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Honda to recall 410,000 vehicles for brake problem

DETROIT - Honda Motor Co. will recall more than 410,000 Odyssey minivans and Element small trucks because of braking system problems that could make it tougher to stop the vehicle if not repaired.

The recall includes 344,000 Odysseys and 68,000 Elements from the 2007 and 2008 model years.

Honda said in a statement Tuesday that over time, brake pedals can feel "soft" and must be pressed closer to the floor to stop the vehicles. Left unrepaired, the problem could cause loss of braking power and possibly a crash, Honda spokesman Chris Martin said.

"It's definitely not operating the way it should, and it's safety systems, so it brings it to the recall status," he said.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported three crashes due to the problem, with minor injuries and no deaths, Martin said. Honda notified NHTSA of the recall on Monday, he said.

The automaker has traced the problem to the device that powers the electronic stability control system, which selectively brakes each of the wheels to keep the vehicles upright during an emergency situation.

Honda said owners should wait to get a letter from the company before scheduling a repair because the parts are not yet available.

Letters should go out toward the end of April.

Drivers who fear that they've lost braking power should have their dealer check the brakes sooner, Martin said.- AP

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