GM is alerting dealership service technicians that certain vehicles equipped with its Forward Collision Alert technology may falsely detect an imminent front-end collision due to a bent or misaligned license plate.
According to a recent post on GM TechLink, outside factors may “influence a collision warning” in vehicles equipped with Automatic Emergency Braking, which may occur when coming to a stop and there is not another vehicle or object in front of the vehicle. If a false collision warning is present, technicians are advised to “perform a visual inspection of the vehicle to check for any conditions that may interfere with correct vehicle or object detection by the system,” such as a bent license plate.
“A recent example from a dealership was a damaged front license plate with bent corners that was affecting system operation and resulting in a collision warning without anything in front of the vehicle,” the TechLink post says. “Exterior conditions or objects, even a small bend in a license plate or a dirty camera or sensor, can affect the Driver Assistance systems.”
If a vehicle has this condition, it will not produce a diagnostic trouble code, as the system believes it is working as intended. A false positive detection will typically be easy to replicate when driving the vehicle, however. This is also not a problem with the AEB radar itself, but rather the result of an outside factor. The TechLink post used a customer’s Cadillac XT6 as an example, although it seems likely dirt, a bent license plate or another similar issue could result in this condition on other GM models as well.
GM’s Forward Collision Alert technology will provide an audible warning to the driver, a tactile vibration of the Safety Alert Seat (if equipped), as well as a visual alert on the windshield or in the Head-Up Display (if equipped). The system also works with and augments other GM active driver assistance systems, such as Adaptive Cruise Control.