NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2008 Honda Odyssey

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2008 Honda Odyssey, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: Inappropriate autonomous braking

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE13024

    Component(s): Electronic Stability Control

    Summary: In a letter dated October 31, 2013, Honda Motor Company (Honda) submitted a recall notice to NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation describing a defect in the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system in approximately 344,187 model year (MY) 2007 and 2008 Honda Odyssey vehicles produced from August 8, 2006 through September 8, 2008 (NHTSA Recall 13V-500, Honda Recall JC5).The report describes a defect condition caused by a combination of VSA system components and software that is unique to the MY 2007-2008 Honda Odyssey vehicles.The condition may result in unexpected brake application by the VSA system with no brake lamp illumination.The braking forces resulting from the condition can approach the maximum braking capability of the vehicle.Honda's investigation determined that (1) if the yaw rate sensor off-set exceeds a certain value, (2) the sensor calibration is not completed before the vehicle starts moving after start-up, and (3) the vehicle is driven in a specific manner; the VSA system may build hydraulic pressure in the brake system resulting in heavy, unexpected braking without the driver applying the brake pedal.Honda estimates that the parts necessary to correct this condition will not be available until March 2014.Pending part availability, Honda will send interim letters to affected owners including instructions to avoid the defect condition using a procedure to ensure proper VSA system calibration after each vehicle start-up, as well as instructions about what to do if unexpected brake application occurs while driving.Once the remedy parts are available, Honda will send a second notice advising owners to bring their vehicle to their dealer for installation of a redesigned yaw rate sensor.This investigation is closed.


    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE09024

    Component(s): Service Brakes, Hydraulic:Antilock

    Summary: The Office Of Defects Investigation (ODI) has received 69 complaints, and Honda has received 613 complaints and field reports, alleging low/soft/spongy brake pedal travel in model year (MY) 2006 through 2008 Honda Odyssey minivans.twenty-six ODI complaints were also reported to Honda, resulting in a total complaint count of 656.some complaints allege that the condition resulted in extended stopping distances, including some reports of rolling past stop signs or traffic lights.there are 14 alleged crashes in the subject vehicle population related to low/soft pedals. In response to ODI's information request for preliminary evaluation PE09-024, Honda indicated that small amounts of air may enter the brake system during initial diagnostics of the vehicle stability assist (vsa) modulator while the pump is briefly actuated for system diagnostics after the engine is started.the amount of air gradually increases with each successive engine start cycle, resulting in progressively increasing brake pedal stroke.according to Honda, the condition does not present a significant risk to motor vehicle safety because "the pedal stroke gradually increases, providing the driver with information that the brake pedal height is changing and requires attention."Honda has further indicated that there is no deterioration of braking performance caused by the subject condition, even though the pedal height and feel are different, until pedal stroke has reached the end of travel and the driver cannot produce any additional brake line pressure.Honda states that it is unaware of any vehicles that have reached such a condition and Honda testing using a leaking field return modulator indicates that it would take over a year before the pedal travel would reach its limit during hard stops with 200 N (45 lbf) of pedal effort - the nominal force required to reach ABS braking mode. ODI's analysis of warranty data indicates that the MY 2007-08 Odyssey vehicles have experienced the alleged defect at a rate of 0.67%.the MY 2006 Odyssey vehicles have experienced the alleged defect at a significantly lower rate (0.04%) than the MY 2007-08 Odyssey.Honda implemented a design change in the MY 2007 vehicles to change the vsa diagnostic program. This investigation has been upgraded to an engineering analysis (EA09-014) for the MY 2007-08 Odyssey vehicles to continue to investigate the scope, frequency, and safety-related consequences of the alleged defect.

  3. INVESTIGATION: Air in brake system

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA09014

    Component(s): Service Brakes, Hydraulic:Antilock:Control Unit/Module

    Summary: By letter dated March 15, 2010, American Honda Motor Corp. (HMC) notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that it will conduct a safety recall (NHTSA Recall No. 10V-098) to address a defect in approximately 412,000 model year (MY) 2007 and 2008 Honda Odyssey and Element vehicles equipped with an ABS/VSA/TCS modulator. The recalled Odyssey vehicles were built from August 2006 August 2008.The recalled Element vehicles were built from July 2006 to July 2008. According to Honda, during an initial self-check process that occurs shortly after each engine ignition cycle, the self-diagnostic software for the VSA modulator allows a vacuum condition that can exist for several hours, allowing air to enter the VSA modulator pump.Over time, and thousands of engine ignition cycles, it is possible for enough air to enter the system to result in a brake pedal that feels soft or lower to the floor.If the customer does not have any brake service or maintenance performed over a period of months or years, the system can continue to accumulate enough air to affect braking performance.To correct the safety defect, Honda dealers will remove existing air in the brake system then apply sealant and caps to the VSA modulator to prevent air from entering the brake system, free of charge. The action taken by Honda is sufficient to resolve the issues raised by this investigation. The agency will continue to monitor this issue and reserves the right to take further action if warranted by the circumstances.Accordingly, this investigation is closed.

  4. INVESTIGATION: Unexpected Closing of Power Liftgate

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE11034

    Component(s): Latches/Locks/Linkages:Hatchback/Liftgate:Lock
    Structure:Body:Hatchback/Liftgate:Hinge And Attachments
    Structure:Body:Hatchback/Liftgate:Support Device
    Structure:Body:Tailgate:Hinge And Attachments

    Summary: The investigation found that the liftgate struts were failing prematurely and at an abnormal rate in certain model year (MY) 2008 Honda Odyssey Touring and 2009 Honda Odyssey Touring and EX-L model vehicles equipped with power-operated rear liftgates (note: MY 2008 Odyssey EX-L was not equipped with a power liftgate).Unlike vehicles with non-powered (manual) liftgates, the subject vehicle's liftgate can be opened automatically (via the power liftgate motor) even when the struts are in a degraded condition and can no longer support it in the open position.Consumers standing or accessing the rear cargo area under the liftgate and expecting the liftgate will stay open, can be struck when the liftgate unexpectedly drops, or can be trapped under the liftgate as it power closes, both of which can occur when the system detects and reacts to degraded struts.By contrast, users of a manual liftgate assist in lifting it, and thus notice the lack of support as the struts degrade.Honda is conducting a recall to replace the liftgate struts in approximately 45,747 MY 2008 and early MY 2009 Odyssey vehicles equipped with power liftgates built before a manufacturing change of the liftgate strut assembly that occurred on January 13, 2009 (see NHTSA Safety Recall No. 12V-062 for further details).The vehicles subject to the recall account for 101 complaints, 12 injuries, and 5,630 of the warranty claims shown above (i.e., the MY 2009 and 2010 vehicles built after the manufacturing change experience lower failure rates).In addition, and based on consumer complaints to NHTSA, Odyssey vehicles without power liftgates experience lower complaint and injury rates than the Odyssey vehicles equipped with power liftgates (subject vehicles).The reports cited above can be reviewed online at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID under the following identification (ODI) numbers:10442027, 10441232, 10437461, 10432557, 10430420, 10429962, 10412908, 10401388, 10395475, 10390216, 10343678, 10336744, 10294156

  5. INVESTIGATION: Stabilus Rear Liftgate Struts Failing

    NHTSA Equipment Query #EQ12010

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: September 28, 2012
    • Date Closed: December 31, 2012
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Structure:Body:Hatchback/Liftgate:Support Device

    Summary: Please see the attached closing resume summary.It has been attached to this document as a PDF.

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