The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [NHTSA] has opened up a preliminary investigation to review a claim from an owner of a 2005MY Honda Accord Hybrid who said that in 2005, she was involved in an accident after the car lost braking power subsequent to crossing over rumble strips, then accelerated uncontrollably.
According to the report, the car crashed into oncoming traffic and killed her passenger. The driver of the vehicle alleges the crash left her disabled while the occupants of two other vehicles were also injured.
The safety agency added that the petition identified 22 other complaints involving Honda Accord and Civic hybrids that the driver felt represented similar incidents where the braking performance was inadequate under conditions of braking while driving over uneven road surfaces.
A defect petition letter was received by the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) requesting a formal investigation and recall of MY 2005 Honda Accord Hybrid vehicles for a possible safety defect related to braking performance. The petitioner (with assistance from another consumer due to her injuries) filed a complaint with ODI under Vehicle Owner Questionnaire (VOQ) 10329383.
In the complaint the petitioner described being involved in a crash on July 23, 2005 while driving a subject vehicle. Summarily, the complaint alleges while traversing rumble strips along side of the highway and simultaneously attempting to the brake, the brakes were ineffective and the vehicle began to accelerate uncontrollably.
This began a chain of events where the vehicle eventually crossed over into traffic flowing in the opposite direction. The end result was the death of her passenger and injuries to the occupants of two other vehicles. The petitioner also alleges the crash left her disabled.
Subsequent to the incident on July 23, 2005, the petitioner did a search of ODI's complaint database and identified 22 additional complaints involving other Honda Accord Hybrid and Honda Civic Hybrid vehicles that the petitioner felt represented similar incidents where the braking performance was inadequate under conditions of braking while driving over uneven road surfaces. ODI will evaluate the petition for a grant of deny decision.