CHICAGO, June 29 The U.S. National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a potential
braking issue with Honda Motor Co's Honda Odyssey
minivans that could cause them to brake without the driver
touching the brake pedal.
Earlier this week, the vehicle safety arm of the U.S.
Department of Transportation said it was opening an
investigation of the issue, which could affect nearly 344,000
vans from the 2007 and 2008 model years.
According to a report on the administration's website, the
agency has received 22 complaints alleging incidents of
unexpected braking, including some complaints in which the car
suddenly brakes by itself while the driver is accelerating,
causing the car speed to quickly fall by as much as 30 miles per
So far, there have not been any crashes or injuries
attributed to the problems, which appear to be related to the
car's vehicle stability assist system, a safety feature that
automatically applies the brakes on sharp turns or when the car
is accelerating on loose or slippery surfaces.
A Honda spokeswoman was not immediately available for
In March, Honda recalled nearly 250,000 vehicles globally
due to similar braking problems. In the United States, the
recalls affected the Acura RL sedan, Acura MDX crossover SUV and
the Honda Pilot SUV, but in Japan, the recall included the
Legend sedan and three types of minivans, including the Odyssey.
Most of those vehicles were made between 2004 and 2005.
As with the current issues seen in the Odyssey, the issue
involved the vehicle stability assist system, which in some
cases could malfunction and apply the brake even when the driver
was not pressing the brake pedal.