Honda Odyssey brake problem under investigation

The probe affects nearly 344,000 vans from the 2007 and 2008 model years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it has received 22 complaints from owners about unexpected braking. In some cases, the vans braked while drivers were accelerating, cutting the speed by up to 30 miles per hour. Five people told the agency that dealers found trouble in a steering angle sensor in the electronic stability control system.

The agency said it has no reports of crashes or injuries.

Investigators will determine if the problem happens frequently enough to seek a recall. The agency opened the case Tuesday.

The problem is similar to one that resulted in the recall of about 250,000 vehicles worldwide in March. That problem was caused by improper electronics and wiring in the electronic stability control system, which automatically applies brakes to individual wheels if vehicles are out of control.

In that case, Honda Motor Co. recalled more than 183,000 vehicles in the U.S., including the Acura RL, Acura MDX and Honda Pilot SUV. It recalled another 56,000 in Japan, affecting the Odyssey, Legend, StepWgn and Elysion models. Also recalled were nearly 8,000 vehicles in Canada, nearly 1,000 in Australia, about 300 in Mexico and 70 in Germany. The vehicles were produced from March 2004 through May 2006.

A Honda official in California said he hasn’t been told about the latest probe but would check into it.

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On Friday, Honda urged the owners of more than 686,000 Fit and Jazz subcompacts worldwide to park them outside because the power window switches can catch fire.

The company said that it is recalling Fit and Jazz cars from the 2007 and 2008 model years. It’s telling owners not to park them in garages until driver’s side door switches can be inspected.

Honda said water can get inside the door through an open window and damage the switches, causing them to overheat and potentially sparking a fire. The company said the problem hasn’t caused any injuries, but spokesman Chris Martin said seven switches have melted and two caused fires in the doors. No structure fires have been reported, he said.

The recall covers more than 143,000 Fits in the U.S. and about 35,000 in Canada. The Fit and Jazz are the same car, but sold under different names in different markets.

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