WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Honda cars are being investigated over complaints into automatic emergency braking systems.
- Over 1.7 million Honda CR-V SUVs and Honda Accord sedans are affected.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received complaints of vehicles suddenly stopping for no reason.
U.S. auto safety regulators are investigating more than 1.7 million newer Honda models after receiving hundreds of complaints of vehicles stopping for no reason.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Thursday it has received 278 complaints about automatic emergency braking systems. Vehicles involved include 2017 through 2019 Honda CR-V SUVs and 2018 and 2019 Honda Accord sedans.
In some cases, the owners reported unexpected speed reductions that could cause increased vulnerability to rear collisions. Agency documents say the inadvertent braking can occur without warning and randomly.
In six cases, owners told the agency the problem caused collisions with minor injuries.
The agency says it’s opening the probe to determine how many vehicles are affected and how bad the problem is. The investigation could lead to a recall.
It’s the second investigation of automated braking systems opened by NHTSA in the past week. On Feb. 17, the agency began investigating reports of similar malfunctions on about 416,000 Teslas after it received 354 complaints that the vehicles could stop for no reason.
The vehicles are equipped with partially automated driver-assist features such as adaptive cruise control and “Autopilot,” which allows them to automatically brake and steer within their lanes.
No crashes or injuries were reported.
Automatic emergency braking systems have great life-saving potential. They can stop crashes or slow vehicles if drivers are impaired or are not paying attention when something is in the way. But they also can react to shadows, overpasses or other things that appear to be obstructions.
The systems help prevent crashes or reduce their severity by applying the brakes for a driver. The systems use cameras, radar and other sensors to see when a crash is imminent. They warn drivers to brake, and they brake vehicles automatically if the driver doesn’t act quickly enough.
Consumer Reports found last December that more than 12 major automakers have equipped nearly all of their 2021 model year vehicles with the technology.
NHTSA also has started the regulatory process of requiring the systems for both heavy trucks and passenger vehicles.
Source: USA Today