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"Top Safety Pick" Honda Odyssey is Recalled

By Rachel Smith

Posted: Mar 22, 2011

Yesterday, the Honda Odyssey became a ground breaking minivan: It is the first member in its class to earn the highest possible safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Translation? The Odyssey is an IIHS “Top Safety Pick,” which means that it received the top score of “Good” in front, side, roof and rear crash tests and has standard electronic stability control. And, it receives a five star overall rating – the highest possible – from NHTSA.

These ratings are great for any car, but as a minivan, the Odyssey gets more bragging rights. Minivans are all about carrying families, so having the best safety ratings goes a long way toward reassuring moms and dads that the Odyssey is the best choice for moving their brood.

But, the insurance industry and federal government’s accolades are paired with some deflating news for Honda: The automaker is recalling 33,341 Odysseys from the 2011 model year to replace the front windshield wiper linkage rod. This recall doesn’t revoke the Odyssey’s status as a “Top Safety Pick” or its five-star overall rating.

Honda explains, “If the windshield wipers are frozen to the windshield with heavy ice and the wipers are switched on without freeing them from the windshield, the wiper linkage rod may be bent. A bent wiper linkage rod may prevent normal operation of the front wipers, inhibiting the driver's forward view in inclement weather. No crashes or injuries have been reported related to this defect.”

Honda will begin the recall in the middle of next month. Once owners received a notification from Honda, they should take their vehicle to their local dealer. Honda adds that “in addition to contacting customers by mail, in mid-April, owners of these vehicles will be able to determine if their vehicles require repair by going on-line to or by calling (800) 999-1009, and selecting option 4.”

Owners may also reach NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to Home | Safercar -- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

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