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NHTSA opens an investigation of Honda Odyssey liftgates

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a preliminary investigation into the Honda Odyssey minivan over a concern that the power rear liftgate can close suddenly and without prompting from whoever is working with the vehicle – leading to several injuries from these liftgates hitting people unexpectedly.


This new investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration pertains to 2009 model year Honda Odyssey minivans and it is based on seven complaints of the power rear liftgate closing suddenly. In two of these seven complaints, the complainants stated that they were injured after being struck by the suddenly closing power liftgate.

At face value, the thought of the Honda Odyssey liftgate swinging down and bonking someone on the head seems like a humorous segment out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon but if there was a young child getting something out of the 2009 Odyssey when the gate decided to close suddenly, there could be a great chance of severe injury. The NHTSA report of the new investigation did not go into detail as to how severe the injuries caused by this Honda issue were but in light of these seven reports, the NHTSA is swooping in to see if there is an engineering or design flaw causing the problem.

This investigation of the 2009 Honda Odyssey is the first step in the process that could eventually lead to a full scale recall. Depending on what the NHTSA finds, they could either require Honda to issue a recall of roughly 20,000 2009 model year Odyssey minivans but depending on what Honda decides during the investigation, the Japanese automaker might just step in and issue a recall to prevent further damages to be caused by the issue.

Thanks to Donnie D for the heads up!

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