Wires

U.S. opens safety probe into 2003-04 Honda Pilot, Odyssey

Oct 5 (Reuters) - U.S. safety investigators are probingconsumer complaints that certain 2003-2004 HondaOdyssey minivans and Pilot utility vehicles can roll away afterthe key has been removed from the ignition.

An estimated 577,100 Honda vehicles are being investigatedby the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Officeof Defects Investigation. NHTSA said it has received 43complaints, including several reports of injuries, related to aproblem with the vehicles' ignition switch.

NHTSA said the ignition park-shift interlock could fail oncertain Pilots and Odysseys equipped with automatictransmissions, making it possible for the key to be removed whenthe transmission is not in Park.

"This may result in vehicle rollaway," the agency said.

"Honda will cooperate with NHTSA through the investigationprocess, and will initiate our own internal review of theavailable information," said a spokesman for American HondaMotor Co.

NHTSA said it had received complaints alleging some Hondavehicles had rolled away and stopped only after hitting objectssuch as parked cars, fences, a tree and a brick mailbox.

One consumer reported being knocked down and run over,sustaining a fractured fibula, while trying to stop a 2003Odyssey from rolling away, NHTSA said in its initial notice ofthe defect investigation.

(Reporting By Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by BobBurgdorfer)

((Paul.Lienert@thomsonreuters.com)(313-416-4072)(Reuters

Messaging: paul.lienert.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: AUTOS SAFETY/HONDA