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Honda recalls Pilot and Acura MDX, RL for sudden braking problem

March 14, 2013|By Jerry Hirsch
  • The 2005 Honda Pilot EX is one of several models Honda is recalling to fix a problem with the vehicle stability system.
The 2005 Honda Pilot EX is one of several models Honda is recalling to fix… (Honda Motor Co. )

Honda will recall 182,800 vehicles, including its Pilot sport-utilities, its upscale Acura MDX SUVs and Acura RL sedans, to fix their vehicle stability control system, which could unexpectedly trigger the brakes.

The recall includes 101,000 Pilots, 60,000 MDXs and 21,000 RLs from the 2005 model year and approximately 800 MDXs from the 2006 model year.

Honda said it has received complaints about malfunctions in the vehicle stability assist system in those models but it has not heard of any crashes or injuries cause by the problem.

The automaker said that if an electrical capacitor on the system’s control unit was damaged during manufacture, it could malfunction by applying “a small amount of brake force for a fraction of a second, without any input by the driver.”

Moreover, if a driver is pressing on the brake pedal at the time of the malfunction, the amount of brake force applied could exceed the driver's intent.

“In either instance, unexpected brake activation could increase the risk of a crash,” Honda said.

It will fix the problem by having Honda and Acura dealers install a new electrical sub-harness in the vehicles.

Honda said it would also do an extra inspection of 51,000 of the Pilots to make sure 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.

Honda and Acura customers will be sent letters with details about how to schedule the repair in mid-April. 

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