Honda has announced it is recalling more than 300,000 Odyssey minivans because of a problem with the brakes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, the minivan's brakes may be applied unexpectedly by the vehicle's safety assist system. The problem with the braking system apparently involves a combination of software and system components. The NHTSA says that the brakes could unexpectedly be applied in a hard fashion without illuminating the brake lights, which could lead to a car accident.
The vehicles subject to the recall were built between Aug. 8, 2006 and Sept. 8, 2008. Although Honda has said that the problem has not led to any crashes or injuries, the NHTSA has received more than 20 complaints of unexpected braking in the Odyssey minivans, causing the administration to launch an investigation. More than 200 field reports and 100 warranty claims were received by Honda related to the recall.
The recall will not begin until March, 2014, due to the unavailability of parts. When it does begin, dealers will correct the problem by installing updated sensors. Honda has stated it will be sending out a letter notifying owners of the problem. That action will be followed by a second letter when parts become available.
Even though no accidents related to this error have been reported, an unexpected application of the brakes may dramatically increase the likelihood that a vehicle will become involved in an accident, especially if the rear brake lights do not engage as well. Individuals who suffer injury from accidents caused by this malfunction may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against Honda that may cover the cost of medical treatment and other damages.
Source: Auto World News, "Honda Recall: 2007-'08 Odyssey minivans called back over brake issues", Matt Mercuro, December 20, 2013