Last year, Honda Motor Corp. announced two simultaneous recalls of more than 1 million vehicles over concerns of fire hazards caused by defective master switches in the power window systems, as well as software issues in hybrid vehicles that could have potentially caused vehicles to suddenly move in the opposite direction of what the driver intended. While the focus of that massive recall was largely on the former issue, we’re reminded of the latter issue this week, as Honda is announcing yet another massive automobile recall due to reports of presumably parked vehicles rolling away.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reportedly received a number of complaints from drivers who claim that their Honda vehicles suddenly started rolling away, despite having been put in park. According to Reuters, Honda officials have acknowledged this problem: “If the transmission is not in park and the parking brake is not set, the vehicle could roll away and a crash could occur.”
The recall in question, which will begin in February, affects approximately 807,000 vehicles in the U.S., and specifically 318,000 2003-2004 Odyssey minivans, 259,000 2003-04 Pilot crossovers and 230,000 2003-06 Acura MDX crossovers. In all, the NHTSA and Honda have received at least 43 complaints from owners of these vehicles, including this one as listed by the NHTSA:
“The mechanism that locks the key in the ignition until the vehicles is shifted into park fails and needs to be addressed by Honda. The key can be removed without shifting into park. This could cause the vehicles to roll off unexpectedly and hurt an innocent bystander or roll off into an intersection. This issue needs to be addressed immediately and Honda needs to address this key- ignition issue. Although I haven’t suffered any accident I always try to remember to keep my car in park before removing the key. I have heard from several people this is a common issue with this model year for both the Odyssey and the Pilot.”
As of today, the NHTSA has only received one report of certain injury, as a person experienced a broken fibula while attempting to stop an Odyssey minivan from rolling away. Until the recall begins, consumers can contact Honda for additional information at (800) 999-1009.