A problem reported with the Vehicle Safety Assist (VSA) System has prompted Honda and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue a recall for Odyssey minivans from the 2007 and 2008 model years. Due to a failure with its stability control system, the 2007-2008 Odyssey could brake without warning.
A notice on the NHTSA website puts the number of vehicles potentially affected by the recall at 344,187. Affected vehicles were built from August 8, 2006 through September 8, 2008.
According to the Honda documentation (PDF), the problem is due to a combination of Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system components and software “unique” to 2007-2008 model year Odyssey vehicles that may make it possible for the VSA to “apply the brakes unexpectedly.”
Yaw sensors on 2007-2008 Honda Odyssey models can allow the brakes to build hydraulic pressure if they fail to calibrate the vehicle’s physical orientation and steering angle on each startup.
Honda said it had received 109 warranty claims and 205 additional reports of sudden braking starting in April 2012. No injuries or accidents have been reported, Honda said.
However in order to fix the issue, Honda says that it did not have any new yaw sensors available and dealers would not fix the cars until parts arrive in March 2014.
In the interim, Honda will send out letters to owners of these vehicles outlining steps they can take to ensure the system is properly calibrated each time the vehicle is started. Those instructions should be available on www.recalls.honda.co?m or by calling Honda at 1-800-999-1009.