The United States has launched an investigation into emergency braking problems affecting certain Honda vehicles. The investigation follows complaints about automatic emergency braking systems stopping vehicles unexpectedly. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently opened an investigation into certain Honda Insight and Passport models. Reports from NHTSA reveal that the agency has received numerous complaints about “ghost braking” in these models. The agency is seeking more information about possible inadvertent activation of the automatic emergency braking system.

According to ITHome, the study began on March 7 and targeted Insight and Passport models manufactured from 2019 to 2022. A document from the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) said it had received 46 complaints about the system. These complaints allege that the vehicle’s braking system activated automatically without obvious obstacles. Of these cases, three incidents resulted in collisions or fires, and two resulted in injuries. The paper also estimates that a total of around 250,712 cars will be part of the detailed study.

Preliminary investigation launched by US auto safety regulators

US auto safety regulators have opened a preliminary investigation into emergency braking problems in specific Honda models. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking into complaints that automatic emergency braking systems can stop vehicles without warning in two Honda models. It is important to note that this is not a recall, but a preliminary investigation of potential problems.

A Honda spokesperson said,

“Honda always puts safety first. We are aware that the US Highway Safety Regulator has begun a preliminary assessment, the first step in their investigation process, regarding a small number of consumer reports of automatic emergency braking systems and an unexpected start-up problem. Honda is already in communication with the agency on this topic and will cooperate with NHTSA in the investigation process while continuing our own internal review of available information.

Details other than the accidental activation of the brakes are unclear, such as the vehicle’s speed, location or whether adaptive cruise control was engaged at the time. At the same time, it is unclear why among Honda models with automatic emergency braking systems, only the Passport and Insight are part of the probe.

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Details of the investigation and scope of the problem

The study focuses on concerns related to the inadvertent activation of the automatic emergency braking system in Honda vehicles, potentially leading to unexpected deceleration and rear-end collisions. Owners have reported instances of the braking occurring randomly and without prior indication, resulting in minor injuries and collisions.

Although NHTSA said about 250,712 vehicles may be flagged for detailed investigation, more than 1 million newer Honda cars and SUVs are under surveillance for these unexpected braking incidents. Affected models include the 2019-2022 Honda Passport and Insight. NHTSA has received several complaints about this issue, prompting the agency to investigate the extent of the problem and its impact on vehicle safety.

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Potential consequences of Honda brake problems

The investigation could potentially lead to a recall of the affected Honda vehicles if NHTSA determines that this problem affects a large number of vehicles. Automatic emergency braking systems are designed to improve safety by preventing or reducing the severity of crashes, but issues like these highlight the importance of ensuring the reliability and effectiveness of such technologies.

NHTSA’s role in investigating automobile safety problems

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) plays a critical role in investigating automobile safety issues in the United States. NHTSA, an agency of the US Department of Transportation, is responsible for issuing the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), which regulate the design of motor vehicles to enhance safety. The agency mandates safety technology on new vehicles, enforces vehicle safety standards, and requires manufacturers to recall and fix defects in vehicles that don’t meet those standards. It also monitors reports of deaths, injuries and property damage related to vehicle safety issues and investigates consumer complaints about safety defects. If there is a safety issue, NHTSA can ask manufacturers to issue recalls to fix the problem. However, if manufacturers do not comply, NHTSA can issue an initial decision mandating a recall.

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In conclusion, the investigation initiated by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) into the emergency braking problems affecting certain Honda vehicles is a critical step in ensuring automotive safety and consumer protection. The investigation also highlights the importance of robust regulatory oversight in identifying and addressing potential safety hazards in modern vehicles.

With complaints emerging about inadvertent activation of automatic emergency braking systems in the Honda Insight and Passport models, NHTSA’s proactive approach underscores its commitment to public safety on the road. By launching a preliminary investigation, the agency also demonstrates its commitment to thoroughly investigating reported issues and taking appropriate actions to mitigate risks.

The potential implications of this investigation are significant. This is because it can extend beyond the specific models under consideration to broader considerations of reliability as well as the effectiveness of safety technology in cars. If the probe reveals widespread problems with emergency braking systems, it could lead to industry-wide recalls and fixes to improve safety standards.

In addition, NHTSA’s role in investigating automobile safety problems reflects the regulatory agencies’ broader mandate to enforce compliance with regulations and safety standards. By monitoring and investigating reports of safety-related defects, NHTSA plays a key role in holding manufacturers accountable and ensuring that established safety protocols are followed.

Ultimately, the outcome of this investigation will have far-reaching implications for automotive safety practices and consumer confidence in automotive technology. By addressing concerns and implementing the necessary measures to correct identified issues, the automotive industry can continue to grow by prioritizing the safety and well-being of drivers, passengers and pedestrians alike. Furthermore, through collaborative efforts between regulatory agencies, manufacturers and stakeholders, the path to safer roads and vehicles remains firmly underpinned by continuous vigilance and proactive intervention.

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United States to probe Honda over braking issues on some Honda models