Mazda Motor Corporation has confirmed that two people were injured after a demonstration of its automated city braking system went awry.
Occurring in a parking lot of a Mazda dealership in Fukaya city, Saitama prefecture, Japan on November 10, Mazda says a customer and a dealership employee were injured when a Mazda CX-5 equipped with Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) collided with a fence during a test drive demonstration of the safety feature.
The customer suffered whiplash from the incident and the dealership employee broke his arm.
According to an official statement from the Japanese manufacturer, police are currently investigating details of the incident, with the car maker ready to assist to determine the cause and implement measures to avoid the event reoccurring.
SCBS, added locally this week as a standard feature in the top-spec CX-5 Akera and as part of a new $1490 Safety Pack option for the mid-level Maxx Sport, operates between 4-30km/h and automatically applies the brakes when objects ahead of the vehicle are detected by a near-infrared laser.
Mazda expressed its sympathy and wishes for prompt recoveries of both the customer and employee injured in the incident and extended its sincere apologies for causing concern to customers and other parties.
Mazda says it has received no reports of any malfunctions of the Smart City Brake Support system occurring on public roads, however, has voluntarily suspended all such demonstrative test drives until the cause of the incident has been established and countermeasures taken.
Mazda Australia senior public relations manager Steve Maciver told CarAdvice, there have been no reports of the system malfunctioning locally, where the CX-5 remains the top-selling SUV year-to-date.
“Similar demonstrations are not being run here in Australia and we currently have no plans to,” Maciver said.
In September, Subaru’s EyeSight forward collision warning system outperformed similar crash avoidance technology from the likes of Volvo and Mercedes-Benz in a test by the US independent vehicle safety assessor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).