Honda Recalls Nearly 500K Cars Over Brake Problems

Remember yesterday when Toyota recalled 1.53 million cars over concerns about leaking brake fluid? Apparently the problem is contagious, with Honda issuing a recall of their own on 470,000 Acura and Honda vehicles.

A rep for the car company told the Detroit News that the recall covers some 2005-07 Acura RL and 2005-07 Honda Odyssey vehicles.

The issue in both the Toyota and Honda recalls involves a part manufactured by the same company, identified as Advics.

Apparently, if customers use brake fluid other than the original type, the seal on the master cylinder can fail, diminishing the car’s stopping power.

Explains a rep for the company to Consumer Reports:

If a manual brake bleed is performed, with full and rapid stroke of the brake pedal, the seal can become twisted within its retention groove. Once that has occurred, a twisted seal can leak a small amount of brake fluid with each application of the pedal.

Honda will replace the brake master cylinder seal in all recalled vehicles. If leaking occurred, it also will replace the brake booster.

The Honda rep says that drivers will know if a leak is happening because it “will result in the brake fluid light illuminating before there is any loss of brake system performance. Although one brake circuit could gradually lose performance due to this cause, there would be no effect on the other brake circuit.”

If the warning light does come on, take your vehicle to the dealer for repair ASAP.

Owners may contact Honda customer service at: 800-999-1009.

Honda follows Toyota with brake-related recall of Acura RL, Honda Odyssey [Consumer Reports]

Honda recalls 470,000 vehicles for brake fluid leaks [Detroit News]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Blueskylaw says:

    “if customers use brake fluid other than the original type”
    “the seal can become twisted within its retention groove”

    Since Honda issuing a recall I suggest that they make their brake seals compatible with aftermarket brake fluid and not just the overpriced Honda brand.

    • Gulliver says:

      I suggest the aftermarket company make their product compatible with Honda parts.

    • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

      It may also be that the brake fluid Honda is selling is of a DOT type, and people are putting in something else.

      I mean, there are legitimate reasons sometimes for saying, “use this stuff.” It’s like when people get mad that the weight of oil they put in their engine isn’t right and causes problems.

      • mikedt says:

        based on the CR link and the Honda rep’s statement, it appears the problem is the pumping of the breaks during the break bleed process. But to be honest, if you’re doing a brake bleed manually I don’t see how you could do a rapid pump since you have to open the valve, do one pump, close the valve and then release the brake peddle. Hard to do that fast.

        The Honda rep also mentions Honda DOT 3 brake fluid. I can’t imagine it being too different from a quality aftermarket DOT3 fluid – which is pretty common stuff at your auto parts store.

        • Maximus Pectoralis says:

          I believe that is possible with a “one-man brake bleeder” which has a sort of check valve. I use a Mity-Vac tool which makes the job a lot easier.

          Also about the DOT brake fluids. DOT3, DOT4, and DOT5.1 are all compatible except for their temperature specifications. DOT5 is NOT compatible with those 3 (not even DOT5.1, completely different!). The 3/4/5.1 are glycol based while 5 is silicone based and if you put 5 in something not designed for it, it can damage the brake system. I typically use DOT4 since it’s not much more expensive than DOT3.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        If I understand the situation correctly, Honda vehicles (according to their manuals) either require DOT 3 or DOT 4 fluid. People are putting in after market fluids which are to spec and their master cylinders are failing.

        It sounds like Honda-branded fluid and subsequent braking systems aren’t actually to DOT 3/4 specifications, even though all documentation indicates that they are.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        They are all DOT “type”, you just have to buy the one compatible with your braking system.

        Boiling points for common braking fluids. Dry boiling point Wet boiling point
        DOT 3 205 °C (401 °F) 140 °C (284 °F)
        DOT 4 230 °C (446 °F) 155 °C (311 °F)
        DOT 5 260 °C (500 °F) 180 °C (356 °F)
        DOT 5.1 270 °C (518 °F) 190 °C (374 °F)

  2. grumpskeez says:

    i make my own master cylinders at home

  3. duxup says:

    The master cylinder on my Honda Accord recently went out. Thank goodness for the hand brake.

  4. Macgyver says:

    So that would be the customers problem that they aren’t using the one recommended, not Honda or anyone else’s.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Wow, and the user pretending to be MacGyver once again blames the customer/user.


      You’re well on your way to becoming a Consumerist Bingo card slot.

    • Shadowfax says:

      unless the manual specifies that Honda fluid MUST be used, you can use any compatible fluid. If it doesn’t work, it’s Honda’s fault, not yours.

  5. madtube says:

    This has been coming for some time. As an Acura tech, I saw it often. We replaced many master cylinders on RL models. The reason for the delay is the legal standings. It takes roughly 2 years between identification of a problem to the actual recall because of the lawyer paperwork.

  6. OnePumpChump says:

    Victory disease. They’re so sure of their superiority they start getting careless, and suddenly they aren’t superior anymore. See: the US auto industry from the 70s to 90s. Also the United States itself for the past 60 years.

    • duxup says:

      Sounds about right. Company gets big and anyone who raises alarm bells is ignored because hey we’re doing fine what could be wrong?

  7. outshined says:

    I’m still waiting for the Ford Escape recall on the worst brakes in history. They’ve been replaced 3 times and now they’re grind-ey and awful again. I don’t drive that much and I’m not a speed demon. Ugh.

  8. Minneapolis says:

    Wouldn’t it be easier for the government to maintain a list of vehicles that HAVEN’T been recalled?

  9. Cicadymn says:

    And then I got a kick out of the mental image of a Toyota sneezing on a Honda and that Honda driving into a dealership and sneezing on another Honda.

    • s0s has a chewy nougat center says:

      I just bought a Honda, actually, and cracked up at the mental image of every car on the lot sneezing. Though admittedly, the older ones in my mental picture stood up just fine. It was all the newer ones that hadn’t gotten their check-ups and vaccines because they didn’t want to end up with au-to-tism that ended up getting wildly ill and infecting the others.

      (And hey, the color and clarity of a car’s fluids are often an indicator of “health,” just like the color and clarity of human snot. And diamonds.)

  10. ElizabethD says:

    This stuff betta not be contagious. *puts protective bubble over beloved Hyundai Tucson*