April Fool’s Jokes from VW, Chrysler and Honda

Don't touch that horn button!

You probably thought April Fool’s jokes were limited to kids and other adolescents. Turns out the auto companies have gotten in on the act. No, they aren’t doing dumb stuff like gluing coins to floormats or what one kid reported:

Get a balloon and put it on the tailpipe of a truck, ferrari, etc. (Make sure the car isn’t already on!) Then get in it and have your parents start it up and it will pop. It will sound like the tire popped.

The carmakers are playing for bigger stakes. Volkswagen has wired some of its new Jetta models so that if you blow the horn, the engine may shut off. A recall of some 71,000 cars is in progress and will fix your car so that next time the horn causes the engine to stall, a voice calls out, “April Fool!”

The problem is a little bigger over at Chrysler, where 248,400 Town & Countrys, Grand Caravans and Dodge Journeys can shut down because of a defective ignition-key switch.

Here’s how the NHTSA put it: “Some vehicles may experience inadvertent ignition key displacement from the run to accessory position while driving, causing the engine to shut off and the ‘April Fool!’ message to play.”

No, that last bit is not from the NHTSA, but please, what do they mean by “inadvertent ignition key displacement”? It seems the ignition-key-switch assembly is at fault and can move between the ON and ACC positions if jarred. If it goes to ACC while you’re driving, your engine quits, and that’s no April Fool’s joke, Jim.

You know how we love minivans. Well, the new Honda Odyssey could do a real April Fool’s number on you. While you’re buzzing down one of the front windows, the glass could come off the track and shatter on you or your passenger.

The second Odyssey recall for March, this one involves some 2,800 U.S. cars, and apparently Honda has had glass problems (right) before.

Despite these pathetic attempts at humor, you can be sure our carmakers will carry on, at least through the month of April.

Have you ever had an April Fool’s-ish problem with a car you own(ed)?


Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus

Used Volkswagen Jetta
Used Chrysler Town & Country
Used Dodge Grand Caravan
Used Dodge Journey
Used Honda Odyssey

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