Toyota certainly isn't alone. Following reports that Ford and Chrysler cars have also experienced unintended acceleration issues, Honda is recalling 410,000 Odyssey minivans and Element SUVs because their brakes tend to go "soft" over time, requiring the driver to push the pedal further toward the floor. Eventually, this can lead to a loss of braking power, and possibly a crash. The models covered are from 2007 and 2008. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has documented three crashes related to the problem, but there have been only minor injuries. Honda says the problem stems from the mechanism that powers the electronic stability-control system, which in an emergency brakes each wheel selectively to keep the car from toppling over. The device is called the vehicle stability-assist modulator, and whenever the car is started, it lets a tiny bit of air into the hydraulic brake lines to test itself. Over time, that can create a bubble that can diminish braking power.
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