Honda Recalls 870K 'Runaway' Vehicles

SUVs, minivans roll away without key in ignition

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Dec 12, 2012 8:51 AM CST

(Newser) – Honda is recalling more than 870,000 minivans and SUVs worldwide because they can roll away even though drivers have removed the keys from the ignition. The recall announced today affects older-model vehicles sold mainly in the United States. They were big sellers with families because of their ample space and reputation for quality.

Here are details of the recall:

  • Models affected: 347,000 Honda Odyssey minivans and 277,000 Pilot SUVs from the 2003 and 2004 model years. Also 247,000 Acura MDX SUVs from 2003-2006. All have automatic transmissions.
  • The problem: The mechanism that locks the key in the ignition while the vehicles are in gear can wear out. Drivers are then able to remove keys without shifting into park. Some have left the vehicles, which have rolled off unexpectedly.
  • Injuries: Two people were hurt in crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which received 43 complaints. In the most serious case, the driver reported a broken leg after being run over by his Odyssey in a steep driveway.
  • The fix: Dealers will repair the ignition interlock system free of charge.
  • Other problems: NHTSA is also investigating brake problems with the 2005 Pilot.

A 2003 Honda Odyssey and 2003 Honda Pilot are shown in a undated file photo. Safety regulators are investigating complaints that the vehicles can roll away after drivers have removed the ignition key.   (AP Photo/Honda Motor Company, File)
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