Besides giving U.S. journalists the chance to sample the all-new Suzuki Jimny on California roads, this recent World Car Awards testing session might help the automaker solve an unexpected glitch.
Testing in the Los Angeles area revealed a problem Suzuki didn’t know about, namely the fact that the stability control system could be wrongly triggered by the autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system. Joshua Dowling, a journalist from Australia’s Car Advice, actually filmed an incident where the Jimny detected a guardrail and repeatedly applied the brakes with force while going through a bend.
According to the report, the Jimny’s Dual Sensor Brake Support system (DSBS) mistook the guardrail for another vehicle and activated the AEB system. It wasn’t a one-time incident, though. The automatic emergency braking system kicked in on several bends on a winding mountain pass near Pasadena but was most aggressive in a particular corner. The following video was taken on the third pass on that particular stretch of road after the fault got triggered on two prior attempts.
Suzuki shipped two identical German-spec Suzuki Jimnys to Los Angeles for the 2019 World Car Awards test drives and the glitch was detected on both vehicles. Car Advice showed the video to senior Suzuki representatives including Jimny chief engineer Hiroyuki Yonezawa who accompanied the two Jimnys to California.
The chief engineer forwarded the video to Suzuki headquarters in Japan, but the carmaker could not replicate the issue at its test track. As a result, Suzuki sent two more engineers to the U.S. and they managed to replicate the incident in the same conditions on the same road.
Suzuki is considering a software update but can’t say when the fix will arrive
In a statement released via Suzuki Australia, the carmaker said the “continuous activation” of stability control happened “when a specific road condition, tilt angle in the road, incline and slope, and degree of the curve was combined with a certain level of speed”.
In the video, the Jimny, which only got a three-star rating in Euro NCAP testing, is seen doing between 70 km/h (43 mph) and 90 km/h (56 mph) through the curve. The statement added that the intervention of the stability control “may give a sense of discomfort to the driver but is not an event that would disturb the vehicle’s direction of movement.”
However, the video shows that the steering wheel initially jolts after the abrupt intervention from the stability control. The activation of the stability control was not caused by a sudden turn of the steering wheel, but the other way round. Suzuki said it is considering a software update for the 2019 Jimny after overseas tests discovered a glitch that caused the vehicle to repeatedly apply the brakes, even though there was no obstacle. However, the automaker can’t say when the update will be made.