My 2015 Honda Odyssey was parked in a parking lot and rear-ended. It was in park, but it was pushed forward about 25 feet when hit.

After the collision, putting the vehicle in park works as it did before: the car doesn’t move. But I am concerned that some damage may have been done to the transmission in the collision. Is it likely that the transmission was damaged? I was wondering if perhaps there might be some protective mechanism that takes the vehicle out of park when something like this happens (although, when I got in the vehicle after the collision, the lever itself was still in the “park” position).

Unfortunately, I did not witness the accident, and I did not check to see if there were skid marks where the vehicle had moved. So I don’t know whether the vehicle slid forward or rolled. It collided with another vehicle in front of it, which I presume is what stopped it from moving.

  • 1
    Get the garage doing the repair / estimate to inspect transmission for the insurance claim.
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 22, 2021 at 4:59
  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! There's no real protective mechanism. The parking spawl will hold the wheels in place. If it did move 25' as you suggested, that's a pretty good hit. Then to hit another parked car up front, I'd be surprised if the vehicle isn't totalled. It sounds as if nobody was in the vehicle, which is a very fortunate thing. As Mike stated, make sure the transmission and drivetrain are inspected as they took a pretty big hit as well. Mar 22, 2021 at 9:25

1 Answer 1


There are a series of videos on the 'net for vehicle towing operations. In many of the videos, the vehicle is locked, in park, and towed. One can see the differential working in that the wheel on the visible side is rotating in reverse, while ostensibly the opposite wheel is turning in the direction of travel. One such collection is gtoger, but there are many others.

The issue here, I believe, would be the parking pawl, as there is a difference between a gradual tow and an impact. If the impact was severe enough, one would expect the pawl to be snapped, and the vehicle would move while in park. Additionally, one could expect the pawl to be damaged to the point where it would no longer disengage.

It's promising for this situation to note that neither of these conditions appear to have happened. If it's possible to examine the surface on which the vehicle was moved, one may observe tire scrubbing for the reverse-spinning wheel, as well as on the tire. This would further reinforce the lack of damage.

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