According to an article published in the New York Times, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has initiated an investigation of about 577,000 Honda Pilot SUV’s and Odyssey minivans after reports that their park interlocks failed, allowing them to roll away. NHTSA’s investigation was announced just days after Honda added nearly 600,000 Accords to an ongoing recall relating to a fire hazard.
The investigation into the automatic transmission interlock involves 2003-4 Pilots and Odyssey minivans. In a report posted on the NHTSA’s Web site, investigators said they received 42 complaints from owners who said they could remove the key from the ignition without the transmission in park. The danger with such an action is that it allows the vehicle to move or roll, as opposed to being held stable in park.
Of those reports received by NHTSA, 26 said the vehicle rolled away and in 16 cases the vehicle did not stop until it hit an object. There was one report that an owner broke a leg after they were run over by the van.
NHTSA’s investigation is at the preliminary evaluation stage. If the agency finds reason for concern it will begin an engineering analysis, which the New York times reports, is more likely, but not certain, to lead to a recall.