Car Industry

Unintended deceleration: NHTSA probes Nissan Rogue over autobrake reports

An investigation could lead to a recall, if NHTSA finds something worth addressing.

Starting with the 2019 model year, active and passive safety systems (including AEB) are standard on all Rogues, save for the base trim.

Nissan

When NHTSA receives a volume of complaints about an issue, it can investigate further and, if necessary, compel an automaker to initiate a recall. That might end up happening with the latest investigation, which involves a popular Nissan SUV.

NHTSA has opened an investigation focusing on the 2017-2018 Nissan Rogue. The Rogue represents a good chunk of sales volume, so it's no surprise that this investigation covers an estimated 674,742 vehicles from just those two model years.

The problem stems from the automatic emergency braking system, which is capable of stopping the vehicle if the driver doesn't react to a perceived threat in time. NHTSA has received 87 complaints about the Rogue's AEB system -- specifically, these complaints allege that the AEB kicked on when there was nothing in front of the vehicle. Of course, this represents a big safety concern, as a vehicle slamming to a halt for no reason can cause accidents on the road.

According to NHTSA's documents, it appears Nissan might be trying to address the issue on the back end, as Nissan apparently issued a technical service bulletin and other measures related to the AEB system. A technical service bulletin, or TSB for short, is a set of procedures recommended for repairing a specific vehicle defect that usually doesn't rise to the level of requiring a recall.

The person who wrote the petition, according to NHTSA's documents, "alleges that Nissan's actions do not represent an adequate long-term solution to the problem," which is why NHTSA was asked to investigate and, if necessary, tell the automaker to officially recall its vehicles. Nissan did not immediately return a request for comment, but the automaker told Reuters in a statement that it "will continue to work collaboratively with NHTSA and Transport Canada on all matters of product safety."