12 September 2017 at 10:41 am #119788
I’ve recently purchased a new Hyundai i30 which has Automatic Emergency Braking. On several occasions a very distracting alarm has sounded whilst driving at speed. Quite difficult to read the message but eventually realised that it was telling me the AEB was disabled due to a dirty camera. The camera is (I believe) in the windscreen cluster of techy stuff (along with automatic wiper sensors etc) and it does seem to occur when it is raining. As the camera is “cleaned” through the action of the wipers this seemed strange to me. The dealer told me that it was a known fault but offered no remedy and suggested that some future “software” fix might solve the problem through making the camera less sensitive – but would that not also reduce the effectiveness of the safety feature? When pressed, they told me to ring the national customer services for more help. The customer services told me that I should not worry and that the car was safe to drive, even with the alarm condition. When the alarm sounds, the whole display in front of the steering wheel is dedicated to the “AEB disabled” message. When I suggested that it was dangerous to distract the driver with an alarm that the driver could do nothing about, I was told that it was imperative to alert the driver of this “important safety feature” being disabled. I pointed out that the alarm itself was more dangerous and should simply be a lower level of information for the driver – similar to (for instance) the lane assist indications. I was told that without the alarm, some drivers would seek redress in the event of a collision.
It is of course impossible to ignore loud and flashing alarms when driving but effectively this is what I am advised to do. The alarm continues until the system is once again operating correctly – sometimes within a few seconds, sometimes longer.
Given that no fix has been offered, what do you advise? The car is 4 months old and has only 1500 miles on the clock.
18 September 2017 at 6:14 pm #120114
Hi Paul. It’s quite possible that the camera is not being cleaned by the wipers, as the cluster of camera and radar units is up the top of the windscreen in front of the rear-view mirror so it may be missed as the wiper sweeps across the windscreen.
If the official line from Hyundai is that the fault cannot be fixed, then you would seem to have two choices: 1) manually clean the windscreen on a regular basis to stop the camera from being obscured; or 2) reject the car as not fit for purpose.
Rejecting the vehicle via the Consumer Rights Act as not fit for purpose is usually pretty difficult, especially if the problem is a known design issue rather than a one-off fault. In any case, you would need to formally reject the vehicle in writing. Because you have had it for four months, the dealer would be entitled to one attempt to fix the problem (any work already done does not count). if they can’t fix the problem, you are entitled to finally reject the vehicle.
Sensors and cameras are becoming more and more common on new cars, and having them obscured by debris is therefore becoming a common problem as well. I don’t know if anyone has successfully rejected a car on this basis, but it would seem a tough argument to try and win.