The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched an inquiry into 1.7 million Honda-manufactured vehicles in relation to concerns over unintended, or “phantom” braking. According to a report by Automotive News, the probe includes Honda Accord sedans manufactured in 2018-2019 and Honda CR-V SUVs manufactured in 2017-19.
Like other NHTSA investigations, this one stems from a raft of consumer complaints about the vehicles in question. As Automotive News reported, the NHTSA said it received a total of 278 complaints about the vehicles, including 107 concerning the Honda Accord and 171 concerning the Honda CR-V. The complaints reportedly alleged “inadvertent activation of the collision mitigation braking system.”
A document released by the NHTSA in February stated further: “Inadvertent or unexpected braking activation while driving can cause unexpected speed reductions that can lead to increased vulnerability to rear-end impact collisions. The complaints allege that the inadvertent braking events occur without warning and randomly.”
As a report by the Associated Press explained, only six of the complaints included allegations that the phantom braking issues resulted in “collisions with minor injuries.” The purpose of the NHTSA investigation is to ascertain the scope and severity of the issue.
The Honda investigation follows shortly on the heels of an NHTSA investigation into potential phantom braking in Tesla-manufactured vehicles. In that case, according to another report by the Associated Press, the inquiry stemmed from 354 consumer complaints. It pertained to approximately 416,000 cars released in 2021 and 2022. The complaints underlying the Tesla investigation did not describe any injuries, though documents released by the NHTSA stated: “The complaints allege that while utilizing the ADAS features including adaptive cruise control, the vehicle unexpectedly applies its brakes while driving at highway speeds. Complainants report that the rapid deceleration can occur without warning, at random, and often repeatedly in a single drive cycle.”