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NHTSA looks into complaints about faulty collision avoidance system

Automatic braking systems, a relatively new safety feature in some vehicles and a critical part of autonomous cars of the future, are facing complaints from drivers who say some are activating for no apparent reason.

U.S. safety investigators recently started looking at complaints from 2014 model year Jeep Grand Cherokees drivers who said their automatic brakes deployed even though there was no evidence of danger. That follows a May recall by Honda Motor Co. for 2014 and 2015 Acura sport-utility vehicles that could unexpectedly brake hard if they were driving next to an iron fence while a car in front of them simultaneously accelerates.

There are about a dozen complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from drivers of Honda, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and General Motors Co. vehicles, saying their cars automated braking systems activated for no reason. The few complaints suggest the problem is uncommon, and car owners who experience the glitch typically turn the automatic-braking feature off.

These braking systems join active-safety technologies such as lane-keeping aids or automatic speed control in taking control of away from drivers. By using cameras and radar to detect other cars or pedestrians, a vehicle’s computer will hit the brakes if the driver doesn’t respond to danger fast enough.

About 630,000 vehicles sold in North America this year are forecast to use automatic emergency braking, says Navigant Research. By 2020, the number is forecast to top 10 million.  To read the rest of the story, click here. 

To learn more about your legal rights and options as a victim of an automobile malfunction, please contact Atlee Hall, LLP today for a free consultation. We have offices in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, but help victims across the state.