Honda will recall about 344,000 Odysseys and 68,000 Elements in the US from 2007 and 2008 model years to fix the “vehicle stability assist modulator” after receiving customer complaints about “brake pedals that feel ‘soft’ or that gradually exhibit a pedal height that gets lower (closer to the floor) before the vehicle stops.”

The problem is due to some of the parts allowing air to get in, and it gets worse over time. A Honda spokesman told the Associated Press that if left unrepaired it could cause loss of braking power. He added that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reports of three crashes with minor injuries but no deaths.

The wife and daughter of US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were badly injured last week in a highway crash, when their Odyssey reportedly began braking in stop and go traffic and was rear ended by tractor trailer. However, the said Odyssey is a 2005 model, and probably did not suffer from the same problem stated for the recall.

On the issue, Honda Malaysia clarifies that the VSA related recall for the Odyssey DOES NOT concern units sold in Malaysia, saying that the affected models were manufactured in the US, which have different basic structures to those manufactured in Japan, where our Odysseys come from. Basically, the US Odyssey and JDM model are different cars using the same name.

Full press statement by Honda Malaysia is available after the jump.

Odyssey sold in Malaysia not affected by recent recall in overseas

Petaling Jaya, 17 March 2010 – Honda Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (Honda Malaysia or the Company) clarifies that the recent recall related to possible defective vehicle stability assist (VSA) in Odyssey and Element 2007 YM and 2008 YM, does not concern units sold in Malaysia.

The recall was issued due to the lack of VSA modulator air tightness in the affected models. Possible reaction that could arise from this condition involves air suction into the modulator circuit, where air would gradually remain in the brake circuit. In more severe condition, the brake pedal free play would increase gradually, and braking distance would become longer.

The Company however highlighted that the affected models were principally manufactured in the US, which have different basic structures as compared to those that were manufactured in Japan.

“Odysseys sold in Malaysia are originally manufactured in Japan, which have different structures as compared to those manufactured in the US. Therefore, the units sold in Malaysia are not affected. Our customers need not to worry,” assured Mr. Toru Takahashi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.

The Company further added that there was no report of direct incident caused by the possible product defect.