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1.7 million Hondas are being investigated for phantom braking


Promotional image of Honda dashboard while warning system is activated.
Enlarge / Honda’s forward collision warning system has always been sensitive. Now the NHTSA is investigating some Hondas for false-positive automatic emergency brake activations.

Last week, we reported that Tesla is the subject of a new investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration due to the company’s cars’ propensity to inappropriately activate their emergency braking function. This week, it’s Honda’s turn in the spotlight.

The NHTSA opened a preliminary investigation into the problem on February 21 after receiving 278 complaints about Hondas that suddenly decelerated despite nothing in their path.

The problem affects approximately 1.7 million cars in total, split between model year 2017-2019 CR-V crossovers and 2018-2019 Accord sedans. (It’s worth noting that when we reviewed the 2018 Honda Accord, we specifically called out the sensitivity of its forward-collision warning system, although we did not experience any automatic emergency brake activations.)

However, of the 278 complaints, the NHTSA says that only six of them alleged collisions with minor injuries, and no severe incidents have been reported.



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