A mass recall is underway in the U.S. for 3 vehicles manufactured by Honda. More than 800,000 minivans and sport utility vehicles are being recalled for an issue with the vehicles ignition system.
The company, which has its North American headquarters in Torrance, California, is recalling 318,000 Honda Odyssey minivans and 259,000 Honda Pilot SUVs made in 2003 and 2004. Also recalled are 230,000 Acura MDX SUVs made from 2003 to 2006. Acura is Honda's luxury division.
Operating correctly, it should be impossible to pull the key out the ignition unless the vehicle is in "park," but in some Honda vehicles, the interlock mechanism that locks the key in place can wear out. This can cause the vehicle to roll away and possibly crash.
Honda says even if this mechanism is worn the key cannot be removed when the engine is running.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Honda says this defect has caused several crashes and at least two reported injuries. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration database includes several complaints from Odyssey owners detailing experiences in which they were injured as their vehicles rolled away. One owner says his leg was run over and broken by his Honda when he tried to chase it down after it began to roll.
Honda says it will start contacting affected customers in February with an offer to fix their vehicles free of charge.