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article imageNHTSA investigates Honda Odyssey involuntary braking problem

By Jessica Zuzierla     Jul 14, 2013 in Technology
The American Honda Motor Co. announced that it and the NHTSA is investigating 22 complaints made about the Honda Odyssey's braking system. This announcement is the third of its kind in a month.
The American Honda Motor Co. is back in the news, and this time because of an investigation into a potential braking problem, says a Reuters report. This investigation affects the Odyssey minivan of model years 2007 and 2008.
According to the U.S. National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, the administration launched an official investigation (PDF) on June 25 into the Honda Odyssey’s electronic stability control. The investigation comes after the NHSTA received 22 separate complaints about the minivan’s problems, and on the same day the company announced the 2014 Odyssey would be available beginning July 2.
The NHTSA report states that all 22 complainants say that the brakes activate automatically, without having pressed the brake pedal. The investigation report also states that:
Some complaints allege that the vehicle suddenly applies the brakes by itself while the accelerator is being applied, causing the vehicle speed to drop by as much as 30 mph in a very brief amount of time.
The NHTSA also reports that of the 22 complaints, 5 complainants reported that the dealer hired to fix the brake problem by the respective owners found a steering angle sensor problem, and another 10 found nothing specifically wrong with the minivans. So far, affected minivans include the 2007 and 2008 Honda Odyssey model years, and Reuters reports that though safety regulators are looking into almost 344,000 minivans in these model years, 143,083 of which are located in the U.S., no one has reported crashing because of the issue to date.
Other recent Honda problems
The Odyssey investigation comes in the wake of three other Honda recalls, two of which also occurred in June. According to a Honda press release, the company issued a voluntary recall for 18,352 Acura RSXs, all of which also had a problem with the Brake Booster, which reduced braking power.
Called the "Brake Booster" recall, n this case, the problem was in reduced braking power. Specifically, the report states that
“The vehicle may require additional brake pedal force to prevent a lengthened stopping distance, increasing the risk of a crash.”
This recall affected Acura RSX model years 2006, includes 5,239 Honda S2000s for the same reason, and Honda will begin customer notification in the middle of July.
Honda issued a statement regarding the recent June recall of more than 700,000 Fit hatchbacks,. In this case, the model years include 2007 and 2008 Fits, reports Digitriad. The report states that the Fit’s problem is:
“The master switch in the driver's door because rain, snow or other moisture can get in the door and damage the switch, causing it Honda advises owners to park their Fits outdoors until the switch is inspected for damage.”
Honda's reports about the issue states that this recall is expanded, and fixes the same issue that the company determined was inadequately dealt with at the time. That recall took place in 2010.
Digitriad also reports that General Motors has seen the same master switch issue in a number of its Sport Utility Vehicle brands, some of which include Buick Rainier, Chevy Trailblazer, Isuzu Ascender, and the Saab among others, Digitriad reports. Each of the SUVs recalled fall within the 2005 – 2007 model years.
The NHTSA reports show that this is the second recall of the same General Motors vehicles for the same problems n the space of a year, once in August 2012, and again June 2013.
Edmund reports that a spokesperson from Honda said that the investigation is in its early stages, and when investigators determine anything, the spokesperson would make another statement.
Until such time that a determination is made by the NHTSA, Edmund suggests that Odyssey owners having similar problems should contact the dealer from which it was purchased, but owners without immediate issues should wait for an official determination announcement.
Honda Motors Co. and the NHTSA continue to investigate the claims, and full complaint and investigation details are available on the NHTSA website, as is the general complaint form.
More about Honda, honda odyssey, honda brakes, bad brakes, honda recall
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