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Honda Recalls Nearly 400,000 U.S. Vehicles For Ignition Issue

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On: Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 4:40PM | By: Chris Weiss

Honda Recalls Nearly 400,000 U.S. Vehicles For Ignition Issue

In a recall notice posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website yesterday, Honda announced that it will be recalling 384,220 vehicles in the United States due to possible ignition interlock failure. What could be termed "unintended rolling," can result if the interlock system fails. The new recall brings the total number of Honda vehicles recalled for similar issues since 2003 up to 1.4 million. The latest recall relates to different specific parts of the ignition than past recalls, however.

The U.S. models affected under the new recall are 2003 Accord and Civic models and 2003 to 2004 Element models. In Canada, the recall extends to about 44,000 vehicles and includes some Acura 1.7EL models, in addition to the aforementioned Hondas.

The ignition interlock is the piece of the vehicle that prevents drivers from removing their keys if the transmission is not set to park. If the interlock lever fails, it could result in drivers inadvertently keeping the car in gear and pulling thir keys out, leaving the car unattended and free to roll. Needless to say, whether it's a Civic, Accord or Element, you don't want to see it ghost-rolling down the street.

To illustrate, one complaint alleged that a woman was nearly run over when attempting to chase her Honda down the driveway before watching it crash into a cable box. According to Honda, one minor injury has been reported in connection with the ignition interlock issue.

The NHTSA began an investigation of the ignition interlock problems in Honda Accord models in 2008. The investigation was spurred by 15 complaints that included 10 crashes. Honda met with the NHTSA in July and determined late last month that there was a defect with the ignition interlock.

Honda was careful to point out that the new recall is different than similar ignition recalls issued in 2003 and 2005. Though the 2002 Honda Accord was part of the 2005 recall, which included a similar problem allowing drivers to remove their keys without putting the car in park, Honda stressed that it was different hardware and that the company redesigned the Accord between the 2002 and 2003 model years. The 2003 recall affected around 563,000 vehicles while the 2005 recall extended to 483,000, according to Detroit News.

Honda will replace the ignition interlock lever and pin under the new recall. The automaker will begin contacting owners in late September.


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