American Honda announced it will recall close to 190,000 vehicles due to problems with the brakes. The manufacturer reports the brake may engage without input by the driver while the car is in motion. The recall includes the 2005 model year Honda Pilot, Acura MDX and Acura RL vehicles and the 2006 model year Acura MDX vehicle.
Honda reports the problem appears to originate with the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system. According to an official news release, “If an electrical capacitor on the VSA control unit was damaged during manufacture, the VSA system could malfunction and apply a small amount of brake force for a fraction of a second, without any input by the driver.” Additionally, if the driver does apply the brakes during a VSA malfunction, the brake force may exceed the driver’s expectations.
This malfunction may increase the risk of a crash. No crashes or injuries have been reported to date in relation to this defect.
Owners of affected vehicles will be able to take them to a Honda or Acura dealer for installation of a new electrical sub-harness, free of charge. Some of the Pilot vehicles also will be inspected to make sure an electrical ground bolt for the VSA system is properly tightened. A loose bolt may cause a similar case of unexpected braking.
Recall notices will be mailed to owners of affected vehicles beginning in mid-April 2013. Additional information is available online at www.recalls.honda.com and www.recalls.acura.com or by calling (800) 999-1009 for Honda owners or (800) 382-2238 for Acura owners, and selecting option 4.