back to article Braking bad: Mitsubishi recalls 68k SUVs over buggy software

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 …

  1. steelpillow Silver badge
    Coat

    Coat icon

    The "impact" from a bug in the braking system? Ooer!

    Will Mitsubisihi's customers find themselves rear-ended by all this?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Coat icon

      UK versions are being recalled for a "braking isssue" as of about three days ago no idea how many.

  2. hplasm Silver badge
    Terminator

    Refuses to release the brakes?

    You didn't see them, did you? Not paying attention to the road, eh?

    Well, you can just sit here for a bit and think about what you've done!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am I though only one who read that headline and thought they we recalling SUVs that used a 68k chip?

    1. Shades
      Facepalm

      Dammit! I more or less just posted the same, then, as the page refreshed, your post was literally the first one I saw.

    2. kain preacher Silver badge

      Nope I was like wow .

  4. not.known@this.address Bronze badge
    Stop

    What did we do before they invented ABS?

    Oh that's right, we had to keep our eyes open and think about how fast we were going and what was in front of us... So while the silicon brain is having a hissyfit and not doing what it should be, what the heck is the meatsack behind the steering wheel doing?

    I can see the ABS locking might be a bit of a problem since the car might skid but are people really relying completely on the automatics to do their braking for them? If they can't control their vehicle then they shouldn't be trusted to drive it... well, aim it anyway. It really doesn't sound like they are driving at all...

    1. Prosthetic Conscience

      Re: What did we do before they invented ABS?

      Not exactly the same thing, this is about a bug that can disable ABS presumably unbeknownst to the driver anyway, you'd still kinda have to know what to do depending on the car you're driving regardless of the aids.

      Not sure how you should break on a modern automatic with no ABS and no clutch though, so I'd be screwed anyway.. (as far as I remember if there's no ABS and manual you slam the break before the clutch (rather than together) and might have to pump the break yourself)

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: What did we do before they invented ABS?

        Um, ABS just prevents the wheels from locking and thus exerts the maximum possible braking action.

        Even if ABS doesn't work, then you just press the brake down until the point that there is a screaming SCREEECCCHHHH sound, the smell of burning rubber and a sliding sensation. At that point back off the brakes a bit and your probably close to the best braking performance anyway.

        If your leaving roughly the amount of clearance to the next car that is laid down in the highway code and not leaving your braking to the last femosecond (again, as required by the highway code) then frankly you don't actually need ABS. I had a car without ABS and braked hard enough to have gotten the lovely sound and smell precisely twice and both times I adjusted down my speed as required in plenty of time. Lack of ABS shouldn't matter *that* much.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What did we do before they invented ABS?

          My understanding of older studies about the effectiveness of ABS (up until mid-2000's) was that ABS resulted in:

          - a significant reduction in fatalities for accidents involving motorcycles

          - a significant reduction in fatalities for accidents involving trucks

          - a reduction in fatalities for cars/SUV's involved in low speed accidents or accidents involving pedestrians

          - an increase in fatalities where cars leave the road (likely due to excessive speed)

          - an increase in fatalities where cars are involved in high speed nose-to-tail collisions (likely due to tail gating)

      2. overunder

        Re: What did we do before they invented ABS?

        "Not sure how you should break on a modern automatic with no ABS and no clutch though"

        Like any automatic prior to ABS? Or even how about any ABS before software integration? Seriously, software should optionally aid ABS, not critically control it.

        "...as far as I remember if there's no ABS and manual you slam the break before the clutch (rather than together"

        What?

        As far as ABS not mattering that much, well, I'd rather have it than not. That said, a 1967 Chevelle I once had had amazing breaks, so did a early 80's Nissan.

        But I don't care, just let me keep the power brakes, ABS or not

        1. 10forcash Bronze badge

          Re: What did we do before they invented ABS?

          "...as far as I remember if there's no ABS and manual you slam the break before the clutch (rather than together"

          What?

          That's correct, you *should* use {progressively, not 'slam'} the brakes without depressing the clutch right up until the stall point, used to be part of the GB driving test - or at least part of the instruction IIRC... it's a mandatory part of offroad driving instruction to master if you want / need to pass a BORDA or IOPD training course.

          I seem to have some memory of ABS negatively impacting braking on reduced traction surfaces (can't remember the details - sorry) - which is why there is a DSC (or similar) 'off' button on most cars intended for use on a mixture of surfaces

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: What did we do before they invented ABS?

            Braking until one or more of the wheels locks up and skids has broken traction and backing off a bit probably won't help. The technique taught before ABS was called cadence braking and allowed maximum braking whilst still allowing a driver to steer. If stopping in a straight line then threshold braking, which is maximum brake force without fully locking wheels is better.

  5. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

    And people wonder why I don't trust fully automated driving systems (ie driverless cars), when they can't even get driving assistance technology right. I'm sure that eventually these systems will probably be reliable, but I don't see them as being so now.

    On a slightly different note, any assisted driving technology that isn't 100% reliable is actually a massive hindrance as not only are you trying to judge the situation from a driving perspective (well you should be, anyway), but now you're also trying to second-guess if the 'helpful' technology is going to get involved or not. And while there are those of us who would just assume that it will work and damn the consequences, I don't need anyone's death on my conscience, thank you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And people wonder why I don't trust fully automated driving systems...

      No, I don't think anyone's wondered this about you. Not even those 'select' few who know you.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "On a slightly different note, any assisted driving technology that isn't 100% reliable is actually a massive hindrance"

      Incorrect.

      If an enhanced technology improves safety significantly 20% of the time and fails .01% of the time, then...

      in 10,000 incidents it helps significantly about 2,000 times and hinders 1 time.

      I seriously doubt the failure rate of ABS brakes, given their self-test feature, is anything near as high as .01%. I've never seen mine fail in tens of thousands of braking cycles.

      As well, the more likely failure just leaving you with the braking you would have had anyway.

      Given the number of people who don't seem to know how to brake without ABS in winter driving conditions, and the usual reduction in braking distance, ABS is an obvious major win, at least until better braking causes people to drive faster.... if they do. Certainly on snow and ice, I try to balance stopping distance with blending with the rest of the traffic... over here in the slower lanes.

      1. 10forcash Bronze badge

        "Given the number of people who don't seem to know how to brake without ABS in winter driving conditions"

        ...or with...

        Also, the %age of people that take their car to a dealer / garage because the TPMS light is on... rather than periodically* checking the tyre pressures or having a puncture repaired like in the old days!

        Interesting** factoid:-

        JLR TPMS trigger pressures are roughly 10% below the amount of pressure naturally lost by a tyre in a year to prevent owners calling in to dealers with a 'tyre fault' unnecessarily...

        * periodically ~ once a month, tried to explain the reason why it's called that to a woman once...

        ** to me

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow...

    68,000 people with bad taste. Who knew?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wow...

      Taste is personal, and this is not obviously a bad 'taste' choice.

      On the other hand, 68,000 people willing to accept a sparse dealer network and limited options for after sales parts.

  7. Joe W

    Consumerreports.com has claimed the second bug puts pedestrians at risk.

    I thought that is already covered by this being SUVs? Looking at the size of the windows (rear one especially - seriously it is the size of the old VW Käfer one!) and the shape of them you just have no chance of actually seeing anything smaller than another SUV...

    1. 10forcash Bronze badge

      Consumerreports.com has claimed the second bug puts pedestrians at risk.

      SUV's don't kill pedestrians, mobile phone's do. - to paraphrase GLC

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Increased risk to pedestrians and of rear end collisions

    That may be true, but it is a very small increase (assumption, as no figures for resets per operational hours are given) of a very small chance (most people don't get run over or crash into the rear of a car). Add to that the chance of a random, infrequent event occuring at exactly the same time as an incident involving one of a very small percentage of the vehicles on the road...

    However, it is a real defect and well done for finding it and putting corrective measures in place. Just remember to treat "consumer protection" reports with care as they do like to make problems seem worse than they are.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...and these are the bugs they know about....

    ...and remember that old rule of thumb too....every bug fix introduces about half of another bug...

    *

    Maybe I should go out and find a low mileage Morris Minor 1000!

    1. Ian Emery Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: ...and these are the bugs they know about....

      If you get the Traveller version, remember to check for woodworm and dry rot.

      ABS doesnt always work on snow, ice or mud properly, whereas locking the wheel has a chance of building up a ruck of snow/ice/mud in front of the wheel which will help slow the vehicle down.

      Ditto traction control; had to push several Audi's off of an icy car park where other cars got out, because the TC had a sulk due to all 4 wheels slipping.

  10. Shades
    Trollface

    68k

    The bigger question is why their SUVs are using such an old processor?

  11. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Not software

    Electrical noise crashing the ABS computer isn't a software glitch. They'll at least have to put a noise suppressor on the ABS pump and/or the driver for it. There may still be other noise sources that can cause problems if they don't replace the computer.

    This one would scare me. In the time between the fault and the fault detection, the brakes can completely engage or disengage. ABS needs an active feedback loop to work.

    1. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: Not software

      It could be a software issue, the software might not be correctly filtering the noise.

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