It was announced recently in Chicago, Japanese leading automaker, Honda Motor Company, that it will soon recall some 528,000 vehicles worldwide. The problem this time around is connected with the cylinder of brake reservoir which holds the brake fluid.

In Malaysia, there are 2 main types of brake fluid that are available in the market. Brake fluid DOT 3 is normally used by Malaysian vehicles. For your information, DOT means Department of Transport. DOT 3 is recommended specially for Malaysian cars or vehicles. It is most suitable for hot and humid tropical environment.

However, brake fluid DOT 4 is meant for high performance cars. It is said to be able to stand high temperatures. Furthermore, brake fluid DOT 4 is said to be more suitable to withstand the cold weather of most European countries.

I have been involved with the K.P.P. course a long time. The K.P.P. 5 hour lecture which a potential driving student has to attend prior to their sitting for their Highway Code exam has n important topic entitled “Emergencies which a driver faces whilst driving”. It touches upon some important topics such as a windscreen shattering, a car plummeting into a swollen river and how to change a punctured tyre.

Another important topic normally emphasized by me during K.P.P. is how a driver deals with the problem of an emergency brake failure.

Amongst the many suggestions and recommendation advices to drivers are:

i) To pump the brakes. Hopefully by doing this, the brakes will become more effective.

ii) A driver can pull up the hand brakes. This would most likely help to stop the vehicle or at least slow the car down.

iii) To try shifting down to a lower gear.

iv) Try crashing into something soft like ant hills.

v) Try crashing into vehicles which are parked in your way. Remember, by crashing into people’s car, you will eventually have to bear the cost of repairs.

Coming back to Honda’s latest recall, it comes a day after another automaker, Toyota, announced a safety recall of approximately 1.5 million vehicles worldwide o fix a brake leak that is said to be able to gradually diminish braking capacity. Honda’s defective cylinders were said to be built by an Ohio based supplier Advics. According to Honda’s spokeswoman, Chistina Ra, the supplier of the brake reservoirs were the ones to inform Honda of the issue.

The recall of Honda’s car is expected to involve Honda vehicles built between 2005 – 2007 for its popular models Accura RL and Honda Odyssey which were produced at Honda’s Saitama plant. The affected vehicles, some 472,000 of them were mostly exported to the United States.

Pertaining to the issue, Honda is unaware of any accidents or injuries related to this defect. Honda said the current recall is to prevent the untimely failure of a seal in the brake master cylinder. Honda further reiterated, that the seal would fail if factory installed brake fluid were to be replaced with sub standard fluid. This would then reduce lubrication properties. However, if this were to happen, the low brake warning light would then light up.

Honda also warned that a failure to repair the master cylinder defect would eventually result in a soft brake pedal and possibly to the lost of one of its two hydraulic braking circuits. As brakes of a car are deemed as important items of a vehicle and passenger safety is involved, owners of Honda vehicles worldwide should heed Honda’s latest recall and send their Acura and Odyssey models to Honda agents or workshops to have the defect rectified immediately.

Honda has done their part regarding their vehicles’ safety. Owners of Honda vehicles involved should also ideally do their part to help Honda Motors carry out its recall exercise successfully.