A consumer petition which was filed on April 9, 2012 calling for an investigation into 2005 Honda Pilot vehicles has been granted by NHTSA, looking into alleged steering loss and involuntary application of the brakes.
The Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system in model year 2005 Honda Pilot vehicle is said to be at fault, as it is misreading emergency braking situations and activating the brake assist function. Brake assist is designed to help minimize stopping distance when a panic braking situation is detected by the system. There have been 185 incidents reported of unexpected braking, some of which took the vehicle from highway speeds to a near stand still.
Honda implemented a fix in 2006 Honda Pilot vehicle VSAs, but these are not interchangeable with 2005 models.
The steering issues are said to be coming from a malfunction of the VSA’s stability assist function, which is incorrectly identifying yaw in the vehicle. This causes the steering to counter steer in an attempt to balance out the yaw, and is experienced as a tugging on the steering wheel. A total of 20 complaints have been logged about the steering issue.
NHTSA will now investigate these problems and issue a recall if necessary.