Normally this isn’t a problem, as an interlock mechanism is supposed to prevent removing the key from the ignition unless the car is in park in the first place. However, the mechanism in the above vehicles can wear down over time, allowing drivers to pull the key out even if the car isn’t in Park, and even if it’s still running. If the car isn’t in Park and the parking brake isn’t set, the vehicle could roll away, potentially causing a serious accident if it were to find its way into traffic. Honda says that it is aware of several malfunctions and a small number of incidents, including two with minor injuries.
According to the statement issued by Honda, approximately 318,000 Odyssey and 259,000 Pilot models built from 2003-2004 are affected. The Acura MDX recall covers 230,000 vehiclese, and a couple more model years, spanning from 2003-2006. Honda and Acura will send out notices to owners beginning in February 2013, which will instruct them where to take their vehicles for the free repair. If you can’t wait until February to find out if your car will be recalled, you can go online to Honda’s recall website or call (800) 999-1009 ; Acura owners can visit Acura’s site, or call (800) 382-2238 and select option 4. Be sure to have your model’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) handy.
In the meantime, take extra care to put your vehicle in Park, and to set the parking brake, before walking away.