By on April 12, 2019

2017 Nissan Rogue SL AWD Palatial Ruby Front Quarter, Image: © 2017 Chris Tonn

Nissan added automatic emergency braking as standard equipment on eight popular models for the 2018 model year, looking to get a jump on the pact forged in 2016 that calls for mandatory AEB on all cars and light trucks by 2020.

That pact, covering 20 automakers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, is already bearing fruit. Just last month, the NHTSA congratulated a slew of automakers, including Nissan, for including the safety feature on the majority of their vehicles.

One month later, and the NHTSA finds itself investigating Nissan for a potential fault with its AEB system.

The federal agency opened an investigation on April 8th, focusing on the 2017 and 2018 Nissan Rogue crossover, after being alerted by the Center for Auto Safety. The defect petition filed by CAS contains 87 complaints submitted to regulators in recent months, with the safety group calling for a formal probe into the issue.

It got its wish. According to the regulator, the petition contains 10 specific complaints “related to the AEB system engaging with no obstruction in the path of the vehicle.”

CAS finds fault in Nissan’s response to the complaints, saying the automaker treated it as a service issue, not a safety one. The NHTSA report states “the manufacturer is aware of the alleged issue due to issuing a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) and launching two “Quality Actions,” and initiating a “Customer Service Initiative” in relation to it. The petitioner alleges that Nissan’s actions do not represent an adequate long-term solution to the problem.”

As with most other investigations, the NHTSA probe aims to determine whether a recall is required.

The probe covers 674,472 Rogues sold for the 2017 and 2018 model years. While no known accidents or injuries are associated with the issue, some of the complaints cite close calls.

“This has led to 2 near misses,” one 2018 Rogue owner wrote. “Once, the car just stopped in the road. I thought it might have misinterpreted a snow pile. Then, driving over a train crossing, the car just stopped. Luckily I was able to get it moving before a train came. Very scary!”

The customer service initiative launched earlier this year called attention to an update Nissan made available for the AEB system, but CAS claims it downplays the threat to public safety. It’s a voluntary update available to those whose Rogues are under warranty, but there’s no guarantee all owners will take Nissan up on the offer. A recall would make it mandatory.

“As always, Nissan will continue to work collaboratively with NHTSA and Transport Canada on all matters of product safety,” Nissan said in a statement reported by Automotive News.

AEB is relatively new technology, and faults can be expected. Sometimes a system works too well and identifies objects as dangers when it shouldn’t. The overseas-market Suzuki Jimny recently ran into this trouble, with the AEB wonkiness only detectable on twisty roads bordered by a guardrail. Still, it’s up to the automaker to ensure the public feels safe having this type of automated intervention in their vehicle.

[Image: © 2017 Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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28 Comments on “NHTSA Probing Nissan Rogues That Brake for No Reason...”


  • avatar
    JimZ

    what the hell, I wasn’t going anywhere anyway.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    NHTSA says AEB is AOK but CAS says NYET.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    The brakes on Rogue are always engaging when it’s not necessary. I just assumed it was the drivers.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Do these systems activate the brake lights so vehicles behind have warning?

    • 0 avatar
      SlowMyke

      That’s a fatal flaw if they don’t. Imagine the driver in front of you panic stopping on the expressway, with no brake lights. Even the best drivers are likely to have an issue avoiding that collision.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    One could say the brakes went rogue.

  • avatar
    Gedrven

    In reference to the third Related article: Your Future No Longer Includes Rear-ending that Other Car… unless the Other Car does something asinine like stop suddenly and for no reason.

    This is not safety. It’s not even a crutch to lean on. It’s more like a crutch that has the power to make you stand up whether or not you want to or it’s safe to do.

    • 0 avatar
      SlowMyke

      This is one of ths main reasons all vehicles i drive better not have this system, or have an off switch for it if it’s present. I pay attention when i drive. If there’s something that i can’t anticipate, i doubt a sensor in the car is going to do so in a safe manner either. I’ve had negative experiences with a system that simply flashed lights and beeped at me when it thought i was going to crash into a very mild train track crossing in rush hour traffic. Had it decided to brake as well, I’m sure I’d have needed a few new bumpers. No thanks, no thanks at all.

      • 0 avatar
        Gedrven

        A 2019 Continental I recently drove had collision warning turned on, but not active braking. As is par for the course in South Florida, someone swerved into my lane without warning. Like any driver worth their license, I saw it happening and was already on the brakes when the nanny got involved. When it did, it was the equivalent of a passenger screaming and grabbing my arm, the last thing a driver needs in such a situation.

        Thankfully the system can be kept off by default. Along the lines of the cloud-based electrics in the C8, I wonder how long before a mandatory over-air software update reverts that.

        • 0 avatar
          SlowMyke

          Exactly my thoughts! Who needs the car fighting you for control right when you need control most? If they’re going to do this half-autonomous nonsense, then there’d better be an off switch or a fuse to pull. I can’t understand why they think a car doing half the driving is going to help keep drivers reliable and safe. I force myself to ignore my backup camera at least half of the time because i caught myself feeling weird backing up in a camera-less car. I consider myself a good driver and a very aware/focused driver. If that’s happening to me with just a camera backing up, i can’t imagine the effects of automatic braking or steering on average/bad drivers, especially if it only happens half the time. The inconsistency alone will cause problems, not to mention any malfunctions in the system.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Although I can give the corollary to that: yesterday whilst driving to work, I started moving over after signaling, checking my mirror AND doing a shoulder-check..and still almost missed the Grand Caravan which was almost completely hidden by my B-pillar! My next car with the BSI in the mirrors should catch stuff like that!

            Note I said “should!” Yes, that stuff can break — that’s why I still do a shoulder-check! And it takes a second to re-acquaint oneself when getting into a car without a backup camera, or even going back to a car with regular cruise control after being accustomed to not having to disengage and re-engage adaptive cruise in normal driving. But you and I, as auto enthusiasts, are more keenly aware of this stuff versus the average Jane Soccermom! So your point is a good one.

          • 0 avatar
            Gedrven

            “i can’t imagine the effects of automatic braking or steering on average/bad drivers,”

            The admitted reality is that the effect on a bad driver is – in the short-term, and while the gadgets are new and still in good working order – a positive one. What we’ve lost sight of is that while the immediate danger of an incompetent operator of deadly machinery is mitigated, this remains a fundamentally unsafe situation.

          • 0 avatar
            SlowMyke

            @Gedrven – so from your last post, you agree with my sentiment? I’m not sure if you’re saying you agree on the long term these intermittent autonomous technologies are dangerous or not. I guess i agree that right off the bat they probably are a positive influence. Drivers haven’t had time yet to acclimate to them, so as long as they don’t freak out and overreact when the car tries helping, the system should do it’s job (when not malfunctioning).

            But as we see with Tesla’s autopilot, bad drivers get complacent, overconfident, or brash in letting the car do more of the driving than it should be. Tesla’s system is pretty robust and comprehensive, so despite some phenomenally dumb behavior with it, there’s been relatively little consequence. But going mainstream with vehicles that sell hundreds of thousands of copies, your sample size is much greater to find the bad drivers, and the spectrum of people is much more diverse as well. That’s why i don’t like these systems that just kick in sometimes. Or at least invasive systems like braking and steering. Passive things like traction control generally help in all situations. When it comes to actually taking control of the vehicle, either take full control all the time, or don’t do it at all. I don’t think relying on drivers to share control is a great idea.

      • 0 avatar
        redgolf

        thousands of them running around here in Nissan land (Smyrna,Tn.)I have several friends that have them also! ;-(

  • avatar
    brettc

    That owner should have abandoned their Ragu on tracks, let a train hit it, then buy something that isn’t a Ragu with the insurance money.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Speaking of Ragu, I like how TTAC posted a rouge colored Rogue

  • avatar

    I carefully purchased a 2018 VW GTI S model WITHOUT the many nanny-state electronic “helpers” that I did not want, refused to pay for, and thus avoided the electronic glitches that can happen as these delicate electronic features can deteriorate or fail over time.

    • 0 avatar

      I did the same with leaving the full Distronc package whenI got the current ride. I know when Im changing lanes and don’t need the cat to park itself. Typical
      Marketing BS was the curb beepers-the only part I wanted was only with this nonsense. I have shut Off these systems in Cadillac and Mercedes in the past so I certainly wasn’t buying it now.

  • avatar

    TO THE EDITORS OF TTAC:
    A recent change makes it fiendishly difficult to log in with my user name and password. The system now tries to force people to log in with WordPress. I just want a ONE STEP log in with my user name and password. If this fiendish glitch is not fixed, I may abandon contributing to TTAC and remove myself from the list.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    This immediately brings to mind a certain 737 model that flies itself into the ground.
    Welcome to the 21st-century. It has turned out so much more dystopian than I imagined back in the 60s.
    Automation is clearly a double edge sword, and I think way too many people and organizations are overdoing it.

  • avatar

    I am shocked. Nissan misbehaves – who knew. Issue recall and drop phony charges against Carlos!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Tesla’s Autopilot needs more of this behavior. Think of the poor firetrucks!

  • avatar
    fshock

    “Sometimes a system works too well and identifies objects as dangers when it shouldn’t.”

    In the real world this is known as ‘not working well’ or simply ‘broken’.

    • 0 avatar
      CobraJet

      My 2017 Buick Lacrosse has a warning system, but no automatic braking. Last week I was on a two-lane highway at dusk. I was meeting three cars in a row with their headlights on. As they approached, the warning system went off. The dash cluster and heads up display started flashing a blinding red signal. I hit the brakes and headed for the shoulder, assuming someone was coming at me head-on without lights. However, there was no car there. Everything was fine. Very scary.


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