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

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

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

NHTSA said the ignition park-shift interlock could fail on certain Pilots and Odysseys equipped with automatic transmissions, making it possible for the key to be removed when the transmission is not in Park.

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

"Honda will cooperate with NHTSA through the investigation process, and will initiate our own internal review of the available information," said a spokesman for American Honda Motor Co.

NHTSA said it had received complaints alleging some Honda vehicles had rolled away and stopped only after hitting objects such 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 2003 Odyssey from rolling away, NHTSA said in its initial notice of the defect investigation.

(Reporting By Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)


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