It looks like the auto industry's case of recall-itis is still contagious: Honda has now announced it will recall 344,000 Honda Odyssey minivans and 68,000 Honda Element crossovers manufactured for the 2007 and 2008 model years. For a concern over the vehicles' brakes.
According to the automaker, "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."
Apparently, very small amounts of air can find their way into the models' "Vehicle Stability Assist modulators" when those systems are performing routine self-checks. Problems can then occur if too much air builds up in the modulators. However, Honda has clearly indicated that the problem is only a potential one that does not necessarily affect all the vehicles being recalled.
Honda customers can expect an official notification of the recall by the end of the February; the automaker also has announced that, after April 19, customers can call (800) 999-1009 or log on to Honda's website to see if their vehicles are involved.
The current Honda Odyssey, which is not among those affected by this latest issue, was the best-selling minivan in America in 2009 and remains a strong sales performer for the automaker this year. In February, Odyssey sales increased 11.4 percent over the same time in 2009. February also saw the debut of a significantly revised 2011 Odyssey at the Chicago Auto Show; the new minivan is expected to go on sale this fall.
The 2010 Element, also unrecalled, competes as an aging but still-effective entry in the small crossover segment, where it's positioned as a slightly bigger and more useful box than vehicles like the Scion xB or Nissan Cube. The Element is nearing the end of its life-cycle as well, but Honda has yet to provide details about a future model. Sales of the Element were down 14.8 percent in February.