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Automatic Braking Malfunctions on the Rise

According to an agreement entered into in 2016 by a conglomerate of 20 car manufacturers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, collision avoidance braking systems will become standard in all new passenger vehicles sold in the United States by the Fall of 2022. As more and more vehicles are equipped with relatively new technology, malfunctions are on the rise. These systems, which are marketed as a safety feature, may not always work as intended and have led to numerous incidents of erroneous activation and deployment.

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems, also known as collision mitigation braking, are designed to detect probable collisions through the use of cameras, radar and other technologies, allowing a vehicle to apply brakes manually if drivers do not recognize and react to hazards within a timely manner to avoid a collision or lessen an impact.

Between 2017 and 2019, NHTSA received over 400 individual complaints about auto braking concerns from the drivers of certain models produced by Nissan, Volkswagen and Honda. Some motorists experienced unexpected vehicle stops while driving along the highway, resulting in rear-end crashes. Last summer, a class-action lawsuit was filed in federal court alleging that Subaru’s AEB systems in certain 2013 to 2021 models are defective, potentially leading to accidents and other dangerous situations.

Nissan has also been named as a defendant in a class-action lawsuit relating to its AEB system, Continental ARS-410 radar systems. A group of plaintiffs from the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee, on February 15 alleged the company knew about brake design defects but continued the manufacture, marketing and sales of affected vehicles, later suppressing evidence of malfunctions and customer complaints while failing to issue recalls. The following Nissans are listed in the lawsuit:

2019 – 2021 Maxima2020 – 2021 Kicks
2020 – 2021 Sentra2017 – 2020 Rogue
2019 – 2021 Altima2021 Armada
2020 – 2021 Versa2018 – 2021 Leaf
2017 – 2021 Rouge Sport2019 – 2021 Murano
2020 – 2021 Titan

NHTSA has launched additional investigations into the AEB systems in popular models from Honda and Tesla including 2017 to 2019 Honda CR-Vs, 2018 to 2019 Honda Accords and 2021 to 2022 Tesla Models 3 and Y. The affected vehicles make up over 2 million on U.S. roadways (1.7 million Hondas and 400,000 Teslas).

If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile collision caused by an AEB malfunction, you may be entitled to compensation. Additionally, if you are the owner of an affected vehicle, you may be able to join in a pending class action against the manufacturer. If you would like more details about this subject or guidance on how to proceed, contact the experienced attorneys at Kendall Law Group LLC for a free case evaluation. You can reach Kendall Law Group at (816) 531-3100 or by completing our contact form here.

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