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Honda to recall 871,000 vehicles for roll-away problem

Honda Motor Co. Ltd. introduced the Acura luxury division's first SUV, the 2001 MDX, September 14, 2000 to automotive press in Detroit. REUT
Honda Motor Co. Ltd. introduced the Acura luxury division's first SUV, the 2001 MDX, September 14, 2000 to automotive press in Detroit. REUT

(Reuters) - Honda Motor Co will recall 871,000 vehicles that could roll away after the ignition key has been removed, including 807,000 in the United States, the company said on Wednesday.

The automaker said a part in the ignition interlock could become damaged or worn, enabling the key to be removed even if the vehicle's transmission lever has not been shifted into 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 in a statement.

Honda said the recall affects 318,000 Odyssey minivans and 259,000 Pilot crossovers from model years 2003-2004, and 230,000 Acura MDX crossovers from model years 2003-2006. The recall also includes 64,000 Honda vehicles outside the United States.

U.S. safety investigators in October opened a probe into the 2003-2004 Odyssey and Pilot after receiving 43 consumer complaints, including several reports of injuries, related to the ignition switch.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 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 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.

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

(Reporting By Paul Lienert in Detroit; editing by John Wallace)

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