— Honda is recalling 57,000 Odyssey minivans with transmissions that may shift into PARK while driving, with 50,500 minivans recalled in the U.S. and 6,500 needing repairs in Canada.
Low-voltage conditions can cause the transmission control units in the 2018-2019 minivans to suddenly reboot and send the transmissions into PARK, damaging the parking rods and allowing the minivans to roll away while parked.
Honda traced the problem to November 2017 when a complaint was received about a minivan that lost electrical power while the Odyssey was being driven, something blamed on loose battery terminal connections. The automaker updated assembly line procedures to ensure the terminal connections were tightened properly.
In February 2018, Honda received the first claim of a minivan shifting to PARK while being driven in Mexico, then in March a second similar complaint came in from the U.S.
The automaker opened an internal investigation and in April and May received two more claims about Odyssey minivans that shifted into PARK while driven, with both reports coming from the U.S. market.
The investigation indicated voltage levels were too low and causing the transmission control units to reboot, forcing the transmissions into PARK while the minivans were moving.
Honda hypothesized the problem occurred during shipping of the minivans since the majority of the claims were discovered during pre-delivery inspections. However, more reports arrived and one of those reports proved nothing occurred during shipping and handling of the Odyssey.
In January 2019, Honda updated the transmission control unit software during mass production so the transmissions shifted to NEUTRAL instead of PARK when the control units rebooted. Engineers finally confirmed low-voltage conditions occurred when both condenser fans activated, causing the transmission control units to reboot.
Although no crashes or injuries are related to the problem, Honda has received 10 warranty claims and 53 field reports about the Odyssey transmission problems.
The Honda Odyssey transmission recall will begin in the U.S. June 1, 2019. Honda dealerships will verify the battery terminal connections are secure and technicians will update the transmission control software. In addition, Honda will replace the transmission if the parking gear doesn't work correctly.
Odyssey owners in the U.S. may call 888-234-2138 and refer to recall numbers Z4J or Y4K. If you own an affected Honda Odyssey in Canada and have questions, call the automaker at 888-946-6329.
CarComplaints.com has complaints from drivers of Honda Odyssey minivans.