Honda Motor Co. Ltd.'s Acura has recalled two SUV models due to a malfunction in the automatic emergency braking systems that increased the risk of collision, the Associated Press (AP) reported Thursday.
The company recalled 48,000 MDX and RLX SUVs worldwide from the 2014 and 2015 model years, even as National Transportation Safety Board is reportedly urging that the automatic warning systems be made standard on all cars and commercial trucks.
The glitch was found in the “Collision Mitigation Braking System,” which uses radar to scan conditions in front of the vehicles. If a situation arises where the SUV may hit another vehicle, the system automatically slows down its speed to avoid collision and reduce the damage.
In the recalled SUVs, the system was malfunctioning by stepping on the brakes, instead of slowing down when it detected another vehicle accelerating in front while simultaneously driving along an iron fence or metal guardrail, the AP reported, citing Honda. The problem was first noticed in November 2013 when an Acura SUV braked suddenly without reason, leading to a rear-end collision. The second similar incident occurred in June 2014.
The company, which informed the regulators of the recall in May, reportedly said that it has not received any warranty claims, incidents or injuries due to the malfunction in the U.S. so far. The dealers will fix the problem in the recalled SUVs without charging the vehicle owners.
Last July, Acura also announced a voluntarily recall for 14,078 ILX vehicles from 2013-2014 in the U.S. due to defective headlights.
Michelle Krebs, senior analyst for U.K.-based automotive classified website, Autotrader, told the AP, that the autonomous braking is most likely to face trouble in the real-world as it is a new technology and some problems don’t show up during testing. She compared the problem to the faulty airbag recall. "Unfortunately some of these will only be discovered in real-world settings with real people behind the wheel," she said, according to the AP, adding that the airbags had saved several lives despite the issues.