• Mar 16th 2010 at 2:31PM
  • 33
Honda Element – Click above for high-res image gallery

Honda has announced a recall for some 410,000 vehicle due to a defect with the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) module. According to the automaker, 344,00 Odysseys and 68,000 Elements (MY 2007-2008) are affected by the problem and owners will be notified via mail this April to take their vehicles into dealers.

The issue with the VSA results in a softening sensation through brake pedal and a longer pedal travel that requires owners to apply more pressure to bring their vehicles to a halt. The condition worsens over time as the stability control system lets a small amount of air into the braking system. Full details on the problem, including Honda's recall hotline, are available after the jump.

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Statement by American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Regarding VSA Modulator Recall

03/16/2010 - TORRANCE, Calif.

Honda will recall approximately 344,000 Odyssey and 68,000 Element vehicles from the 2007-2008 model years in the U.S. to modify the Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) modulator. Honda has received customer complaints of brake pedals that feel "soft" or that gradually exhibit a pedal height that gets lower (closer to the floor) before the vehicle stops. In affected vehicles, this condition tends to very slowly increase over time.

Some VSA modulators were assembled in a manner that could allow air intrusion, making it possible for air to enter the modulator during the VSA self-check mode. While only a miniscule amount of air can enter the system during each check, over a period of months or years, the air will accumulate and can result in the "soft brake pedal" or "low brake pedal" condition symptoms associated with this issue. Although not all vehicles being recalled are affected by this issue, we are recalling all possible units to assure all customers that their vehicles will perform correctly.

Honda is announcing this recall to encourage all owners of these vehicles to take their vehicle to an authorized dealer as soon as they receive notification from Honda that their vehicle is affected. Notification to customers will start at the end of April.

Once owners of these vehicles receive written notification of this recall from Honda, they should contact their authorized Honda dealer to schedule an appointment for repair. When Honda identifies concerns of this nature, nothing is more important to the company than fulfilling our obligation and responsibility to alert our customers. To this end in addition to contacting customers by mail, after April 19, 2010, owners of these vehicles will be able to determine if their vehicle requires repair by going on-line or calling. Honda owners can go to www.recalls.honda.com or call (800) 999-1009, and select option 4.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      maybe we should go back to cables and carburetors...that actually sounds like a hit song title! would have to be country or emo indy rock
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sounds great! And interiors like the 1967 Shelby GT500. But wait we can't do that. People are too attached to their touchscreen poking, status updating, zombie phones. They need to feel connected to the touchscreen in the car, not the car itself.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is SimpleCar mmlist with a new username?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Can't stop in your Japanese car? You're not kidding.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The problem is not the brakes....its that huge touchscreen.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's not honda's only brake problems...

        • 5 Years Ago

        Haha! Right! Its like automakers are so concerned about all these pointless "features" they call luxury, that they forget about the basics(accelerate, stop, handling, etc.) Boardroom meetings go like this nowawday, "Alright folks. Here's our touchscreen. Now i need you guys to build a car around this."
      • 5 Years Ago
      This recall includes Canadian vehicles, too, and affects 24,680 Odysseys and 4,137 Elements from the 2007-08 model year.

      • 5 Years Ago
      So this is right after Autoblog released a review of the Honda Element?

      How... interesting.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Would this not also include 2006 models? Or did they upgrade or change the part in 2007. My car just last week lost control off the side of a mountain. It sounds like the problem that was noticed in the 07 and 08 models would have been a cause for this? Any thoughts?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think they need to look at CRV's too. We had a 2005 that almost rolled through a stop sign a month or two after purchase (only a few thousand miles) because the brake pedal went to the floor (soft pedal) before stopping. I took it back to the dealer right away and they said they couldn't find anything wrong with it, and indeed the problem never reoccurred. I wondered what could have caused the issue - ABS gone wrong? But that model year had VSA and now I'm wondering if the same issue now identified in the Odyssey wasn't involved in my mini-incident.

      BTW, we traded in our 2007 Odyssey a few months ago for a Tiguan. The Odyssey and Honda service were a little disappointing to us. The Odyssey used to knock going up even slight inclines, the tires wore unevenly on the front (and the dealership never mentioned it to us despite regular services). Turns out the Odyssey had a tech bulletin for reflashing the ECM - never mentioned to us until I complained a few times - and the front wheels were out of alignment - probably delivered that way, it was my wife's car and only driven 3,000 miles each year (we changed oil every 1,500 miles!). And oh yeah, the paint was getting worn off the wheels from the car wash - a good car wash with sprays, brushes, etc. that have never hurt any other car, and that didn't hurt anything on the car but the wheels - which must have had subpar paint.

      I've suspected for years that Japanese makers are over-rated, and try to hide their problems. Toyota has been one big confirmation of my suspicions.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's almost like 2007 rolled around and the auto makers just stopped trying.

      "Sir, I'm not sure we're doing a good enough job on these brakes."

      "It's cool. The whole industry got together and decided to ignore brakes and accelerators. Let's just make sure the they can hook up their iPods to the stereos."
        • 5 Years Ago

        Ipods and crap like that is all they care about.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Or at Least, Honda and Toyota did, because thats about the time Ford and Hyundai started getting noticed for their improved products.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, Kinda funny, when i brought my wifes element to the dealer for mushy pedal and the fact that I the truck blew thru 3 sets of REAR brakes only @ 50k, they told me

      "they are all like that its Normal."

      • 5 Years Ago
      Come on Ford you're doing good staying out the public eye regarding recalls! All the late night comedians have been having a field day joking about the car recalls and Ford has not been on the receiving end of none of them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That because Ford recently called their braking problem fix a
        "Customer Satisfaction Program" instead of a recall.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Finally! Damn gets so pissed with our brakes i would stand on them and hardly does anything and then you get this annoyingly loud groaning noise from the brakes. I hope this recall fixes this crap
        • 5 Years Ago
        i wonder if they'll replace my pads too because of this I seriously thought that the pad material on this car sucked so that's why it was so hard to stop it and i'm sure we've glazed the rotors
        • 5 Years Ago
        where were you when everyone here that likes toyota said they want to switch to Honda
        could ahve saved them a trip to the Honda dealer

        just kidding

        seems like everyone is out doing their recalls while Toyota is in the hot seat
        assures them a lot of negative press

        • 5 Years Ago
        @ foo

        If you don't ask, you'll never know.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This is a known problem with the Element. There was actually a TSB issued to replace the VSA and bleed the brake system. Now it's a full blown recall. Good of Honda to do that unlike other manufacturers... including BMW.
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