NHTSA Launches Probe into 2013 Infiniti JX35 Over Automatic Braking Complaints

Two complaints regarding the 2013 Infiniti JX35’s Intelligent Brake Assist system have prompted the NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) to open a preliminary evaluation for the new three-row crossover. The complaints allege JX models will automatically apply the brakes at an inappropriate time, bringing the vehicle to a sudden, complete stop.

In both complaints filed with the agency, drivers allege their JX crossovers were automatically brought to a halt when crossing a bridge. No collisions resulted from either incident. ODI has opened a preliminary evaluation to determine the alleged defect’s cause, frequency, and scope. A recent study from the IIHS found that collision frequency was reduced for vehicles equipped with forward collision avoidance systems, including those that apply the brakes without driver intervention (among other safety systems).

In addition to Intelligent Brake Assist, the Infiniti JX offers available safety features including Intelligent Cruise Control, Distance Control Brake Assist, Forward Collision Warning, and the brand’s new Backup Collision Intervention system. The latter safety feature automatically engages the brakes when an object is detected behind the vehicle as it’s backing up.

Infiniti spokesman Kyle Bazemore told us the company has been aware of the complaints for some time, and has been investigating the issue on its own.

“We’ve found that the two complaints are in the exact same spot,” Bazemore said. “The way the roadway is constructed is making the system activate.”

When asked if a recall is planned for the JX, Bazemore said the issue is not a safety defect and that the system is working exactly as designed. Infiniti engineers are currently working on a solution for what Bazemore calls an “obscure situation.” The vast majority of JX models sold are equipped with the Intelligent Brake Assist System, and he notes that only two complaints have surfaced thus far.

Source: NHTSA