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Honda minivan owners cautioned on brakes in recall announcement

Appleton drivers of Honda Motor Company minivans should be aware that the car maker announced plans to recall some 344,000 of its Odyssey models. The recall was over concerns about a software problem that made the vehicle's brakes unexpectedly engage, which could cause auto accidents. The glitch could make it possible for the system known as the Vehicle Stability Assist to apply the brakes on its own under certain conditions. No crashes due to the bug had been reported.

The VSA system is used to calibrate the yaw rate sensor after the minivan's engine is restarted. Driving in a certain way may prevent the VSA from making the expected calibration, and this causes hydraulic pressure to build in the brake system. This can result in pressure being released into the brake circuit, which could make the vehicle brake suddenly without the driver using the brake pedal and without illuminating the rear brake lights.

Honda said that it would be installing new yaw rate sensors in the recalled models in order to fix the VSA system. However, the device was not expected to be available until March 2014. To protect owners of the affected Odyssey minivans in the meantime, the automaker announced that it would be contacting them by mail with instructions on how to make sure the VSA system is calibrating properly when the vehicle is started. A second notice will be distributed when the new sensor is available, which will ask drivers to bring their vehicles to a dealership for free installation of the part.

While the company has taken steps to reduce its liability, an individual who has been injured because of the malfunction may be able to pursue compensation for any costs related to the accident. Such compensation might include funds that reimburse medical expenses and lost wages as well as pain and suffering.

Source: International Business Times, "Honda Recall 2013: Auto Giant Announces Recall Of 344,000 Odyssey Minivans Due To Braking Issue", Andrew Berry, November 02, 2013

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