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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 16, 2012 6:20AM
And yet Honda will win accolades for the most reliable car brand in America, or car of the year.. You just have to wonder how??
Dec 13, 2012 2:40AM

I use it all the time... Using a Parking brake on a vehicle helps keep stress off the transmission when its parked.. specially when on hills... 


That and its actually called an EMERGENCY BRAKE...  its supposed to be used for just that..  It yours brakes go out flip the emergency brakes.

Dec 12, 2012 4:17PM

The part can become damaged or worn during use? No kidding. How many times is an ignition used in a day? 3? 20? These vehicles are 6 to 9 years old. Of course, we all expect parts like this to last a lot longer than 9 years.

Now, maybe they really do have issues with this since they have had other recalls. Then they need to take a good hard look into their quality department or engineering department as quality inspects to what the engineers design. If the parts match the drawings from the engineers, it passes.

Dec 12, 2012 12:37PM

My daughter bought a new Honda and the car fell apart in 18 months, she will never buy a rice grinder again, it was a nightmare !!!

This car was garbage, she parked this thing they call a car at the bank and stopped the payments !!!!!!! 

Dec 12, 2012 11:45AM

So it's Honda's fault someone forgot to put their car in park and engage the parking brake when leaving their car? On a hill?

Simply amazing what thought and engineering has to go into products just for the "idiot factor"

Dec 12, 2012 10:02AM

You ever notice whenever Honda or Toyota have a recall its news..? The big 3  its so common place nobody even bothers. Good olGM has one daily. Goverment Motors theres a car company to be proud of, taxpayers are now on the hook for all that rapidly falling GM stock. Who owns Dodge now Fiat...? The funny thing is the big 3 are owned by a foriegn company or are exporting jobs to Mexico and Canada. The Japanese companies are bringing good non union jobs into the country. The only other weird thing about that is that once the Japanese started having their brands built here by us, is when they started having quality control issues. I will still support Japanese car brands. For a couple reasons as a Marine I lived in Japan for a year and saw a amazing hard working non entitlement society. They had great pride in ANY job they did and great respect for one another and their elders. The 2nd reason is no liberal supporting UAW. The UAW had a beef with US Marines awhile back and said the Marines who drove imports were unpatriotic. Go ahead and google it. Sorry but a import driving Marine is way more patriotic dodging bullets then some guy building shoddy cars and  selling them to other hard working Americans and getting paid a premium wage and benifits for doing so.

Dec 12, 2012 9:59AM

the safety interlock is there for a reason to prevent injury or damage when the car the car is parked.

Honda and Toyota  have had a lot of problems with there cars over the last 8 to 10 years, poor quality control.

Dec 12, 2012 9:39AM
It's amazing how so many people who don't actually own the cars being recalled or have first-hand experience with the problem have an opinion.

It's not a problem with not knowing how to drive, put your car in park etc. - It's a problem with one day getting in your car and your cars ignition not accepting your key. In my case I couldn't remove it. If I wanted to go somewhere, I had to leave the car running for fear I would never get the key to turn again.

The issue of it rolling away if not in Park is just a worst case scenario and hence the reason that Honda has to own up to the ignition being short-lived.

Dec 12, 2012 9:28AM
Maybe the solution is to drive the cars to San Francisco, and try parking on a hill, instead of testing the parking brake on level ground! Idiots! Gravity was too much for the designers to account for. Sounds like the GOP Party, in control of our House of Representatives, who forget to read the  legislation ALEC tells them to pass, for their continued campaign funds, no matter what the cost is to fellow Americans!
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.
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