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SUVs recalled over bad software

SUVs recalled over bad software

You have to agree that these are interesting times we live in. Thanks to technology, we just don't take our modern cars to the dealer to sort out the mechanical issues, there are computer bugs to deal with too.

As cars become more high-tech, they also become increasingly vulnerable to system flaws. It's no longer just about the mechanical components, such as your engine and transmission -- drivers now have to worry about the software that's running their cars' various components.

This is why it's important to know about the latest safety car recalls that are affecting your vehicle. Hardware or software, it can be a matter of life or death.

Read on and learn more about the software bugs that were found in these cars. Is yours affected?

Mitsubishi recall

Mitsubishi has just issued a recall for 68,000 SUVs due to bad software in two different engine control units (ECUs).

Fun fact: The ECU essentially the brain of your car's computer system. With the use of various sensors, it controls and regulates important functions like acceleration, fuel consumption and brake control.

The first recall covers 58,916 units of its 2018 Eclipse Cross, 2017 to 2018 Outlander, and 2018 Outlander Sport SUVs because of software bugs in the hydraulic unit ECU -- the system that controls automatic braking and adaptive cruise control systems.

These software issues can be dangerous since they can cause some important safety features like adaptive cruise control (ACC); forward-collision mitigation (FCM) and antilock brakes (ABS) to malfunction.

The second recall covers 9,166 of Mitsubishi's 2018 Eclipse Cross, 2017 to 2018 Outlander, and 2018 Outlander Sport SUVs due to another set of software bugs on the forward-collision mitigation (FCM) ECU.

The FCM bugs are likewise dangerous since the ECU may activate the brake longer than necessary, even when the obstacle is no longer detected. This could prompt a driver to apply additional manual braking, causing the car to slow down abruptly, increasing the possibility of a rear-end collision.

Vehicles affected by the Hydraulic ECU recall

Here's are the details of this hydraulic ECU recall based on the NHTSA's official report:

Number of vehicles potentially involved: 58,916

  • 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SUVs equipped with FCM system manufactured in the Okazaki, Japan, plant from Aug. 8, 2017, through March 13, 2018
  • 2017 to 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander SUVs equipped with ACC and/or electric parking brake (EPB) system manufactured in the Okazaki plant from Aug. 1, 2016, through April 6, 2018
  • 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander SUVs equipped with ACC and/or EPB, manufactured in the Gifu, Japan, plant from Nov. 3, 2017, through April 6, 2018
  • 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SUVs equipped with ACC and/or EPB manufactured from Nov. 13, 2017, through April 9, 2018
  • 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross SUVs equipped with ACC system and/or EPB, built from Dec. 26, 2017, through April 12, 2018
  • 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SUVs equipped with FCM, manufactured in Kurashiki, Japan, from Dec. 21, 2017, through April 13, 2018

Description: Due to an inappropriate software in hydraulic unit ECU (H/U-ECU), electrical noise is generated when the pump motor of the H/U operates, which may cause the H/U-ECU to reset.

Safety Risks:

  • If the ACC and/or FCM system is in operation, automatic braking may be canceled
  • If ABS is in operation, wheels will lock momentarily.
  • If ESC is in operation, it will be canceled momentarily.
  • If brake auto-hold is in operation, the brake will be released. According to Mitsubishi, brake auto-hold keeps a vehicle stationary even if drivers release their foot from the brake pedal.

Recommended action: Owners of these vehicles will be notified and the dealers will have to reprogram the hydraulic unit ECU's software at no extra charge. The recall is expected to begin Oct. 16, 2018.

Vehicles affected by the FCM ECU recall

Here's are the details of the FCM ECU recall based on NHTSA's official report:

Number of potentially involved vehicles: 9,166

  • 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SUVs built from Nov. 13, 2017, through June 25, 2018
  • 2018 to 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross SUVs built from Dec. 26, 2017, through June 21, 2018
  • 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander SUVs built in the Okazaki, Japan, plant from Aug. 8, 2017, through Dec. 4, 2017
  • 2017 to 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander SUVs built in the Okazaki plant from Aug. 1, 2016, through June 13, 2018
  • 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander SUVs manufactured in the Gifu, Japan, plant from Nov. 3, 2017, through June 13, 2018
  • 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SUVs manufactured in Kurashiki, Japan, from Jan. 12, 2018, through June 25, 2018

Description: Due to an inappropriate software of the FCM-ECU, when the FCM system detects a pedestrian who may be hit by the vehicle in front of the vehicle, the FCM-ECU may activate the brake for longer than necessary. In this case, the driver may be prompted to slam the brake when not necessary.

Safety Risks: If the driver is prompted to slam the brake while the FCM-ECU activates the brake, the vehicle will be decelerated rapidly, increasing the risk of rear-end collision.

Recommended action: Owners of these vehicles will be notified and the dealers will have to reprogram the FCM ECU's software at no extra charge. Similar to the Hydraulic ECU recall, it is expected to begin Oct. 16, 2018.

How to check if your vehicle is affected by a recall:

To find out if your vehicle is affected by any recall, you can head over to this NTHSA's recall page and enter your car's 17-digit VIN. This tool will tell you if there are open recalls affecting your vehicle.

Owners of the affected Mitsubishi vehicles can also contact Mitsubishi Customer Service at 888-648-7820 for assistance.

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