The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it has opened an investigation into two popular Honda models, the 2003-2004 Honda Pilot sport utility vehicles and 2003-2004 Honda Odyssey minivans. The federal safety agency has received numerous complaints of the vehicles rolling away after consumers reportedly parked the vehicles and removed the keys.
According to the NHTSA's Office of Defect Investigations, there have been more than 40 complaints of Honda Pilots and Odysseys rolling away. In one consumer report, a driver hurt her knee trying to stop her vehicle as it rolled. In another incident, a driver received a broken leg while attempting to stop their 2003 Honda Odyssey from rolling away.
Engineers with the ODI and Honda will investigate if there is an issue with the transmission interlocks found in the Honda minivans and SUVs, which are suppose to prevent ignition key removal unless the automatic transmission are engaged in the "Park" setting. An official recall notice of those vehicles—popular among consumers during the 2003-2004 model years because of their size and reported reliability—may be determined after the NHTSA and Honda complete their investigation.
In the meantime, Honda urges owners to exercise care and to use the vehicles manual parking brake.
Consumers who experience a similar roll-away situation—or any safety issue with any vehicle—should read our report on how to file a safety complaint with the NHTSA on its website: www.SaferCar.gov.
ODI Complaint: 2003-2004 Honda Pilot / Honda Odyssey - Ignition switch Action #: PE12026 [NHTSA]
US safety officials investigate Honda Pilot SUVs, Odyssey minivans that roll away unexpectedly [AP via the Washington Post]