Acuras Recalled Because They Auto-Brake For Imaginary Obstacles

Automatic braking is a feature available that car manufacturers offer on their higher-end models as part of feature and safety packages. The idea is simple: if your car recognizes that there’s something in front of it, it stops. Except for some model year 2014 and 2015 Acura SUVs and sedans: there have been documented cases where they stop when there is no obstacle in front of the cars.

Acura (which is the slightly-fancier-cars division of Honda) has recalled about 48,000 cars total, but only about 19,000 of them are in the United States. They include the MDX and RLX (SUVs and sedans, respectively) from the 2014 and 2015 model years. There has been one phantom-braking crash in Japan in a different model that has the same braking system. The repair is fairly simple: it’s only a software upgrade.

The problem seems to happen when drivers are changing lanes, and the vehicle mistakes a guardrail or a fence for an obstacle. There have been nine reports of crashes that may have been caused by a similar defect in the Jeep Grand Cherokee: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is still investigating that situation.

The NHTSA recommends that car-buyers consider cars with the braking systems for safety reasons, but usually only higher-end models include them. The base model MDX doesn’t, for example, even though most people consider Acura a luxury brand.

Automatic braking Acuras recalled for stopping when they shouldn’t [CNN]

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