Honda Motor Company is issuing a vehicle defect recall for more than 344,000 minivans in the United States for unexpected braking. According to a Detroit News report, the recall involves 2007 to 2008 Odyssey minivans that can brake unexpectedly due to flaws in system components and software. The system can build hydraulic pressure in the braking system and the pressure may be released into the brake circuit, causing heavy and unexpected braking without the driver pressing on the brake pedal and without illumination of the brake lamps.
Repairs to Come Later
In June, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened a formal investigation into the matter after getting 22 complaints of incidents of unexpected braking. In some cases, drivers alleged that the vehicle applied the brakes by itself when the gas pedal was pushed. This caused the vehicle speed to drop by about 30 mph.
Honda has also informed NHTSA that it will not be able to fix the vehicles for more than four months due to the “large volume of new parts needed to repair owners’ vehicles.” They say that the parts won’t become available until March 2014. Vehicle owners will get letters in the mail with instructions about procedures that they can follow to properly calibrate the electronic system to prevent an unintended braking event, as well as instructions about what to do if the event occurs while driving.
Auto Product Liability Issues
When a vehicle’s brakes fail to work, we know that it can result in serious injury crashes. However, when the vehicles brakes are applied inadvertently or involuntarily, that can be problematic too. When the vehicle’s speed suddenly comes down by about 30 mph, it can cause a crash as well. It is also interesting to note that Honda is not repairing the cars right away because it does not have the parts available. Anyone who has one of these vehicles would be well advised to take it to a dealer or mechanic right away and get it checked out for any problems.
If you have been injured in a crash, which you suspect was caused by a vehicle defect, please preserve the vehicle in its current condition so that an expert can thoroughly examine it for defects, malfunctions and other evidence. An experienced auto product liability lawyer will be able to advise victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.