Top 9 Things To Know About Honda CMBS Problems

As early as 2013, Honda allegedly knew something was wrong with its Collision Mitigation Braking System, or CMBS. This CMBS, Honda’s own autonomous emergency braking system, is supposed to help prevent collisions by warning drivers of obstacles and triggering the brakes when needed.

Instead, many consumers are reporting that the Honda Collision Mitigation Braking System makes their vehicles slam on the brakes even when no obstacle is present. According to multiple class action lawsuits, these vehicles are allegedly at an increased risk of getting rear-ended. In some cases, the Collision Mitigation Braking System has mistaken everyday road environments for obstacles and caused the vehicles to stop suddenly.

The collision mitigation system problem prompted a recall of some vehicles in 2015, but according to these lawsuits, Honda continues to sell vehicles with the allegedly defective braking system. Multiple class action lawsuits have been filed against Honda for its CMBS – and by extension, its broader technology suite known as Honda Sensing.

1. Which vehicles have recurring problems with Honda CMBS?

The following vehicles may be equipped with Collision Mitigation Braking System and experience recurring braking problems.

  • 2016–2020 Honda Accord
  • 2016–2020 Honda CR-V (EX, EL and Touring)
  • 2016–2020 Honda Pilot

Some of these vehicles may be included in one or more class action lawsuits. Honda models that are not currently represented in class action lawsuits may still face recurring braking problems. You may need to opt out of one or more class action lawsuits before established deadlines in order to pursue an individual lemon law claim.

2. Why should I opt out of a class action lawsuit?

You have to opt out if you want to retain your right to sue individually. If you stay in the class action, you waive your right to sue as an individual both during and after the settlement.

Additionally, class action lawsuits often have thousands of members. If you stay in a class action lawsuit, you may only get a meager cut of the final settlement. You may need to opt out of at least one Honda lawsuit in order to pursue charges specific to your situation.

3. What’s wrong with Honda’s CMBS?

According to multiple class action lawsuits, a Honda Collision Mitigation system problem can cause random engagement of the brakes, sudden deceleration, and shuddering and jerking of the vehicles. These lawsuits also allege that other driver assistance systems in the Honda Sensing technology suite, which includes Honda’s CMBS, cause recurring safety problems in multiple Honda models.

The CMBS allegedly provides false alerts for obstacles that are not present. Some Honda owners and lessees allege that their vehicles’ CMBS mistakenly reports opposing traffic as obstacles, all while failing to detect actual obstacles. According to these lawsuits, the CMBS’ function can be affected by roadway conditions such as weather, sudden changes in light, shadows, the time of day one drives, and roadway objects that could be mistaken for pedestrians or vehicles.

Other systems on the Honda Sensing technology suite allegedly cause false lane keeping alerts and other problems that can cause driver distraction and make driving unsafe. Recurring Honda Sensing problems – in particular, Honda CMBS problems – may turn your vehicle into a lemon. Contact a lemon law attorney to discuss your legal rights.

Honda CMBS: Next Steps

4. How does the Honda CMBS work?

Honda’s Collision Mitigation Braking System is an autonomous emergency braking system that incorporates features of the Forward Collision Warning (FCW), supposedly to improve driver safety and prevent collisions. These systems are part of the Honda Sensing, which rely on radar sensors near the lower front bumper, an interior camera, and other safety technologies.

Honda’s Forward Collision Warning System prevents possible frontal collisions by detecting possible obstacles. Upon detection, the Honda FCW provides the driver with visual and audible warnings. If a driver ignores these warnings or otherwise cannot respond in time, the Honda CMBS will continue these alerts, apply light braking and, if a collision is unavoidable, apply hard braking to lessen the impact of a crash.

Other technologies included in Honda Sensing include Road Departure Mitigation System (RDM), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow, and Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS). These systems are supposed to help control vehicle speed, provide steering inputs, and alert drivers if they are at risk of crossing into adjacent lanes.

However, Honda Sensing technologies do not always work as intended, and its recurring problems may make Honda Accord, Honda CR-V, Honda Pilot and other Honda vehicles unsafe to drive.

Honda CMBS: Next Steps

5. What have consumers reported?

Consumers have submitted several complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some of which have been cited in multiple class action lawsuits filed against Honda. A few complaints regarding the Honda CMBS can be read below. Please note that they have been edited for grammar and clarity.

Honda Accord Problems

2016 Honda Accord

My husband was driving, I was in the passenger seat on a clear day, with full visibility. There was a car several car lengths ahead of us turning right. It cleared the way without us needing to brake. We were traveling about 40 mph at around 2pm. Our vehicle thought there was still a hazard in the road. We have a sensing package in the vehicle, which caused our car to come to a full and complete stop, engaging the seat belts as well. We have full video evidence of the incident from a third party dash cam. We were almost hit from behind.

We took the vehicle to the dealership thinking there was something wrong with it. It was returned, saying that the car worked as intended. Having been in the vehicle at the time, I disagree, and I am now extremely afraid to drive my car.

2018 Honda Accord

On three separate occasions, the car has seen a shadow on the ground and slammed on brakes, then releasing, for no reason. There were no other vehicles around me on each occasion. I thought the car was stopping on a yellow light on the first incident, but was told by the service manager that it doesn’t do that. This is a very dangerous issue that needs to be addressed. I asked the service manager to disable it, but was told he can’t do that […] because this is an added feature.

Honda CR-V Problems

2017 Honda CR-V

The Collision Mitigation Braking System is malfunctioning when driving over metal plates; during construction, metal plates were put on the road where I work. They do not stick out, area flush with the street, and are about 4 feet wide. Every time I get close to drive straight over them (at probably 20-25 MPH), my car slams onto the brakes and comes to a complete stop. If anybody were behind me, they would rear-end me. A colleague of mine bought the same car and has exactly the same problem. I had my car checked out at a Honda dealer and they told me everything is working properly. The system cannot be turned off permanently, so I have to turn it off manually every time I start the car. This is very dangerous, as somebody will get hurt soon if somebody is behind me and there is no reason I would come to such an abrupt stop.

2018 Honda CR-V

I was driving at about 70MPH on the highway west bound in the morning, no direct sunlight, it was an overcast day. I had the adaptive cruise control on. For no reason at all, my car slammed on the brakes, did a moderate nosedive and locked my seat belt. No warning whatsoever. There was not another car for at least a 1/4 to 1/2 mile in front of me. Unfortunately, there were cars behind me. I quickly disengaged the adaptive cruise control and floored the gas, avoiding an accident from the rear. I had this identical problem with a 2016 Honda Civic Touring, and every time I reported it, the dealership would blame sunlight, even if there was none when it happened. Something needs to be done about this.

Honda Pilot Problems

2017 Honda Pilot 

Adaptive Cruise Control and Forward Emergency Braking (FEB) system becomes spontaneously disabled during driving. This poses a serious issue when actually driving the car. The car is in motion when this happens. The system can only be reset by stopping the car, turning off the ignition and then re-starting the engine. While driving 50 mph, the Collision Mitigation Braking System engaged and caused the vehicle to brake without warning. The vehicle was taken to [a Honda dealership] to be diagnosed, but the cause of the failure could not be determined. The vehicle was not repaired and the failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure […] The failure mileage was 28,000.

2019 Honda Pilot

When driving on the interstate, the car automatically applied brakes at 70+ MPH, bringing the speed down to 55 or less as it sensed a car in the right lane. However, there were clear lanes and no potential impact for a crash. The braking almost resulted in me getting rear-ended. Also, there have been numerous instances where the car has had sensors go off for collision warnings when I am driving in the city and there is no car in sight, or when I am turning left at a stoplight. This is not safe and needs to be addressed.

6. How has Honda responded to the CMBS problems?

Honda knew of recurring problems with its CMBS since at least November 2013, when it first received a report of CMBS activation resulting in a vehicle getting rear-ended. After investigation, Honda issued a safety recall of several 2014–2015 Honda models equipped with Honda Sensing.

That same year, the National Transportation Safety Board released a special investigation report that predicted potential problems in autonomous emergency braking systems. The report found that these systems depend heavily on the technology’s timeliness and detection accuracy, and that there was a risk of false alarms. Based on these events, multiple class action lawsuits allege that Honda knew of the risks of having a faulty collision avoidance system. However, Honda allegedly continued to sell vehicles equipped with defective Honda Sensing suites.

These lawsuits cite several documents issued from 2016 to 2018, which reveal Honda’s knowledge of sudden braking, loss of speed, shuddering/jerking and other problems allegedly caused by the Honda CMBS. Honda initially attributed the Honda Sensing problems to issues with the radars, instructing dealers to re-aim the radars in affected vehicles. Honda later walked back on this explanation and told dealers to “always remember” that various driving and weather conditions will interfere with Honda Sensing technologies.

Honda allegedly offers no solutions to drivers and technicians who report recurring problems with vehicles equipped with Honda Sensing.

Honda CMBS: Next Steps

7. Has the CMBS turned my Honda into a lemon?

Honda’s CMBS may have turned your vehicle into a lemon if your vehicle shows the following problems:

  • Sudden and Unexpected Braking
  • False Obstruction Alerts
  • Lane Keeping False Alerts
  • Unexpected Highway Speed Fluctuation

Recurring problems with your Honda’s Collision Mitigation Braking System can make your vehicle unsafe to drive. If Honda or an authorized repair shop cannot fix your vehicle within a reasonable number of attempts, your vehicle may be a lemon.

The number of repair attempts considered “reasonable” can differ on a case-by-case basis. Consult a California lemon law attorney about your situation and legal rights. If you are included in one or more class action lawsuits, you may need to opt out before certain deadlines to retain your individual right to sue.

Opt out of your class action lawsuit.

8. How do I opt out of a class action lawsuit?

If you are included in a class action lawsuit, you may receive a notice in the mail. This notice should describe the allegations that consumers have made against Honda. These notices usually contain instructions for opting out of a class action lawsuit. However, you should consult an attorney on the specifics, including how much time you have to opt out.

Once you opt out, you may pursue charges more specific to your situation. Contact a California lemon law attorney about your individual right to pursue a lemon law claim.

9. How can Knight Law help me with my lemon?

If your Honda is experiencing recurring problems with its CMBS, your vehicle may be a lemon. Our California lemon law firm can help you obtain the reward you deserve for your faulty vehicle.

If you are included in one or more class action lawsuits, we can help you opt out. If you opt out before the specified deadline, you retain your right to pursue an individual lemon law claim. If you are not sure whether you are included in a class action lawsuit, we can help you find out.

Opt out of your class action lawsuit to retain your individual right to sue. Under the California Lemon Law, you will be eligible to receive cash compensation, a replacement vehicle or a lemon law buyback.

If you want to opt out of one or more class action lawsuits and pursue an individual case, fill out the form below or call us at 877-222-2222 for a free consultation. You have rights! Take action now!

Knight Law Group is an automotive lemon law firm that exclusively practices in California. If you are a California resident who purchased or leased a defective vehicle from a licensed dealership in California, we may be able to help you get rid of your potential lemon and recover significant cash compensation.

However, we cannot help those who reside outside of California or purchased their vehicle outside of California unless they are active duty members of the Armed Forces, nor will we be able to refer those to a lemon law firm in their states. To learn more about the California Lemon Law and your legal rights, visit our California Lemon Law Guide for more information.