Honda Motor Co. will recall 871,000 vehicles that could roll away after the ignition key has been removed. Around 807,000 concerned vehicles are in the United States. Honda said a part of the ignition interlock could become damaged or worn, allowing the key to be removed even if the vehicle's transmission lever has not been shifted into park.
The carmaker said in a statement that if the gearbox is not in park and the parking brake is not set, the vehicle could roll away and “a crash could occur." The recall affects 318,000 Odyssey minivans and 259,000 Pilot crossovers from model years 2003-2004, as well as 230,000 Acura MDX crossovers from model years 2003-2006.
The recall also affected 64,000 Honda vehicles outside the US. Federal safety investigators launched a probe in October into the 2003-2004 Odyssey and Pilot after receiving 43 consumer complaints, including several reports of injuries related to the ignition switch.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received complaints alleging that some Honda vehicles had rolled away and stopped only after crashing into objects like parked cars, fences, a tree and a mailbox.
In its initial notice of the defect probe, NHTSA said that one vehicle owner reported being knocked down and run over, thereby sustaining a fractured fibula, while trying to stop a 2003 Odyssey from rolling away, American Honda will commence sending recall notices to owners in February 2013.