Drivers have reported a malfunction to Honda's Vehicle Stability Assist system, though to date, no crashes or injuries have been reported as a result of it. Some of the vehicles' Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) control units may have an electric capacitor that was damaged during manufacture. A damaged control unit could cause the VSA system to apply brake force for a "fraction of a second" without any driver input, or could add additional brake force if it malfunctions while the driver is already braking. Either example could increase the risk of a crash.
To fix the issue, Honda will install a new electrical sub-harness, free of charge to the owner. The recall specifies 101,000 Honda Pilot (pictured), 60,000 Acura MDX and 21,000 Acura RL vehicles from the 2005 model year will be affected. An additional 800 MDX crossovers from the 2006 model year are also included in the recall. In addition, 51,000 of the affected 2005 Pilots will be inspected to be sure that a ground bolt for the VSA system is properly tight. Should this bolt come lose, similar unexpected brake activation may occur.
The Detroit News is reporting that the same recall will affect nearly 250,000 Hondas from model years 2004 through 2006 worldwide: 56,000 in Japan, 8,000 in Canada, 1,000 in Australia, 300 in Mexico and 70 in Germany.
American Honda will recall approximately 101,000 Honda Pilot vehicles, 60,000 Acura MDX vehicles and 21,000 Acura RL vehicles from the 2005 model year and approximately 800 Acura MDX vehicles from the 2006 model year in the U.S. to address potential malfunctions of the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system in these vehicles. Honda has received several complaints about such malfunctions in these vehicles. No crashes or injuries have been reported related to this issue.
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. Further, if the driver applies the brakes during a VSA system malfunction, the amount of brake force applied could exceed the driver's intended input. In either instance, unexpected brake activation could increase the risk of a crash. To remedy this potential issue, Honda and Acura dealers will install a new electrical sub-harness, free of charge.
Additionally, approximately 51,000 of the included Pilot vehicles will also be inspected to ensure that an electrical ground bolt for the VSA system is properly tightened. A loosened ground bolt may cause similar short periods of unexpected brake activation, increasing the risk of a crash. If the bolt is not properly tightened, the Honda dealer will properly torque the bolt, free of charge.
Honda is announcing this recall to encourage owners of all affected vehicles to take their vehicles to an authorized dealer as soon as they receive notification of this recall from American Honda. Mailed notification to customers will be sent in mid-April 2013. In addition to contacting customers by mail, at that time, owners of vehicles from the affected model years will be able to determine if their vehicles require repair by going on-line to 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.