US government investigates 1.7 million Honda cars over phantom braking

Washington, D.C. – March 6, 2022 – The U.S. government auto safety regulator is investigating Honda (NYSE:HMC) vehicles that may unexpectedly brake on their own. This increases the risk of a crash and injury. 

If the investigation leads to a recall, it could affect an estimated 1.73 million of the following vehicles:

  • 2018 – 2019 Honda Accord
  • 2017 – 2019 Honda CR-V

Investigation summary  

The regulator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), opened an investigation on February 21, following at least 278 complaints about phantom braking. 

Based on the complaints, the vehicles’ Collision Mitigation Braking System (MBS) may cause the vehicle to start braking sharply in the absence of any visible threats and without any prior warning.

The Collision Mitigation Braking System, or CMBS, is the automated system that monitors the road ahead and stops the vehicle to avoid a crash if there is an obstacle.


A vehicle that slams on the brakes hard and unexpectedly may be hit from behind. In addition, the sudden braking may confuse the driver and cause him or her to lose control over the vehicle, amplifying the risk of a crash.

In fact, six people have already been involved in crashes and injured due to this issue, according to NHTSA’s information.

Other Honda recalls 

There was a Honda Accord recall in December, caused by a faulty child restraint system, as reported. The recall also included CR-V, Ridgeline and Insight vehicles.

In April of last year, there was a large Honda CR-V recall due to faulty fuel pumps that may result in the vehicle stalling on the road. The recall spanned over 600,000 cars and also affected Acura, Civic and Odyssey vehicles.

Is your vehicle part of a recall?

This phantom braking investigation may eventually lead to a Honda brake recall, possibly affecting over 1.7 million vehicles. To see if your car is subject to a recall, please use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Bojan PopicUS government investigates 1.7 million Honda cars over phantom braking

Honda Recalls Nearly 65,000 Acura MDX Vehicles for Brake Issues

Laguna Hills, CA – July 20, 2022 – Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) has remedied issues with 59.452 vehicles including the 2018-2019 Honda Odyssey and the 2017-2019 Acura MDX that had rear brake issues. Additionally, 186 of these Honda models have been categorized as unreachable and 94 have been removed from the recall. One group of these 2018-2019 Honda Odyssey and the 2017-2019 Acura MDX with rear brake issues were remedied in 2019, four groups were remedied in 2019, and one group in 2020.

Laguna Hills, CA – November 28, 2018 – Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain vehicles to have the rear brakes bled due to gas pockets. The potential number of units affected is 64,785, including:

  • 2017-2019 Acura MDX
  • 2017-2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid
  • 2018-2019 Honda HR-V and Honda Odyssey
  • 2016 Honda HR-V vehicles

The defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, in affected vehicles the rear brake caliper pistons may have an insufficient coating, causing gas pockets to form, and reducing brake performance. A reduction in braking performance increases the risk of a crash.

Timeline of events

In July 2018, the rear brake caliper supplier informed Honda of quality issues affecting some of its products. Honda subsequently launched an investigation.

From August to October 2018, Honda learned that a sub-supplier’s manufacturing process improperly trapped high levels of hydrogen on the brake piston during surface plating, and that the tempering process intended to remove excess hydrogen may not have been performed to specification.

Honda investigated the potential for FMVSS noncompliance and the range of potentially affected vehicles, and on October 25, 2018, Honda completed the investigation.

The final determination was that the potential for FMVSS noncompliance exists and Honda, therefore, decided to conduct a safety recall.

As of October 25, 2018, Honda has received 170 warranty claims, 90 field reports, and no reports of crashes or injuries related to this issue. The problem does not recur after brakes are bled to remove initial gas pockets.

The solution

Owners will be notified, and Honda or Acura dealers will bleed the brakes, free of charge. can help you determine whether your vehicle is subject to a government-mandated recall or whether there is some factory notice that you should be informed of.

Check your car’s recall status using MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool

Sean ReyesHonda Recalls Nearly 65,000 Acura MDX Vehicles for Brake Issues