• Aug 9, 2010
Honda has announced plans to recall 383,000 Civics, Accords and Elements built in 2003 and 2004. Due to a fault with the ignition interlock system that normally prevents the key from being removed until the transmission lever is in Park, the affected Hondas could roll away on their own accord.

According to Honda, the interlock system can wear prematurely, allowing the key to be pulled regardless of the shifter position. If the parking pawl isn't engaged, the vehicle can roll away if parked on a slope.

While this has nothing to do with the sort of problems that Toyota has experienced, there is an interesting parallel regarding the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's defect database. Toyota complained that there was insufficient detail in the database categories, resulting in the appearance that there were more incidents of unintended acceleration than there actually were. This Honda issue is purely a mechanical failure of the locking system and yet it is grouped under Electrical System:Ignition problems. This lack of detail makes it much more difficult and time consuming for engineers to sift through the data to find and prioritize issues to fix. As part of the follow-up to its recalls, Toyota has been talking to NHTSA about revising the database to make it easier to mine relevant information other automakers will likely be following suit.

[Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Honda]
Show full PR text
Statement by American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Regarding Ignition Switch Interlock Mechanism Recall: 2003 Accord, Civic, 2003/2004 Element Vehicles

08/09/2010 - TORRANCE, Calif. -

Honda will recall approximately 197,000 Accord and 117,000 Civic vehicles from the 2003 model year and roughly 69,000 Element vehicles from the 2003 and 2004 model years in the U.S. to prevent a malfunction of the ignition interlock feature of these vehicles. Honda has received several complaints about such failures in these vehicles and is aware of a small number of related incidents, including one that resulted in a minor injury.

The ignition interlock mechanism can be damaged or worn during use. If this happens, it may become possible to remove the ignition key when the shift lever is not in Park. If the transmission is not in Park and the parking brake is not set, the vehicle could roll away, and a crash could occur.

Honda is announcing this recall to encourage all owners of affected vehicles to take their vehicle to an authorized dealer as soon as they receive notification from Honda that their vehicle requires repair. Notification to customers will start in late September, 2010.

When Honda identifies concerns of this nature, nothing is more important to the company than fulfilling our obligation and responsibility to alert our customers. To this end, in addition to contacting customers by mail, after Sept. 20, 2010, owners of these vehicles will be able to determine if their vehicle requires repair by going on-line or calling Honda. Honda owners can go to www.recalls.honda.com or call (800) 999-1009, and select option 4.


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  • 42 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      HA HA

      Toyotas are such POS.. Oh..
      • 4 Years Ago
      So if you just turn your car off in gear and leave the car doesn't stop you?

      Doesn't really sound like the biggest problem out there.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That won't deter the sensationalist headline. "Rollaway risk" just isn't as grabbing.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, this is a failure of an "anti-idiot" feature... Is not as serious as the headline makes it sound.

        Big LOL at your icon, btw.
      • 4 Years Ago
      You don't have the drive the car to complain about it to the government - the shareholder of Honda's competition.
      Carpenter
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow!! This is an amazing year for recalls..
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Carpenter
        It's like this every year just no one pays attention normally.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Carpenter
        more like 2 years of recalls. or at least it feels like 2 years.
      • 4 Years Ago
      actually people, honda's cars are assembled here, not built here. the difference is that the parts are shipped here from japan. if it were built here, most of the parts would be built here making it an amerian made car, but that is not the way it works. since most parts are comming from japn, it is assembled here and still labeled an import! but this problem above is not as bad as toyota with their cars running away at high speeds!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Who editied this article?

      According to Honda, an Accord can roll away on its own accord.

      Hahaha.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I wonder if that pun was intended. Either way, it's a good one.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I believe the correct expression is "of its own accord."
        And for comparison, the roll-away Honda owner's feet would be run over "by his own Accord."
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's their civic duty to do this recall (rim shot). Thank you. I'm here all week. Try the fish.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The engineers must have been out of their element.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It is Honda's civic duty to replace the faulty elements of these vehicles.
        • 4 Years Ago
        followed by "According to Honda".
        • 4 Years Ago
        epic accords indeed.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't know if I should either laugh.. or shake my head in shame.




      But what I can say is.. WTF is goin on ??
      • 4 Years Ago
      So what do we do with all these new cars with keyless ignition? Just push the button engine turns off in drive or any other gear. I transport these things I think they are dangerous
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have a question.

      Does this affect the manual transmission vehicles?

      Nope, thought not.
      • 4 Years Ago
      a disturbing element in that headline.
        • 4 Years Ago
        At least they did their civic duty in letting the people know about the problem.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I once took a Honda Accord out of park without having the keys in the ignition. I think this is just as dangerous if not more dangerous than what this recall covers.

      Just for the record, it was an 80s model I did this to.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If you go back and look at the lockout devices, it almost took an act of Congress to get Chrysler/Dodge to install them.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, just like I can lower the handbrake and select neutral in any car with a proper gearbox instead of a tube filled with pudding. Dangerous I tell ya. Should be baaaaaaanned.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I hope they plan to extend this back to say...1995 models. You've always been able to pull the key out of a worn Honda interlock while it's in gear.
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