Nissan's AEB is Suddenly Stopping Vehicles For No Reason

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#brakes #technology #lawsuit #tsb

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) and forward collision warning (FCW) systems work together at preventing rear-end collisions. Through a series of cameras, sensors, and/or radar, FCW will issue visual and audible alerts if there’s an obstacle in the road ahead. If a collision is imminent, AEB will activate the brakes automatically.

The technology is supposed to be a standard across all new-vehicles by September 2022. Nissan started offering FCW/AEB as an Intelligent Safety Shield in some of its most popular models in the 2018 model year[1].

Nissan’s AEB Sensors Might Be Easily Fooled

Nissan’s AEB relies on a radar in the front grill. But it is believed that some of the radar modules, which were supplied by Bosch, are defective. In the worst case scenario, the modules are creating false-positives and stopping cars at random times.

It was a clear day, light traffic, dry pavement, no leaves or other road debris. As I pulled away from the stop sign, within 20 feet, the car suddenly started shaking and stopping. It made an incredibly loud noise. I immediately pulled over the shoulder. There were no messages on the dash or behind the steering wheel – 2018 Rogue owner in MD

Front radar unavailable due to malfunction

Needless to say this creates more rear-end collision opportunities than it saves. The sensor also frequently deactivates itself which is usually accompanied by the warning message “front radar unavailable due to obstruction.”

”The front sensor keep showing the "front sensor unavailable" followed by the crash icon at all times of the day, and all speeds including in the stopped position. The sensor goes out regardless of whether or not there are other vehicles near the car.” – 2018 Sentra owner in TX

With the radar unavailable, both AEB and cruise control will be disabled.

AEB technical service bulletins (TSB)

In September of 2016, Nissan issued TSB NTB15-009b to tell technicians to be on the lookout for two diagnostic codes related to radar sensors problems. Trouble Code DTC C1A16 would indicate the radar is blocked, while trouble code DTC C1A12 indicates the laser beam is off center.

The bulletin focused on the 2016 Altima, Maxima, Murano Hybrid, and Sentras as well as the 2015-2015 Murano and Rogues.

Then came the quality assurances

Nissan continued to release multiple bulletins from November 2016 to February 2017 related to quality assurance holds on the front camera (TSB NTB16-116 and PC499), or mentioning Automatic Emergency Braking or Forward Emergency Braking services (TSB NTB18-008 and TSB NTB18-008).

Unexpected operations in AEB, FEB, or FCW

In June of 2018, TSB NTB18-041 informed dealers that owners of the 2018 Rogue, Rogue Hybrid, or Rogue Sport might complain about unexpected problems with the AEB (automatic emergency braking), FEB (forward emergency braking), or FCW (forward collision warning). TSB NTB18-041a updated the previous bulletin to include the 2017 model year.

Dr. Evil's sharks with laser beams on their headsFrickin' lasers

Reprogram the laser radar

In August of 2018, TSB PC637 informed dealers to update the the driver assist system software to "improve the performance" of any 2018 Rogue built in Tennessee.

Any Chance of a Nissan AEB Recall?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) fully supports AEB saying it “believes these technologies represent the next wave of potentially significant advances in vehicle safety.[2]

While I doubt NHTSA would issue an investigation or recall for warning messages, if enough owners complain about the system creating new and potentially even-more damaging situations by randomly stopping cars, you’d have to believe that’d qualify as a “safety” issue worthy of an investigation.

Petition to investigate

In March of 2019 the US government was petitioned to look into sudden unintended braking in the 2017-2018 Rogue. The Center for Auto Safety says Nissan needs to skip the service bulletins and issue a proper recall.

Emergency Braking Lawsuits

A series of emergency braking lawsuits are worried that Nissan’s safety technology is actually putting drivers at risk.

Bashaw, et al., v. Nissan North America, Inc., et al.

The first lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California says any AEB-equipped Nissan has defective sensors in the front grille.

The owner's manuals for many of the vehicles admit the automatic emergency braking systems do "not function in all driving, traffic, weather and road conditions.” But the plaintiff says the manual leaves out the part about how the systems can cause vehicles to suddenly stop even when no objects are in the driving lane.

The lawsuit includes all former and current owners / lessees of the 2015+ Altima, Armada, Leaf, Maxima, Murano, Rogue, Rogue Sport, Sentra, and Pathfinder.

David Turner, et al., v. Nissan North America, Inc., et al.

A second lawsuit filed in the Middle District of Tennessee covers 2017-2019 Nissan owners who have made complaints, only to be told the system works as intended.

The plaintiff says the AEB malfunctions are especially dangerous when the vehicles suddenly brake in parking garages, while traveling through intersections and over railroad tracks and bridges.

Nissan's motion to dismiss the case was denied in late 2020.

  1. Includes the Rogue, Altima, and Murano accordion to ↩︎

  2. From their Driver Assistance Technologies article. ↩︎

Lawsuits Regarding This Problem

Lawsuits about this problem have already been filed in court. Many times these are class-action suits that look to cover a group of owners in a particular area. Click on the lawsuit for more information and to see if you're eligible to receive any potential settlements.

  • Motion to dismiss

    David Turner, et al., v. Nissan North America, Inc., et al.

    1. Motion to dismiss

      A Nissan AEB (automatic emergency braking) malfunction class action lawsuit will continue after the federal judge ruled against most of Nissan's motion to dismiss the complaint.

    2. Case Filed

      This forward emergency braking lawsuit alleges the system malfunctions,suddenly and unexpectedly braking on railroad tracks, bridges, intersections and other locations. Instead of protecting drivers, the Nissan lawsuit alleges the systems create perfect conditions for rear-end and side crashes.

    Class Vehicles
    • 2017-2019 Nissan Vehicles with AEB
  • Bashaw, et al., v. Nissan North America, Inc., et al.

    1. Case Filed

      A Nissan automatic emergency braking lawsuit alleges the front distance radar sensors can cause the systems to engage even though no obstacles exist. This causes the Nissan vehicles to suddenly slow down or come to complete stops in the middle of normal traffic.

    Class Vehicles
    • 2015-2019 Altima
    • 2015-2019 Armada
    • 2015-2019 Leaf
    • 2015-2019 Maxima
    • 2015-2019 Murano
    • 2015-2019 Pathfinder
    • 2015-2019 Rogue
    • 2015-2019 Rogue Sport
    • 2015-2019 Sentra

Generations Where This Problem Has Been Reported

This problem has popped up in the following Nissan generations.

Most years within a generation share the same parts and manufacturing process. You can also expect them to share the same problems. So while it may not be a problem in every year yet, it's worth looking out for.

Further Reading

A timeline of stories related to this problem. We try to boil these stories down to the most important bits so you can quickly see where things stand. Interested in getting these stories in an email? Signup for free email alerts for your vehicle over at

  1. A lawsuit claiming Nissan's automatic emergency braking (AEB) system has dangerous defects will continue in court

    following a U.S. District Court judge tossing out the automaker's motion to dismiss. AEB systems monitor the road and can apply the brakes if the system detects a collision is imminnent. But according to the lawsuit, Nissan's AEB detects items that aren't there and can randomly bring the car to a screeching halt.…

    keep reading article "Nissan Wanted An Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) Lawsuit Tossed. It Didn't Work."
  2. Does Nissan's automatic emergency braking (AEB) system have a defective radar?

    A California lawsuit says malfunctions in the system create random emergency braking situations when the radar detects objects that aren’t really there.

    The owner's manuals for many of the vehicles admit the automatic emergency braking systems do "not function in all driving, traffic, weather and road conditions.” But the plaintiff says the manual leaves out the part about how the systems can cause vehicles to suddenly stop even when no objects are in the driving lane.

    It’s scary to think that a safety system might actually create more crash scenarios than it prevents.

    keep reading article "AEB Lawsuit Says System Can Randomly Stop Vehicles"

OK, Now What?

Maybe you've experienced this problem. Maybe you're concerned you will soon. Whatever the reason, here's a handful of things you can do to make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

  1. File Your Complaint is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases.

    Add a Complaint
  2. Notify CAS

    The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits.

    Notify The CAS
  3. Report a Safety Concern

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues.

    Report to NHTSA