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Feds Open Probe into Honda Emergency Braking Problem

by | March 11, 2024

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started a probe into more than 250,000 Honda Insights and Passports due to dozens of complaints about the automatic emergency braking system activating for no apparent reason.

2021 Honda Passport dirt kicking REL

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a probe into 2019-22 model year Honda Insights and Passports.

Federal safety regulators in NHTSA’s Office Defects Investigation received more than 45 complaints about the emergency braking systems bringing 2019-2022 model year Insights and Passports to a stop without any reason. Included in those complaints are three crashes or fires and two injuries, according to Reuters.

“Inadvertent activation of the AEB system can increase the risk of a collision resulting in injury and/or property damage,” NHTSA states in documents outlining the scope of the probe. “The complaints allege that the inadvertent braking events occur without warning.”

What happens?

Affected vehicles will go through all of the expected warnings and then attempt to bring the vehicle to a stop. According to various complaints, the issue doesn’t present the same each the time. Sometimes the system activates when there is no vehicle, pedestrian or other object in front of the vehicle.

2021 Honda Insight front 3-4 REL

Federal safety regulators in NHTSA’s Office Defects Investigation received more than 45 complaints about the emergency braking systems.

“My Honda Passport will trigger false forward collision alarms randomly, and for no reason. As the BRAKE warning appears, the steering wheel vibrates. This happens for no apparent reason. It is distracting and if the brakes apply, very dangerous. My dealership says this is normal. It is not normal or safe,” one owner wrote in a complaint filed in January 2023 about their 2019 Honda Passport.

Other times, it may activate in high traffic situations.

“Forward collision warning alert (Brake) warning triggers frequently when opposing traffic is present. Sometimes the brakes apply that has led to several near miss collisions from being rear ended,” the owner of a 2019 Passport wrote in December 2022.

“The blind spot warning false triggers during wet conditions. Both of these items are distracting and first is dangerous. The two different dealers I have contacted are aware of these issues and have stated that Honda has no solution. One of the dealers said they could check/adjust the radar for $270 but may not fix the problem.”

More NHTSA stories

What’s next?

The agency didn’t offer up a timeframe for how long the investigation will last, but this type of probe typically has investigators reviewing the owner complaints, checking for any service bulletins issued by the manufacturer and then contacting the vehicle manufacturer to reveal the findings and recommending a course of action.

The result can be a voluntary recall of the affected vehicles, sometimes it can be mandated by NHTSA. If your vehicle is subject to a recall, the repairs are done at no cost to the vehicle owner.


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