Honda is recalling 344,000 Odyssey minivans of the 2007-2008 model years to fix a problem that can cause the vehicle to brake suddenly, but because the fix won't be available until next spring, owners are getting specific instructions on how to start and drive their vehicles to avoid a problem.
The Japanese automaker said Friday that a software and parts problem can cause hydraulic pressure to build in the braking system after an engine restart. The buildup can suddenly be released, causing heavy and unexpected braking without the brake lamps coming on. Honda said it is not aware of any crashes or injuries related to the problem.
Honda says it will replace a "yaw sensor" but the part won't be available until next spring.
In the meantime, it issued instructions on how to drive to prevent the problem from occurring, which include keeping the front wheels pointed straight ahead for the first several feet of travel. If that's not possible, such as when pulling away from a curb, Honda provides additional steps to take.
Owners are being notified by mail with the instructions, and they'll be notified again when the sensors are available.
First published November 1 2013, 4:19 PM