The Honda Odyssey has been one of the most popular minivans on the market since its debut in 1995. Known for its spacious cabins and innovative designs, the Odyssey, now in its third generation, consistently ranks among the industry leaders in performance. Unfortunately, the Odyssey has had a somewhat checkered history with brake problems.
The 2009 model Honda Odysseys were the subject of a voluntary recall involving 421 minivans after a problem was discovered with the brake lines. The wrong front brake hoses were installed during assembly, creating a potential issue with one of the caliper bolts. Over time, the hose rubbing against the caliper could cause the hose to tear or puncture. This seemingly innocent assembly mistake could result in tragic consequences.
If the Odyssey brake hose falters, brake fluid would leak and eventually lead to diminished brake system performance. This could mean slow response times, locking or complete brake failure. Sadly, there could be no signs of a problem until it's too late.
Honda acknowledged the problem and offered to replace the faulty Odyssey brake hoses free of charge. With the proper hoses installed, any potential conflicts with the caliper bolt are eliminated.
The 2005 model Honda Odysseys also experienced brake problems due to an issue with the brake pads. The wrong friction material was used to coat the pads. As a result, the front brakes would grind or growl when pressure was applied. The problem existed even when traveling at low speeds. The friction material was corrected in subsequent years, although complaints of grinding have persisted.
Honda Odyssey brake problems have been reported in vehicles other than the 2005 and 2009 models. The most common complaint is the brakes feel "soft," meaning they don't respond quickly enough to pressure. The brake pedal descends lower than normal and results in extended braking distance. At first, many owners chalk this up to not being familiar with the Odyssey's ABS braking system, but when the problem persists, it can be difficult finding a solution. The issue has driven many customers away from the Odyssey.
The other most often-heard complaint still involves grinding from the front brakes. Addressing the friction material on the 2005 brake pads hasn't been enough to silence the growling noises. And the grinding, aside from its annoying sound, has impacted the performance of brake rotors, leading to frequent replacements and increased repair costs.