By Teddy Field
Nearly 3 years after Toyota’s infamous ‘runaway’ vehicle recall, Honda is experiencing a similar problem. Except here, the vehicle can ‘roll-away’. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the piece that keeps the key in the ignition switch while the vehicle is in gear can wear out, allowing the keys to be removed without the vehicle being in Park. If this happens, the vehicle can roll away, because the transmission will still be in gear.
- 347,000 – 2003-2004 Honda Odyssey
- 277,000 – 2003-2004 Honda Pilot
- 247,000 – 2003-2006 Acura MDX
- 1 – Partridge-equipped pear tree
NHTSA received 43 complaints about the problem. 16 of those had crashes related to the key issue, and 2 of those owners sustained minor injuries. One of them had parked a 2003 Honda Odyssey on a sloped driveway, and suffered a broken leg when they tried to stop the minivan from rolling away.
Honda will begin notifying owners in February. At which point, the ignition switch will be replaced free-of-charge. Until then, we encourage owners to be sure their Honda is in Park before they remove the key. Setting the parking brake is also a good idea.