Last week, Toyota recalled 1.53 million Lexus and Toyota models to replace a brake master cylinder that can slowly leak out brake fluid. Turns out that fellow Japanese carmaker Honda uses the same supplier for the affected component – it has recalled 528,000 vehicles worldwide including 470,000 units in the US. Affected models are the 2005-07 Acura RL and 2005-07 Honda Odyssey. The latter is not the same MPV as the one sold here despite the same name.
The internal rubber seal of the brake master cylinder, which is supplied by Advics Co. Ltd. in Japan, can leak out brake fluid to the brake booster, resulting in illumination of the brake warning lamp. This problem arises when non original brake fluid is used. The genuine brake fluid contains polymers that act as lubricant, something that non genuine brake fluid don’t have or have only in small amounts.
Honda says that there’s no safety issue here. “It will result in the brake fluid light illuminating before there is any loss of brake system performance. Although one brake circuit could gradually lose performance due to this cause, there would be no effect on the other brake circuit,” a company spokesperson said. Honda will replace the master cylinder seal in all affected cars, and if leaking has already started, the brake booster as well.