Five times over the past year, the engine in our 2011 Honda Odyssey has turned off unexpectedly and without warning while the vehicle was in motion. Each time, the moment the engine shut off the steering wheel and brakes immediately locked, leaving us paralyzed and unable to control the vehicle until it coasted to a stop. Most recently, on 9/3/13, the engine shut off unexpectedly while I was turning through a major intersection. There were five young souls in the vehicle when this happened - Blair and Charlotte, age 3, Brett, age 5, Aubrey, age 6 and Will, age, 9. I am listing the names and ages of these children so that both the dealer and Honda of America realize the full magnitude of the safety concern. Thankfully, the Odyssey coasted into a yard without injury to the children or damage to the vehicle. Had the drivers behind me been less cautious or my trajectory been slightly to the right, the outcome could have been significantly different. I was able to park the car and restart it, however, approximately one mile further down the road the engine shut off unexpectedly once again. This was the fifth occurrence over the past year (two additional times this occurred while stopped at a red light and once it occurred while my husband was driving on Interstate 90 in Ohio).
Our 2011 Honda Odyssey has been at Ganley Honda of North Olmsted, Ohio for 13 days. Their computers and road tests have yielded no "evidence" of a problem. Honda of America has now officially closed our case and maintains their stance that our Odyssey is safe to drive. They have informed us that unless we can reproduce the engine malfunction in their presence, the problem does not exist. They are now demanding that we take back possession of the van without identifying or resolving the problem. It has been made very clear to us that witnesses recounting their experiences does not count as "evidence." If the computer does not generate an error code, the problem does not exist. We found one Honda service manager at another dealership who confirmed that this is a known problem, specifically in 2010 and 2011 Honda Odysseys, however, when the engine shuts off it is unable to generate an error code. The car could have been in a catastrophic accident and Honda would claim driver error, not vehicle malfunction. Neither Honda of America nor Ganley Honda are willing to provide us with a safe resolution and we are now in a position where we need to fulfill the remaining 5 months of our lease without a safe vehicle to drive. As loyal Honda owners for almost 17 years, we feel devastated by this. We cannot even begin to express our disappointment, sadness and anger. We have lost sleep and have been physically ill as we have fought for a reasonable, safe solution. We have been encouraged to turn in the lease early towards a new vehicle, however, in that scenario the dealer would flip the car and sell it to another unknowing family without resolution. We have a significant concern over the ethics of this practice and do not want to place another family at risk. We have also found one other local Odyssey owner who experienced the exact same issue, delivered her vehicle to the dealer, and was told there is no evidence of a problem.
Our disappointment in both Ganley Honda of North Olmsted and Honda of America is immeasurable. We feel as though the safety and security of our family is of no concern. After 17 years of loyalty, we will never purchase a vehicle through Ganley Honda again. Please share this information with anyone currently driving a Honda Odyssey as well as anyone currently in the market for a mini-van. We will continue to share our experience with others and will work tirelessly until a reasonable, safe solution is reached. We have filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau as well as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and are in contact with news organizations and other media outlets.