AUTO Connected Car News has been receiving reports from readers for months that some Nissan models’ Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) systems are malfunctioning and stopping in unexpected situations. There appears to be a broken sensor, misaligned radar and software glitches. Some comments we have received from readers relate multiple visits to Nissan dealerships and vehicles are not supposed to. Some vehicles show a warning “Front radar unavailable due to obstruction,” message.
Models effected include 2015 2016 2017 2018 Nissan Rogue, Nissan Rouge Sport, Murano, Altima, Maxima, Armada, Pathfinder, Leaf and Sentra with AEB functions.
One part that can malfunction is called “Nissan SENSOR ASSY-DISTANCE” and may have different part numbers depending on models. On the Sentra the part is 28438-5UD0A and on the Rogue it is 28438-5FA1A.The parts are reportedly Bosch radar sensors in the front grille.
Here are some complaints from our readers
“My 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid is in the shop for the 4x today for the faulty braking system. They find the codes and clear them saying Nissan won’t let them try and fix it. The issue started at 500 mile. I am scared to drive it because the braking system will engage for no reason”
“I HAVE A MORE SERIOUS AND POTENTIALLY DEADLY SITUATION with my front sensor. The front sensor actually malfunctioned and engaged the brakes!! I was driving on a highway @50 mph when the emergency braking system kicked in and brought my vehicle to a complete stop!!!”
The problems appear to be so widespread that there are two class action lawsuits filed to try to help owners of the affected vehicles. This lawsuits claim that Nissan has not recalled the vehicles and has not provided remedies that solve the radar sensor problems or offered reimbursement for expenses.
Some of our readers have reported success by taking their affected Nissan Murano, Sentra, Altima or Armada to a different dealership, that was able to get the correct part and at least replace the sensor.
We contacted Steve Yaeger at Nissan customer relations to give us a statement.
In an email received earlier Wednesday he wrote: “The AEB systems on the various vehicles are made by two different manufacturers and there are two different issues that a small number of consumers have indicated with each. There are different warranty/TSB service remedy solutions for each vehicle.”
Yaeger sent a statement from Nissan regarding the situation:
“Nissan is committed to customer satisfaction. The Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) were released to dealers to help diagnose and address customer concerns related to AEB operation. Different models are equipped with different systems, but our message to customers is simple, if a warning lamp is illuminated, or if a customer believes the AEB is not operating as intended, we invite them to immediately visit their dealer for an inspection and diagnosis.”
We asked if in the situation if is possible to temporarily turn off the AEB until you can get to the dealer or get it fixed.
“It is possible deactivate AEB/FEB feature, any driver can turn off driver assist functions – including FEB – in the main menu as demonstrated in this video. Each time the car is turned off and restarted, however, the system defaults to FEB activated state. Nissan isn’t advocating this action, so we wouldn’t want this to be part of our statement. “
We have learned that it may be better for Nissan owners with the problem to opt-out of the class action lawsuits, if you would prefer to have Nissan buy-back the car as lemon and then buy an alternative vehicle with working AEB functionality.
The opt-out process must be documented via sending a certified letter with return receipt or email confirmation.
We also suggest that you document every dealer visit. Often the dealer is not putting the correct information into the service form and customer invoice. We are hearing that because Nissan will not pay the dealer for certain things that they turn away the customer.
Our readers who filed complaints with NHTSA are getting action. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the complaints about the AEB in Nissan Rogue. This means that there may be a recall at some point in the future.
Although we have have been getting major complaints—-NHSTA received 129 complaints from consumers alleging a false positive triggering of AEB.
In response to ODI’s April 15, 2019 Information Request letter, Nissan provided data indicating that it has received 750 unique subject vehicle complaints relating to false positive activation of the AEB system. 12 were identified that contained allegations of a collision resulting from the activation of the system. Four complaints contained allegations of injuries, three of which were the result of a collision. These complaints included duplicates of complaints that ODI received. The injury allegations were limited to soft tissue type injuries such as whiplash and bruising.
NHTSA received a defect petition from the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) on March 21, 2019 alleging that the Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system on Model Year (MY) 2017-2018 Nissan Rogue and Rogue Sport vehicles was engaging in cases where there was no obstruction in the path of the vehicle.
The CAS petition additionally alleges that, based on Nissan’s actions, the manufacturer is aware of the issue due to issuing a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) launching two “Quality Actions,” and initiating a “Customer Service Initiative” in relation to it. CAS contends that Nissan’s actions do not represent an adequate long-term solution to the problem, as the action is only available during the basic coverage period of the warranty. CAS also argues that the alleged failures are an unreasonable risk to safety and views Nissan’s communications as not acknowledging the potential safety issue involved, instead treating the alleged problem as a performance update.
ODI has granted the petition and is opening this preliminary evaluation in order to evaluate the cause, scope and frequency of AEB false positive activations, as well as to evaluate the suitability of the manufacturer’s campaign to address the concern or improve performance of the AEB system.
The good news is that no one has been killed. We urge to continue reporting the problems and documenting your cases. If Nissan does not fix your problem you may have Lemon Law Case as long as you do not join the class action. Often the automaker wants a recall because it is cheaper for them to replace a few parts than to buy back a whole vehicle.
Update: 8/4/2019 Another option that may be helpful is to install a dashcam. In this way if the AEB causes an accident—stopping for no reason at all—you as the driver will not be held liable by showing the video. There is confusion as to whether this is a hardware problem or software problem. It is possible that without proof the dealer or insurer will blame the driver for braking for no reason at all. We believe that the Nissan vehicles’ AEB are malfunctioning–if you have dashcam video–it may give a clue on how to fix the problem.
When you set up an appointment either go to the individual dealership web appointment interface or http://www.nissanservicenow.com
It should show you offers at your local dealerships, click or tap on “Schedule APPT.”
The fastest way to schedule is to use “I’m in hurry”
If you tap on EDIT you can choose a service and have the option of filling in more information.
Here’s the tricky part. When you get to the dealer, show them your appointment and make sure that your comments appear in the work order aka repair order.
We have heard that dealers are not fully documenting repair orders and then come back later and say the customer did not make the dealer aware of a problem.
A general rule in all of this is get documentation in writing.
If you are hoping for a class action, it may mean that the vehicles stay on the road until the automaker works on a fix, which could be putting you and your passengers in danger.
We also suggest that you file complaint with NHTSA. When there are enough major problems submitted there, the automaker is forced to seek a solution and recall the vehicles at no expense to the owner.
You are welcome to share your successes or failures to get help with your Nissan vehicles in the comments that appear after the rest of this article.
A lawsuit filed in Northern California by BURSOR & FISHER, P.A. alleges the Nissan knows about the radar sensor problems because a series of technical service bulletins (TSBs) have been sent to dealerships since 2016. The bulletins include
- TSB NTB15-099b for 2016 Nissan Altimas, 2016 Maximas, 2015-2016 Muranos, 2016 Murano Hybrids, 2015-2016 Rogues and 2016 Nissan Sentras that tells technicans to check for misalignment or damages.
- TSB NTB16-116 and bulletin PC499
- TSB NTB18-008
- TSB NTB18-041 “Unexpected Operation of AEB, FEB OR FCW [Forward Collision Warning]” in 2018 Rogue, Rogue Hybrid and Rogue Sport vehicles.
- TSB NTB18-041a to include 2017-2018 Rogue, Rogue Hybrid and Rogue Sport vehicles.
- TSB PC637 reprogramming of ADAS software on 2018 Rogues built in the Smyrna, Tennessee. The bulletin states “The software update is designed to help improve the performance of Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), Forward Emergency Braking (FEB), and Forward Collision Warning (FCW) systems in the affected vehicles.”
This lawsuit claims that Nissan has not recalled the vehicles and has not provided remedies that solve the radar sensor problems or offered reimbursement for expenses.
A lawsuit filed in the Middle District of Tennessee David Turner, et al., v. Nissan North America, Inc., et al.covers 2017-2019 Nissan owners who have made complaints, an were told the system works as intended.
Class action lawsuits typically take years to resolve.
That lawsuit alleges:
The vehicle have a defective emergency braking system that exposes drivers and passengers to the risk of sudden and unexpected collision.
Nissan’s Emergency Braking System, however, is not road ready. It suffers from a serious defect, wherein the Emergency Braking System engages suddenly and unexpectedly when no collision is imminent and a driver has no intention of stopping her vehicle.
Owners have experienced sudden and unexpected braking on railroad tracks, on bridges, in intersections, and other driving situations that have placed them at serious and unreasonable risk of side-on or rear-end collision.
We do have some suggestions to try out to see if they help.
- It may seem obvious but it is possible the front sensor could be dirty or obstructed. Since techs only update software and look a code, it couldn’t hurt to clean the front grille per directions from your car’s user manual. Radar is hidden and hard to see.
- Check to see if your software has been updated. You can call any Nissan dealer with your VIN number and they can look up your records.
- If a dealer that has not been able to fix your problem, try calling other dealers within driving distance of your home or office. Previously when we experienced a Nissan TSB after calling four different dealers we were able to find one that was aware of the bulletin and was able to get a replacement part that other dealers did not have. It is better for documentation purposes to use the web interface to setup the appointment and keep an email copy of your comments.
- Additionally, try looking on Yelp for dealer reviews and phone numbers. We know of a case where a Nissan was taken continually to the same dealer and finally a second dealer was able to diagnose multiple problems with a vehicle that was bought back a lemon.
Be sure to leave updates in the comments below:
If you are experiencing problems or solutions please inform us in the comments below. Also please read our previous article on the topic to keep informed of the problem.
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