The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Honda is recalling 2003 and 2004 model Pilot and Odyssey vehicles and 2003-2006 Acura MDX passenger cars made from Nov. 26, 2001, through Aug. 30, 2006.
The NHTSA said "the interlock lever of the ignition switch may deform, which can allow the interlock function of a vehicle ... to be defeated."
The problem is exclusive to vehicles with automatic transmissions, the NHTSA said.
The consequence of a failed interlock lever is that vehicles can roll away if the keys are removed, but the vehicle's transmission has not been shifted to a park position.
The NHTSA said the recall would begin Feb. 7, 2013, and that Honda would notify owners of the recall.
Honda said it would inspect vehicles and replace ignition switches for free if necessary.
Owners can call 888-327-4236 for information.