Last October, National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration announced they were looking into more than 200 complaints saying the brakes suddenly applied without the drive pressing the brake pedal and also pulling. After four months, they have found that oxidation in wiring or a loose bolt can cause the sudden braking.
This supports the theory put forth by SafeBraking.com on October 14th, 2012:
Hate to brag, but SafeBraking nailed it!
The recall of 183,000 vehicles in the U.S. alone includes 101,000 Pilots SUVs, 60,000 Acura MDX SUVs and 21,000 Acura RL sedans, all from the 2005 model year. It also includes 800 of Acura’s 2006 MDX models. Honda now says the defect is in the vehicles’ stability control system, which helps the driver keep control, sometimes by selectively applying braking.
NHTSA focused their investigation on the “Brake Assist” function of the VSA system. The Honda VSA control unit learns the current driver’s normal braking characteristics by monitoring the brake pressure sensor and the brake pedal position switch at each stop. Using these inputs and their values, the VSA control unit is able to learn the driver’s normal braking habits, and then determine the difference between a normal stop and a panic stop for the individual driver of the vehicle.
If the connector to the module controlling the VSA system was in poor shape it could cause the symptoms described by drivers as the male and female ends were moved.
The final details of the recall have yet to be finalized. It is unclear if Honda will have to replace the wiring harness, VSA module or just clean the connections.