Honda Recalls 250,000 Vehicles Worldwide Due To Braking Malfunction

Four Honda models are affected as Honda recalls 250,000 vechiles. The four models where made between 2004 and 2005 and include the Odyssey minivan, Acura RL sedan, Acura MDX crossover SUV and Honda Pilot SUV. The reason for the Honda recall is the stability assist system may malfunction causing the brake to operate even when the driver is not pressing the brake pedal. The problem may also cause the vehicle to brake more strongly than the driver intends.

Honda-Recalls-Ohio-Personal-Injury-Attorney-Cochran-Firm-OhioIn response to a faulty brake petition filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA, Honda recalls 250,000 2004 and 2005 vehicles worldwide. Arlington, Mass. Honda owner Carrie Carvalho filed a petition with the NHTSA because she was angry and afraid about the possibility that her Honda’s brakes would automatically engage.

In response to her petition, the agency opened an investigation and followed that with a preliminary evaluation in October 2012. In February 2013, the NHTSA upgraded their investigation to an engineering analysis. When an engineering analysis is filed, many automakers issue a recall. That’s exactly what Honda did.

Ms. Carvalho’s formal defect petition forced the NHTSA to investigate her concerns, and Honda responded by recalling about 183,500 vehicles in the US. The automaker also recalled an additional 65,000 vehicles in Japan, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Mexico. Recalled models include 2004 and 2005 Honda Pilots SUVs and Odyssey minivans as well as Acura MDX crossover SUVs and RL sedans.


About the Honda Recall

Honda maintains it does not know about any injuries or accidents related to the brake problem. The company did issue a recall, however, on vehicles with a faulty Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), also known as Electronic Stability Control. The VSA is part of the vehicle’s electronic stability control system that detects when the vehicle slides in the opposite direction of the steering wheel’s angle. When the vehicle slides, the system automatically engages the brake as it attempts to correct the vehicle’s course. According to Honda, the faulty systems in the recalled vehicles include a damaged electrical capacitor and may include a loose electrical ground bolt.

In addition to the defective parts on the VSA, drivers may panic and apply the brakes when the VSA is engaged. That extra brake pressure engages the vehicle’s brake assist feature. It’s designed to detect sudden braking and compensate by applying full braking power. The brake assist feature became standard on vehicles in response to accidents when drivers did not fully apply the brake during emergency stops.


Faulty Brake Petition Launched Recall

Ms. Carvalho owns a 2005 Pilot. After she experienced involuntary braking, she became one of six people who filed a defect petition in 2012. Typically, vehicle owners who experience problems file a complaint with the NHTSA, but she looked into the issue and found 38 complaints already on file. Since the safety agency appeared to be ignoring the problem and Honda didn’t acknowledge any issue, she took her complaint to the next level and filed a defect petition.

Honda does not acknowledge that Ms. Carvahlo is responsible for the recall, but they did not start monitoring the problem until she complained.

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