• Oct 27, 2009
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has upgraded their preliminary probe into an issue with the Honda Odyssey to an engineering analysis. The agency has received more than 500 complaints about a braking problem, with drivers saying the pedal gets soft or spongy. According to reports on ten crashes that have been submitted, the van in some cases hasn't stopped as it should.

The years in question are the 2006-2008 Odysseys. The problem being looked at is whether air entering the brake lines is degrading brake performance. Honda says air might enter the lines, but that wouldn't change the operation of the brakes. This is not a recall, merely an analysis, and there is no indication yet that a recall will be necessary. Later model vans are being looked at most closely, and NHTSA should release its findings soon.

[Source: Reuters]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wait, Honda says air might enter the system and if it does, that should NOT affect performance? Really? Then why the hell do people bleed their lines and purge for air when we change the brake fluid? So I should just run the system on air then... why buy brake fluid?

      As for brake performance, could some of the braking problems possibly be from the soccer moms doing 90 mph and then thinking they can stop this giant bread box like a F1 car? Or maybe the yelling kids in back made you jam on the gas instead of the brakes and so there was "no braking" whatsoever because you were ACCELERATING ?!?!?!?!?!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have a 2008 Ody. We had the antilock brake modulator assembly replaced (free of charge) because our brakes were so soft that they would go to the floor during two near miss accidents. The brakes were fine for less than a day before they were soft again. My wife won't drive the vehicle period, and I won't tow our tent trailer because the vehicle just doesn't stop like any of our previous vehicles have.

      I figured we got a bad part, but now I see that I'm not alone.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Honda doesn't suck... they're just starting to slip."

      Ironic choice of words if you look into problems Odys have had with transmissions.
      • 5 Years Ago
      LOL - for some reason when I read the title, all I could think of was "Why is the NHTSA worried about a 30 year old ATV?"

      http://www.sportwheel.com/dirtbike%20images/53106%207971%20Honda%20Odyssey%20250%20$2499.jpg

      • 5 Years Ago
      NHTSA says air entering the lines shouldn't degrade braking performance.

      Really? Are you sure about that NHSTA? Everytime I've bled my brakes I get nothing but a firmer pedal and more sorted feeling brakes myself.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Denial is not a river in Egypt. Honda is pretty stupid to say that air in the lines does not degrade brake performance. Must be a transration probrem.
        • 5 Years Ago
        no doubt. That goes against the very principle of hydraulics.
        • 5 Years Ago
        But it was not the NHTSA who said that. It was Honda who indicated that.

        "Honda has said air may indeed accumulate after the engine is started but that the condition would not worsen braking performance even if the height and feel of the pedal is different at times."
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      yeah .. of course air in oil based hydrolics is a huge red flag.
      at least Honda was honest about it.

      it is kind-of like saying some bolts fell off the steering, but that should not be reason for concern.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I own a 2007 Odyssey, so me interest is piqued.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's why I went with the base model, I prefer to close my own doors. Although my wife with 2 children under the age of 3 disagrees.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I have a 2005, I wonder what changed between models years? I know the 05's are pretty close to the 06's and so on. Brakes work good though so far. Power sliding doors? Not so much, I'm sending my Honda up to the shop today to fix that. Nothing like having a sliding minivan door stuck open with no way to manually close it (and a preschooler who's later for class).
      • 5 Years Ago
      Meh. Every time there's an article about an investigation or recall, there's always somebody ready and willing to spout off with a thoughtful, one-line, "[XYZ Company] sucks!!!" response. For the most part, I categorize these responses along with the d-bag hocking Ugg boots and Coach handbags.

      Could Honda do better? I'm sure they could. But over the years I've owned 6 different Hondas, including 2 different Odys, and it's not an exaggeration to state that I've done little more than change the oil and replace wear items. And I've never been stranded with any sort of failure. Never. Sure, that's all antecdotal, but that's a track record I'm willing to stick with until I'm proven wrong. And if you think that 'sucks', then I applaud your impossibly high standards.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Personally, I think it's an issue with all the fanbois decrying the "competition", when in truth, all companies have their share of issues.

        So when one company comes out with an issue, the "opposition" jumps on a bandwagon claiming "OMG see!"
      • 5 Years Ago
      And PS...the rear brake problem on 09 Accords isn't all that premature..it depends on how often the ABS and electronic stability program kicks in. Yes the pads are relatively soft (replace them with a decent set of Hawk pads and problem goes away!) but the pads on our 00 4.2 Audi A6 also go every 20-25K miles. And replacing THEM also involves replacing rotors under Audi recommendation (relatively small 1mm per side wear limits...ignore it). Not a big deal for the first 50K maintenance free warranty on the car, but afterwards, not so much.

      It doesn't have to be that way. Manual transmission Honda Civics in the 90's went over 100K miles with OEM brakes (SgtMajor in my office got 198K with 500 mi/week commute on weekends from DC to Roanoke) and my own M3 BMW is over 67K miles with more than half the OEM brake pad left.

      So yes, Honda could do better.
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