What just happened? Relatively new technologies can make driving a lot safer, but more tech can sometimes mean more things going wrong. The fourth-generation Mazda3 vehicles, for example, are being recalled over a problem in the emergency braking system, which can cause the brakes to be applied automatically while driving.
Mazda writes that incorrect programming of the Smart Braking System (SBS) control software may cause the vehicles to falsely detect an obstacle in front of the vehicle while driving. The problem exists in certain 2019 and 2020 Model Year Mazda3s (sedans and hatchbacks), and a recall has been issued for 35,390 affected vehicles in the US and US territories.
Mazda has filed a defect notification with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), though it’s yet to appear on the agency’s website. The company stressed that it is not aware of any injuries or deaths that were caused by the fault.
Mazda says an alarm will sound and a message is displayed in the instrument cluster and head-up display when the car is about to perform an emergency stop. While emergency braking can be disabled in the vehicle’s settings, Redditors write (via Engadget) that the system re-enables itself whenever the car is restarted.
According to Autoblog, some earlier vehicles will need the whole instrument cluster replaced or reprogrammed to address the issue, while later cars only need the Smart Braking System software reprogrammed with an improved version.
Owners of affected vehicles will be notified by mail by February 17 next year.