December 13, 2012 5:03 pm

Honda recalls 871,000 vehicles

Honda is recalling 871,000 vehicles to fix a fault that could cause them to roll away after they have been parked.

The Japanese carmaker said most of the affected vehicles, about 807,000, were in the US, its largest market. US regulators said they had received 43 complaints about the problem, which has been linked to injuries.

Quality problems at Honda have largely escaped public attention amid the more frenetic recall crisis at Toyota, its larger Japanese rival, in 2010-2011. But Honda has had its problems too: last year it recalled 2.5m vehicles because of a faulty part in the automatic transmissions that could cause engines to stall.

This time, Honda said a part in the recalled vehicles’ ignition system could become damaged or worn, enabling drivers to remove the key even if the automatic transmission was not safely 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,” the company said.

The recall affects Odyssey minivans and Pilot crossovers vehicles from the model years 2003-2004, and Acura MDX crossovers from 2003-2006.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it had investigated complaints that Honda vehicles had rolled away to hit objects such as parked cars, fences and trees. One person reported suffering a fractured leg after being struck by a rolling vehicle.

Honda said it would begin sending recall notices to owners in February.

Last month Toyota recalled nearly 2.8m vehicles to fix faulty steering columns and a potentially hazardous wiring problem, its second multimillion-car recall in two months, raising questions about whether it has put its recent quality problems behind it.

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