Feds close sudden braking investigation into Jeep SUVs

Michael Wayland
The Detroit News

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has closed an investigation into more than 95,000 2014-15 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs for reported problems with automatic braking systems without initiating a recall.

A preliminary evaluation by the Office of Defects Investigation found the Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system in the vehicles “performed as well or better than peer vehicles in testing conducted as part of NHTSA’s AEB test program.”

The case was opened in June 2015 following nine complaints alleging incidents of unintended braking, including two complaints reporting autonomous braking incidents with no objects on the road resulting in rapid increase in brake force and anti-lock braking system activations.

Officials found the two specific claims unsubstantiated, as the maximum brake activations that can be commanded by the system are “limited in both braking force and duration.”

“The system is not capable of achieving full ABS braking, as alleged in some complaints, unless driver brake application triggers the Advanced Brake Assist (ABA) mode,” reads a Sept. 28 summary of the findings.

Testers did find that unintended braking events “occur randomly for a variety of causes,” however only “involve short duration moderate braking events with minimal changes in vehicle speed” of between 7.7-13.4 miles per hour.

None of the reported incidents resulted in crash or injuries.


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Twitter: @MikeWayland