Driver assists can help make our trips much safer, but integrating software decisions into the control of a vehicle could cause serious problems if the system glitches at the wrong time. According to Mazda, a “Incorrect programming” in its Smart Braking System (SBS) can make fourth-generation Mazda3 vehicles to falsely detect an object in their path while driving and automatically apply the brakes while driving. The problem affects 35,390 2019 and 2020 model year cars in the US, but Mazda says it is not aware of any injuries or deaths as a result of the defect.
If the issue occurs, the driver will notice because their car has suddenly stopped, and also as an alarm sounds and a message is displayed on the in-car warning screen. Some Reddit posters report experiencing situations of the system activating while driving with nothing around, and note that while the system can be disabled, it appears to re-enable itself every time the car starts.