Two Florida residents allege in a Mazda class action lawsuit that their late model vehicle contains defective “smart” brakes which activate unexpectedly.
Plaintiffs Jason Miyares and Christie A. Vidaillet say they leased a 2019 Mazda 3 not knowing that the car suffered from a defect that caused unintended activation of the Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) and/or the Smart Brake Support (SBS) systems.
According to the Mazda class action lawsuit, 2018 through 2020 model year Mazda vehicles containing SCBS or SBS systems are affected by a braking defect.
“The Class Vehicles contain a feature called i-Activsense, which includes active safety technology and pre-crash safety technology, which are meant to prevent and reduce the risk of collisions,” explains the Mazda class action.
“When working properly, the SCBS and SBS systems alert the driver of a possible collision using the warning indications on the display panel and a warning sound if the front radar sensor and the [forward sensing camera] determine that there is the possibility of a collision with an object, such as a vehicle, pedestrian, or bicycle ahead. If the systems deem a collision unavoidable, the automatic brake control is activated to reduce damage.”
However, allege the plaintiffs, when the camera overheats, malfunctions occur. Specifically, the plaintiffs claim that the camera improperly activates the braking systems and the vehicle slows down or stops – even though there is no chance of collision.
“The Braking Defect presents significant safety risks for Plaintiffs and Class Members because when the braking system malfunctions and improperly stops or slows the vehicle, Plaintiffs and Class Members are unable to accelerate or maintain the speed of the vehicle,” states the Mazda class action lawsuit.
“Plaintiffs, Class Members, and other occupants of the Class Vehicles are at risk for rear end collisions and other accidents resulting in injury or potentially death because of Defendants’ failure to correct the Braking Defect and/or disclose the existence of the Braking Defect and the safety risks it poses to drivers, vehicle occupants, regulators, and the public in general.”
Indeed, the plaintiffs say that they experienced the defective smart braking system shortly after they leased their vehicle in the summer of 2019. Vidaillet alleges that the braking system lit up on her while driving and the Mazda went from 40 mph to a complete stop within seconds; however, there was allegedly no reason for the car to stop. Vidaillet says the car behind her was barely able to stop in time, narrowly missing a rear end collision.
The Mazda class action lawsuit alleges that the plaintiffs took their car into the dealership. They said that they were told the computer would be reset and they would no longer suffer unintended braking. However, a few months later, the car reportedly stopped unexpectedly twice within 10 minutes.
The plaintiffs said that on this occasion, they were told to either disable the security features on the vehicle or point the air conditioner at the forward sensing camera. The Mazda class action claims the plaintiffs were not satisfied with this solution and have since refused to drive the vehicle.
Miyares and Vidaillet say that the defect affects Mazda vehicles nationwide, but cars in Florida are especially susceptible because of the state’s hot and humid conditions.
Mazda has been hit with other class action lawsuits over alleged defects in its vehicles. One, claims that traffic alerts advertised as a feature by the car maker were inaccessible due to a software defect. Another alleges that the daytime running lights in the Mazda CX-5 burn out prematurely.
Has your Mazda 3 stopped unexpectedly due to the smart braking defect? Tell us more in the comments below.
The plaintiffs are represented by Ricardo M. Martinez-Cid, Lea P. Bucciero, and Alissa Del Riego of Podhurst Orseck PA.
The Mazda Smart Brakes Class Action Lawsuit is Miyares, et al. v. Mazda Motor Corporation, et al., Case No. 1:19-cv-25271, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
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