Honda recalls nearly 182,000 2005-2006 Pilots and Acura MDX and RL models over unintended braking

Honda of America has issued a recall for some 101,000 model year 2005 Honda Pilots, 60,000 model year 2005-2006 Acura MDXs, and 21,000 model year 2005 Acura RLs for a defect involving the car’s Vehicle Stability Assist, or just plain stability control as its called outside of Honda’s patented vernacular.

No crashes or bad experiences have been reported, however Honda has confirmed to have received several complaints of malfunctions with the system.

Their investigation found that a specific capacitor in the VSA’s computer may have been damaged during manufacturing, which could cause the system to derp flip out and perhaps even subtly apply brake pressure without any input from the driver.

Additionally, greater braking effort than intended by the driver could also be experienced, which is part of the VSA’s ability to automatically assist the driver’s braking according to input.

Honda and Acura dealers have been mandated to fix the issue free of charge. And that fix is the installation of a new wiring sub-harness. Honda will also inspect various electrical ground points for the VSA computer to make sure that the unintended braking issues don’t occur from poorly managed electrical signals.

For the full pres release, have a look below.

Statement by American Honda Regarding Vehicle Stability Assist Recall: 2005 Honda Pilot; 2005-2006 Acura MDX and 2005 Acura RL

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 and or by calling (800) 999-1009 for Honda owners or (800) 382-2238 for Acura owners, and selecting option 4.

– By: Chris Chin