Honda recently recalled more than 870,000 SUVs and minivans around the world, including more than 807,000 in the United States, due to defects that can cause the car to roll away even if the driver has removed the key from the ignition. The recall includes 347,00 Honda Odyssey minivans and 277,000 Honda Pilot SUVs with model years of 2003 and 2004, as well as 247,000 Acura MDX SUVs with model years of 2003 through 2006. All vehicles affected by the recall have automatic transmissions.
According to a USA Today article, the auto defect pertains to the mechanism that locks the key in the ignition while the vehicle is in gear. In some vehicles, the key locking mechanism has been known to wear out, causing drivers to be able to remove keys without shifting the car into park, thereby allowing the car to roll away even without a key in the ignition.
The USA Today article states that U.S. safety regulators began investigating the problem in October 2012 after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received 43 complaints from drivers, including reports of 16 crashes and two injuries related to the auto defect. In one case, the driver suffered a broken leg after he was run over by a 2003 Honda Odyssey that had been parked on a sloped driveway.
Although not part of the current recall, the 2005 Honda Pilot also being investigated for potential brake problems. NHTSA also is investigating whether the brakes can come on without drivers stepping on the pedal. Honda is cooperating with NHTSA as they examine whether the defect may be caused by problems with the computer-controlled system that stops the vehicle in emergency situations. Following a closer examination of the problem, NHTSA investigators will determine whether the problem warrants a recall of the SUVs.
Recall notices will be sent in February 2013 instructing owners to take their vehicle to a Honda dealer where the ignition interlock system will be repaired free of charge. Owners of the recalled Honda vehicles may contact the auto manufacturer at 1-800-999-1007 or visit its website at www.recalls.honda.com, referencing safety recall campaign number S73. Owners of 2003-2006 Acura MDX vehicles can contact Acura at 1-800-382-2238 or visit its website at www.recalls.acura.com, referencing safety recall campaign number S74.
Earlier this year, Honda recalled approximately 50,190 of its 2012 Civic compact cars due to concerns about potentially faulty drive shafts.
The Chicago auto accident law firm of Ankin Law Offices, LLC is committed to protecting the victims of dangerous and defective vehicles. If you have been injured as a result of an auto accident caused by an auto defect, contact one of our Chicago personal injury attorneys at (312) 600-0000 to learn more about a possible product liability or personal injury claim.