As we mentioned in another section of this issue, Honda has recalled 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 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. Honda has had problems with the ignition switches for years. It has recalled nearly 2.3 million vehicles for the problem since 2003.
The following models are 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 the 2003 through 2006 period. All have automatic transmissions. More than 807,000 were sold in the United States. The mechanism that locks the key in the ignition while the vehicles are in gear can wear out. When that happens, drivers of the vans and SUVs are able to remove keys without shifting into park. Some have left the vehicles, which have rolled off unexpectedly while in gear. The U.S. safety regulators began investigating the problem in October after owners filed 43 complaints with NHTSA. Owners reported 16 crashes due to the problem. Two people were hurt in the crashes, according to NHTSA’s database.
Dealers will repair the ignition interlock system free of charge. Owners will get notices starting in February. Honda has had trouble with its ignition interlock switches in the past. Other vehicles affected by the problem include older Accords, Civics and Elements.
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