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article imageUS opens investigation into Nissan Rogue braking problems

By Karen Graham     Sep 12, 2019 in Business
The U.S. government’s road safety agency is investigating complaints that the automatic emergency braking on the Nissan Rogue can turn on for no apparent reason. The probe covers about 554,000 Rogue small SUVs from the 2017 and 2018 model years.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said 843 owners complained to the agency and to Nissan about the problem. Owners reported 14 crashes and five injuries. The NHTSA response was due to a March 21, 2019 petition from the Center for Auto Safety (CAS), a non-profit group that represents consumers, according to CTV News Canada.
Such an investigation “would result in all Rogue owners being provided notification of, and given the opportunity to receive, Nissan’s existing repair for this problem,” the safety group said.
CAS contends that the unintended braking after activation of Nissan’s AEB is in violation of federal law, yet the company has attempted to address the defect as a service issue rather than as a safety problem. And it appears that the braking system can be triggered by railroad tracks, traffic lights, bridges, parking structures “and other fixed objects that do not pose a threat to the vehicle.”
“When automatic emergency braking works it is an important technological achievement in vehicle safety,” Jason Levine, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, said in a statement, according to Forbes in March.
“However, when it performs erratically and suddenly stops the car for no reason, it endangers both the car’s occupants and any following cars that may crash into the unexpectedly stopped vehicle. Just as dangerous, this defect is causing some owners to manually turn off the braking feature when they start their car, eliminating its potential safety benefits.”
In a statement on Thursday, Nissan acknowledged they had investigated the problem, and are now offering customers a free software update "that improves the system's performance." The company also acknowledges the braking system can be triggered by railroad tracks and other objects that don't pose a threat.
However, offering a free piece of software that should improve a system's performance isn't really addressing the problem fully, contends CAS - and they want the 554,000 Nissan Rogues recalled.
More about Nissan Ptobe, automatic emergency braking, Crashes, small SUVs, 20172018
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