- Honda is recalling 344,187 2007-'08 Honda Odyssey minivans because the Vehicle Safety Assist System may apply the brakes unexpectedly, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- No crashes or injuries have been linked to the recall, according to Honda.
- Due to a shortage of parts, the recall will not begin until March 2014.
WASHINGTON — Honda is recalling 344,187 2007-'08 Honda Odyssey minivans because the Vehicle Safety Assist System may apply the brakes unexpectedly, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
"Due to a combination of system components and software, the Vehicle Safety Assist System (VSA) may apply the brakes unexpectedly," said NHTSA in its summary of the problem. "The vehicle may suddenly and unexpectedly brake hard, and without illuminating the brake lights, increasing the risk of a crash from behind."
No crashes or injuries have been linked to the recall, according to Honda. The affected vehicles were built from August 8, 2006 through September 8, 2008.
As of June 30, 2013, Honda told federal safety regulators it has received 109 warranty claims and 205 field reports related to the recall. The minivans were the subject of a federal safety probe that began on June 25, 2013. NHTSA received 22 complaints alleging incidents of unexpected braking in 2007-'08 Odyssey minivans.
Some of the complaints alleged that the vehicle suddenly applies the brakes by itself while the accelerator is being applied, causing the vehicle speed to rapidly drop by as much as 30 miles per hour. Five complaints reported that the repairing dealer found a trouble code indicating a problem with the steering-angle sensor, according to NHTSA. Ten complaints report that the dealer was unable to find a trouble code or to diagnose the problem.
Due to a shortage of parts, the recall will not begin until March 2014. An updated yaw sensor will be installed in the minivans to fix the error in the VSA software.
Honda says it will send owners of the affected Odyssey minivans an interim letter telling them how to prevent unexpected braking. The interim letter will tell owners the steps they can take at vehicle startup to help ensure proper VSA system calibration. A second notification will be sent when the parts become available. Owners can contact Honda at 1-800-999-1009.
Edmunds says: There's not much that owners of these Odyssey minivans can do at the moment except to follow the instructions in the interim letter and to wait for parts.