NHTSA Investigating 2003-2004 Honda Odyssey, Pilot For Alleged Ignition Interlock Defect

October 10, 2012

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened a preliminary investigation into alleged ignition interlock failures involving 577,100 Honda Odyssey minivan and Pilot SUV models from the 2003 and 2004 model years.

2004 Honda Pilot LX

2004 Honda Pilot LX

Enlarge Photo

A report in the Wall Street Journal says the “alleged flaw can allow the driver to remove the vehicle’s ignition without properly shifting the transmission into park.”

The safety agency’s office of defects investigation (ODI) has received 42 complaints alleging failures of the ignition interlock, including 26 that resulted in rollaway incidents and 16 that involved a collision.

The investigation, PE12026, lists various objects that were struck, including a landscape retaining wall, fences, trees, and a brick mailbox that was struck after the vehicle rolled two blocks. Some of the complainants said that their vehicle stopped only after hitting several parked cars.

In one complaint, the driver said she was knocked down after she attempted to get into the vehicle and stop it as it was rolling. Another woman claimed she hurt her knee while trying to stop her vehicle from rolling away.

A 2003 Odyssey roll-away incident, according to another complaint, resulted in the complainant’s being knocked down, left leg run over, resulting in a fracture to the fibula.

The NHTSA opened the preliminary investigation, it says, “to assess the scope, frequency, and safety-related consequences of the alleged defect.” A preliminary investigation may or may not lead to a safety recall.

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