacturer being sued at some point because some bonehead didn't properly put their vehicle in park and it rolled into something/someone.  The stupid driver then blames the car manufacturer for the vehicle's inability to prevent "driver error".  How about people learning how to properly operate their vehicle.  If you can't effectively put your car into park properly..........then ride a bike!  At some point people need to start taking responsibility for their own mistakes and stupidity....kind  of like the Toyota deal with the floor mats, I mean really?  Frankly I'm tired of all the extra "safety this-that-and another" systems the car manufacturers are having to install just because people are stupid.
Dec 12, 2012 9:17AM
So much for foreign imports and their claims of infinite testing and quality assurance. How many factory workers were aware of this problem, but were sworn to silence, with their non-union jobs hanging in the balance, if they let the cat out of the bag? 
Dec 12, 2012 9:16AM
They use to call it an "Emergency Brake"  and is there for that purpose too.
Dec 12, 2012 9:04AM
Maybe car computers are starting to take over like Hal in 2001.
Dec 12, 2012 8:52AM
Why is a parking brake even required any more if nobody uses it?
Dec 12, 2012 8:00AM
So, it's a recall because a part on a car 6 to 9 years old might wear out?  The line between recall and "wear and tear" is becoming blurrier every day.
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