51K Honda Odyssey minivans recalled over rollaway risk

April 29, 2019

About 51,000 Honda Odyssey minivans have been recalled to fix a fault that could cause them to roll away even after their transmissions are shifted to park, according to government filings released last week by the NHTSA. 

The recall affects 50,504 2018 and 2019 Honda Odyssey vans. The problem stems from either a loose battery terminal or a degraded battery that puts the vehicle in a low voltage situation, causing the transmission control unit (TCU) to reboot. The original software is designed to shift the vehicle into "park" after a reboot, and if the reboot occurs while the minivan is moving, the attempted shift to "park" will damage the parking rod. Thus, when the driver does shift to mark after coming to a stop, the vehicle may not be secure and could roll away.

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Any vehicle that isn't safely secured after coming to a stop could result in unintended motion, which increases the risk of injury or a crash. Honda said owners can make sure the Odyssey will not roll away by engaging the electronic parking brake.

The recall asks owners to take their vehicle to the dealership where a technician will inspect the battery terminal and ensure connections are secure. Each Odyssey will also receive new TCU software. If a technician discovers the "park" gear can't hold the minivan without the parking brake engaged, owners will receive a new transmission free of charge.

Owners should expect a notification for the recall around June 1, Honda said, with the recall launching around the same time.

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