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2002 Honda Odyssey has broken backing plate

I own a 2002 Honda Odyssey LX van with 72,000 miles. This van has been meticulously maintained and I have the records to prove it.

About two weeks ago I started hearing a loud “tapping-rattling” noise at the rear of the van when applying the brakes.

I took the van to the Honda dealer and was informed that both backing plates were broken in several spots. They asked if I’d been in a rear-impact collision, which I hadn’t and they said that they’d never heard or seen of anything like this. The service advisor noticed that I’d had “after market” rear brakes put on the van and said perhaps the mechanic who stalled the brakes was prying the backing plates while installing rear brakes and that is why they cracked. I asked if this could be a manufacturers defect and they said, “no way”. They (2 service advisors) started bad mouthing independents and suggested I take it back to the garage that installed the brakes for recourse. They told me if the garage was reputable, they’d write a check right there for the cost of the Honda dealer’s job to replace the backing plates which was $825.00.

I then went to the automotive shop that had installed these brakes 11 months ago, showed them the broken backing plates and told what the Honda service advisors had told me. The mechanic is reputable and was incensed that the service advisors suggested that he’d pried the backing plates and had broken them when it was physically impossible to do so.

He then inspected the broken plates and said that on each one of them, the break was in the sub-weld and showed me additional places on the weld with rust lines and said they were getting ready to break off also. He said it was a manufacturer defect. I told him that Honda looked it up and there hasn’t been one complaint about the backing plates breaking. He said, “well, there is one now” and suggested that I file a claim with Honda.

What do you think about this? Is it possible that this is a manufacturer defect and if so, what can I do about it?

Anything is possible, but I have a few questions.

Why did you take the vehicle to the dealer? Why not back to the independent shop that did this repair?

Also, this vehicle has 4 wheel disc brakes and I’m having a real hard time picturing a rear disc setup as even having much of a backing plate; assuming our terminology is on the same page.

From the dealer standpoint they should be suspicious of the other shop.
The park brake operates the rear brakes. This means the caliper pistons will NOT simply screw into their bores. They must be rotated in at the same time and it is possible for someone to damage things if they attempt to pry the pistons back in without rotating them.

We had a guy come in with a Subaru and thought our price was too high on a front brake job.(Same thing in reverse, as this Subaru operated the front calipers as a park brake.)
He took the car to an ind. shop a block away and a few days later we got it back (on a wrecker no less); for yet ANOTHER estimate. It appeared the guys there did the same thing on this car that MIGHT have been done to yours.

They attempted to force the pistons in without rotating them and with the help of an 8 foot pry bar obviously, managed to bend the caliper yoke, sway bar, strut, and of all things - a cast iron steering knuckle. Along with destroying the caliper.
How on earth they managed to tweak the steering knuckle, I will never, ever know.
Instead of a couple of hundred dollars on a front brake job, now he was up to about 1100 dollars. + tax.

It’s always possible that a defect could exist but my gambling money is on someone being a little overzealous about retracting the rear caliper pistons; especially considering that it’s on both sides.

Just my 2 cents worth anyway.

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Just an FYI, the 2002-2004 Odyssey has rear disc brakes, but separate shoes for the parking brake. The service manual vol II page 19-29 has a diagram.


This vehicle is 17 years old and you expect Honda to address a “manufacturer defect” ? It will not happen.

Eleven-year-old thread.


A defective part would have failed a long time ago, rather than 17 years after manufacture.

The vehicle was only 5 years old when the thread was started.