Acura has recalled two models because the automatic emergency braking systems can malfunction and put the vehicles at risk of a collision. The recall involves just fewer than 48,000 MDX SUVs and RLX sedans worldwide from the 2014 and 2015 model years. This shows how even sophisticated safety technology can be prone to real-world glitches. Acura’s “Collision Mitigation Braking System” uses radar to scan conditions in front of the vehicle. If the system determines the vehicle might hit an object, it automatically applies the brakes, slowing the vehicle to reduce damage and injuries.
In the recalled vehicles, the system can become confused and step on the brakes when it detects another vehicle accelerating in front while simultaneously driving along an iron fence or metal guardrail, according to Honda, the maker of Acura. The problem first surfaced in Japan in November of 2013 when an SUV braked for no reason and caused a rear-end collision. A second incident happened in June of last year.
Later versions of the system actually stop the vehicles before a crash, but those versions aren’t affected by the recall. Michelle Krebs, senior analyst for Autotrader, says that like any new technology, autonomous braking will develop problems in real-world driving that can’t be found in testing by automakers. Ms. Krebs indicates that it will require “real-world settings with real people behind the wheel,” to get a true reading on the safety of the system. I believe there will be many problems that the automaker will have to deal with simply because there are too many uncertainties involved.
The jury is still out on this subject and there will be much more to cover I suspect in future issues. If you need more information, contact Dana Taunton, a lawyer in our firm’s Personal Injury/Products Liability at 800-898-2034 or by email at Dana.Taunton@beasleyallen.com.
Source: Tom Krishner, Associated Press
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