Mazda is issuing a vehicle defect recall for more than 35,000 of its Mazda3 sedans and hatchbacks from the 2019 and 2020 model years because their automatic emergency braking systems may engage suddenly and inadvertently while driving. According to Consumer Reports, this poses the risk of a rear-end crash from a following vehicle. Mazda has said there have not been reports of any car crashes related to this recall that has resulted in fatalities, injuries or fires.
Mazda says the issue stems from incorrect programming of the automatic emergency braking control software, which might cause the vehicle to falsely detect an obstacle in front of the vehicle while driving. The faulty control software may automatically apply the brakes to prevent or reduce damage from a crash, even though no collision is imminent.
Injury and Crash Reported
However, Consumer Reports, through its own research, found evidence of one injury and one car accident related to sudden and unintended braking in 2019 Mazda3 vehicles. Officials with Consumer Reports stated while automatic emergency braking systems offer important safety benefits when they are operating correctly, they may create risk for vehicle occupants when they malfunction.
Drivers may hear a warning alarm sound and notice a cautionary message displayed on the instrument cluster behind the steering wheel when this defect occurs. The automaker says it plans to repair the problem by updating the software that controls the automatic emergency braking system.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is currently investigating a similar problem in Nissan Rogue vehicles from the 2017 and 2018 model years. So far, the federal agency has received 87 complaints about unintended braking in Rogue vehicles.
Auto Product Liability Issues
Automatic emergency braking is an important safety feature. However, when it doesn’t work as intended and suddenly stops the car for no reason, it puts the vehicle’s occupants as well as following vehicles in danger because they may crash into the suddenly stopped vehicle.
If you suspect that you have been injured as the result of a defective auto, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, damages and losses by filing an auto product liability lawsuit. An experienced auto defect lawyer can help you better understand your legal rights and options.