No crashes or injuries have been reported related to the defect, the Japanese automaker said. Several drivers complained about the problem.
The recall is related to the Vehicle Stability Assist system in 101,000 Honda Pilot vehicles; 60,000 Acura MDX vehicles; and 21,000 Acura RL vehicles from the 2005 model year. It also includes 800 Acura MDX vehicles from the 2006 model year that were sold in the U.S.
The company said that the vehicle stability assist system could malfunction and automatically itself apply a small amount of brake force for a fraction of a second, even when the driver isn't braking. It added that if the driver hits the brakes during a 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, reports said.
The problem stems from an electrical capacitor on the stability-assist control unit, which may have been damaged during manufacture, it said. Dealers will install a new electrical sub-harness, free of charge.
In addition, about 51,000 recalled Pilots will be inspected to ensure that an electrical ground bolt for the VSA system is properly tightened. Honda said that a loosened ground bolt may cause similar short periods of unexpected brake activation, increasing the risk of a crash.