324,000 Honda Odyssey Models Are Getting Recalled for an Annoying Problem

The Honda Odyssey was first introduced in 1994 as a five-door station wagon. In 1999, the Honda Motor Company gave the Honda Odyssey a significant facelift, including adopting a Chrysler-style minivan format. The original Honda Odyssey fell under the category of Compact Multi-Purpose Vehicle (Compact MPV.) The fifth-generation (RL6 2018 to present) Honda Odyssey was introduced in 2017 at the North American International Auto Show.

A Honda Odyssey minivan recall for 2018 through 2020 models

In an article published in early August by Car Complaints, Honda recalled 324,000 Odyssey minivans. According to the recall notice, water enters the exterior door handle cables for the power sliding doors. A plastic boot that protects the exterior door handle cable may flex and form tiny gaps, allowing moisture intrusion. As a result, the outer sliding door cables freeze, causing the doors not to latch properly.

In 2018, Honda recalled an unspecified number of 2018 through 2019 Odyssey minivans because the Transmission Control Unit (TCU) would unexpectedly reboot. When the TCU rebooted, some owners reported it shifted the transmission to “Park.” If the TCU caused the transmission to shift into Park while driving, the parking rod would most likely suffer severe damage. When parking rods are damaged, the vehicle will roll when parked, increasing the risk of injury or worse if it crashes into something.

Recalls aren’t something new for the Honda Odyssey

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In December 2012, Honda was reportedly “on track for the dubious distinction of having more vehicles involved in safety-related callbacks than any other manufacturer operating in the U.S. for the second year in a row.” According to NBC News, there were 42 separate complaints concerning the 2003 and 2004 Honda Odyssey. Out of those 42 complaints, 26 of them involved the minivan rolling away. Sixteen roll-aways resulted in crashes, with one Odyssey rolling 600 feet before crashing into a brick mailbox.

The 2012 recall covered around 318,000 Honda Odyssey models sold between the 2003 and 2004 model years—close to the number recalled this year. Other vehicles were recalled in 2012, including 230,000 Acura MDXs (sold between 2003 and 2006) and 259,000 Honda Pilots (sold between 2003 and 2004). On top of that, an additional 63,000 vehicles that were sold in other countries during those years were recalled. From 2003 to 2012, NBC News reported that Honda was forced to recall approximately 2.2 million vehicles.

An overview of the 2020 Honda Odyssey

The time has come for many car dealerships to start running “End of Year Car Deals” to make room for New Model Year vehicles. Thus, many buyers will be looking to save some money purchasing a 2020 model. If you’re one of them and have been pondering the 2020 Honda Odyssey, there are a few things to consider.

First, Edmunds gave the 2020 Honda Odyssey a consumer rating of 8.1 out of 10. However, around 13 percent of consumer reviews had some pretty negative things to say about the 2020 Odyssey. One owner complained that they experienced computer problems only 30 days after purchase. They wrote that Honda knew about this issue back in 2018 and 2019 and “have done NOTHING to fix the actual problem and continue to knowingly sell DEFECTIVE CARS.”

Secondly, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) put the 2020 Odyssey’s fuel economy at approximately 22 miles-per-gallon (mpg) combined. All Odyssey trims reportedly get 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, which is average for this minivan segment. According to Edmund’s “mixture of driving,” test drivers reported getting between 14 and 24 mpg.

The 2020 Ford Transit and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid are rated the top two fuel-efficient minivans by Kelley Blue Book. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that the 2020 Pacifica reportedly has a problem of catching fire—which is scary.

Reviewers at Edmonds advise buyers to go for the 2020 Odyssey EX, especially those on a budget. Furthermore, even though Honda offers five trims, don’t expect any significant upgrades unless you buy the Touring or Elite trims. One thing that does set the Odyssey apart from the rest is its V6 engine and smooth 10-speed automatic transmission. 

In addition to that, it features “alert, stable handling” so it feels like you’re driving a sedan rather than a minivan. Lastly, the base model starts at around $30,000, while the Elite four-wheel-drive model costs approximately $47,400.

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