The probe covers nearly 88,000 Pilots from the 2005 model year. Investigators will determine if the problem is bad enough for Honda to recall the SUVs.
The Pilot is a big seller with families because of its space and reputation for quality.
Here are details of the government investigation:
The problem: The brakes can come on without drivers stepping on the pedal, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says in documents posted on its website Friday.
The fix: None yet, but investigators are looking at problems with a computer-controlled system that stops the vehicle as fast as possible in emergency situations. Honda says it's cooperating with the investigation and starting its own probe.
Injuries: No accidents or injuries have been reported.
Complaints: The safety agency says it began the probe after getting a request from a consumer in April. The government and Honda have received 205 complaints about the problem. One driver says a Pilot stopped three times without warning, once on an Interstate. After each case, mechanics couldn't recreate the problem, but eventually they suspected faulty brake controls.
"If we continue driving the car, we are scared we may injure ourselves or others," the driver writes.
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