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Subaru and Honda issue recalls for faulty AEB tech

2015 Subaru Outback

So much for high-tech cars saving our lives. A recall has been announced globally for certain Subaru and Honda vehicles with automatic braking systems.

Cars equipped with futuristic technology that can save lives by braking automatically are being recalled in Australia and overseas because their latest safety systems are on the blink.

Japanese car makers Subaru and Honda have issued two separate recalls involving technology that is designed to prevent rear-end crashes and/or avoid hitting pedestrians.

Subaru is recalling more than 5000 of its latest Outback wagon and Liberty sedan models equipped with its “Eyesight” system that uses two cameras behind the windscreen to scan the road ahead.

A sign of just how complex modern cars have become, Subaru has discovered a seemingly unrelated brake light fault can disable the vehicle’s automatic emergency braking system.

A statement from Subaru said: “The (Eyesight) system may not operate as intended in an emergency braking situation (where the driver has failed to apply the brake), or may fail to properly engage the brakes when the vehicle has been placed in (automatic cruise control) mode. This is due to a software programming issue.”

Subaru says the fault “does not affect the performance of the brakes when engaged by the driver” and no incidents have been reported in Australia or overseas.

See full details on the Subaru recall here. 


Meanwhile Honda Australia is recalling more than 2000 examples of its latest Accord sedan and CR-V that are equipped with similar automatic emergency braking technology.

Rather alarmingly, in the case of the Honda fault, the automatic braking system can be activated when it is not supposed to.

“In certain driving conditions, the Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) may unexpectedly activate while operating the vehicle,” the Honda recall statement says.

“In rare cases, the system may interpret certain roadside objects, such as metal fences or guardrails, as obstacles and apply emergency braking.”

See full details on the Honda recall here and here.

The faults come as the car industry is debating how much technology should be introduced in modern cars, and how much control should be taken away from the driver.

Car giants Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, and technology companies Apple and Google, are all experimenting with driverless cars that rely on cameras, radars and other sensors to navigate their way through traffic with limited or no input from the driver.

But the latest recalls show that the technology still has a long way to go before it becomes failsafe.