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NHTSA probes Freightliner Cascadia automatic emergency braking

18 complaints of false positives could lead to eventual recall

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigaing automatic emergency braking on 2017-2022 Freightliner Cascadias. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating 18 customer complaints of automatic emergency braking activating on Freightliner Cascadias without a hazard present.

The false positives led the agency to open a preliminary evaluation, the first step in what could but rarely leads to a forced recall. Manufacturers often recall vehicles during the course of such investigations.

The probe covers about 250,000 Cascadias from Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) built between 2017 and 2022. NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) received 18 Vehicle Owner Questionnaires, which claim errors in the automatic emergency braking system.  

Drivers reported the emergency braking occurred without driver input or the presence of an actual roadway obstacle. The applications ranged from a momentary, partial application with little loss of speed to full application, which brought the vehicle to a stop in the travel lane. 

NHTSA’s Vehicle Research and Test Center evaluated a Cascadia equipped with the emergency braking system using the “steel trench plate” test. The truck initiated hard braking when the steel plate was detected. 

DTNA said the steel trench plate was unrepresentative of real-world driving.  

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  1. Wayne

    I can recreate problem it does it at same highway spot with car in left turn lane.stops right in the middle of the highway everytime.traffic behind me.

  2. Stephen webster

    There have been many crashes caused by the system in Canada last winter. Over 30 crashes still under investigation
    We need a switch to turn these systems off during certain weather conditions.

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Alan Adler

Alan Adler is an award-winning journalist who worked for The Associated Press and the Detroit Free Press. He also spent two decades in domestic and international media relations and executive communications with General Motors.