Mazda will be recalling its 2019 and 2020 Mazda3 cars. NHTSA is closed for the holiday break, but once the agency re-opens we expect that the agency will issue a formal recall number for the Mazda3 over unwanted automatic emergency braking.
Mazda's North American Operations reports that it has filed a notification with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for a safety defect, which the company says exists in certain 2019 and 2020 Model Year Mazda3 vehicles. Mazda says that the affected vehicles may unexpectedly stop while driving due to inadvertent activation of the Smart Braking System (SBS) automatic emergency braking system.
Mazda blames incorrect programming of the Mazda3's SBS control software saying that it may cause the vehicle to falsely detect an obstacle in front of the vehicle while driving and could automatically apply the vehicle brakes to prevent or reduce damage from a collision, even though no collision is imminent.
Obviously, this poses a potential crash risk. Mazda says that no crashes or injuries have occurred. However, Consumer Reports disagrees with Mazda's finding, saying that its team looked into the NHTSA data and, "...found evidence of one injury and one crash related to sudden and unintended braking in 2019 Mazda3 vehicles."
Mazda says that it plans to update the software and will alert owners by snail mail if they own a vehicle related to this coming recall. Owners can always check to see if they have an open recall on their vehicle at Mazda's recall lookup site. We would suggest waiting until January 7th to do so, since NHTSA may not have had time to issue the recall file until that time.
Hat tip to Torque News reader/commenter Mancini Ellen for alerting us to this new topic.
John Goreham is a life-long car nut and recovering engineer. John's focus areas are technology, safety, and green vehicles. In the 1990s, he was part of a team that built a solar-electric vehicle from scratch. His was the role of battery thermal control designer. For 20 years he applied his engineering and sales talents in the high tech world and published numerous articles in technical journals such as Chemical Processing Magazine. In 2008 he retired from that career and dedicated himself to chasing his dream of being an auto writer. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and connect with him at Linkedin.