Acura SUV Recall Shows Glitch in Automatic Braking System

Acura is recalling two models of SUVs because their automatic emergency braking systems can mistakenly slow the car, increasing the risk of a collision.

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This is a March 27, 2013, file photo showing the 2014 Acura MDX during the 2013 New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York.Detroit, Michigan — Acura is recalling two models of SUVs because their automatic emergency braking systems can mistakenly slow the car, increasing the risk of a collision.

The recall involves just under 48,000 MDX and RLX SUVs worldwide from the 2014 and 2015 model years and shows how even sophisticated safety technology can be prone to real-world glitches.

Acura's "Collision Mitigation Braking System" uses radar to scan in front of the vehicles. If it determines the SUVs might hit an object, it automatically applies the brakes. But Honda, the maker of Acuras, has determined that the system can be fooled into sensing that a guardrail or metal fence on the side of the road is actually an object in front of it.

Dealers will update software to fix the problem.

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