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Braking bad: Mitsubishi recalls 68k SUVs over buggy software

US Outlanders need upgrade, no word on other countries yet

Japanese auto maker Mitsubishi has recalled more than 68,000 vehicles in the US affected by two separate software bugs.

America's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued two recalls, one affecting more than 59,000 2018-model SUVs because of a bug in the braking system's management unit.

Included are 2018 Outlander Sport SUVs with forward collision mitigation (FCM); 2018 Outlander hybrids and Eclipse Cross models; and 2017/18 Outlanders with adaptive cruise control and/or electric parking brakes.

The worst impact is on forward-collision mitigation (FCM), in which the bug could prevent the safety system from operating properly. reported that this could affect automatic emergency braking, antilock braking, electronic stability control, or the brake auto-hold function.

The NHTSA report (PDF) provided more detail. Electrical noise from the hydraulic unit can cause a reset of the control unit, and that can either cancel automatic braking; cause momentary lock-ups if ABS is in operation; momentarily cancel the stability control function; or release the brakes if auto-hold is in operation.

The second bug impacts 9,166 vehicles of the same models. has claimed the second bug puts pedestrians at risk.

The FCM system is supposed to react to pedestrians at risk and apply the brakes; the bug is that it may activate the brakes longer than is necessary, including after the obstacle is no longer detected.

The bugs are present in vehicles from plants in Okazaki, Gifu, and Mizushima.

The NHTSA noted (PDF) that this could expose drivers to an increased risk of a rear-end collision.

Mitsubishi is expected to start contacting owners in the US on 16 October. So far, there's no word on whether owners in other countries might also be affected. ®

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