A safety recall announced by Volvo Cars Australia is a stark reminder that electronics and technology are no substitute for vigilant and attentive drivers, as modern vehicles offer increasing levels of autonomous driving.
The Swedish car maker is asking keepers of 9205 vehicles to arrange remedial work for a fault that can prevent autonomous emergency braking (AEB) from functioning correctly, with all models in the current line-up impacted.
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According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the potential fault is not caused by a mechanical or component failure but a simple line of code missing from Volvo’s Active Safety Domain system software.
The absent software prevents automatic braking intervening if the car detects a collision but drivers of affected vehicles are likely to be unaware of the problem until it’s too late. The defect does not affect operation of collision warnings and normal braking is not affected.
This latest recall should serve as a wake up call for complacent drivers who put too much faith in active safety and assistance systems, and that no technology is infallible - even the systems developed by safety authority Volvo.
Cutting edge autonomous braking, lane keeping assistance and cross traffic alerts can be extremely effective in preventing collisions but they should be the last line of defence, and attentive, observant driving with consideration of other road users should mean you never need them.
If you are the owner or registered keeper of a S60, V60, V90 Cross Country, XC40, XC60 or XC90 sold between 22 March 2019 and 17 March 2020, contact your local Volvo service centre to book a recall appointment.
The fix for the identified AEB fault is a simple software update and customers will not be charged for the work.
A small number of XC40s have also been identified in a separate recall notice, with some vehicles missing brake servo bolts. Under heavy braking such as in an emergency, the ACCC reports that maximum braking force may be reduced.
As is the case with any recall, the attending dealership or service centre will have all the relevant recall campaign information relating to your vehicle, and any additional work can be identified in one visit.
For more information, customers can contact Volvo directly at volvocars.com/au or by visiting the ACCC Product Safety website at product safety.gov.au. And it’s a good idea to have your VIN (vehicle identification number) ready.
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