This action arises out of a defect in the Vehicle Stability Assist (“VSA”) system 6 of the Class Vehicles that causes the Class Vehicles’ brakes to suddenly engage without warning (“Autonomous Braking Defect”). The VSA is a computerized system of sensors that turns over control of the vehicle’s brakes to a software program under certain conditions. The intended purpose of the VSA is accident prevention. However, due to a combination of sensor malfunctions and software problems, the systems in the Class Vehicles are prone to unexpectedly “slamming” the brakes under normal driving conditions autonomously and without the driver’s intent. The Autonomous Braking Defect is widespread, presents an obvious and serious safety hazard, and, on information and belief, was known or should have been known to defendants prior to sale or lease of the Class Vehicles in 2005.
Several computerized safety features, including anti-lock braking, traction control, brake assist, and electronic stability control, are incorporated into the VSA system in the Class Vehicles. The VSA functions through sensors that detect, among other things, the steering wheel angle, the “yaw” (rotation) of the vehicle, wheel speed, and brake pressure. This information is relayed to the VSA module. If the software detects a problem, the VSA activates the anti-lock braking system (“ABS”) to alter the speed, direction, and rotation of the vehicle. In addition, the VSA’ s “Brake Assist” feature steps in to apply extra braking pressure under emergency situations to reduce stopping distance.
In the 2005 Pilot, Honda turned over unbridled control of the brakes to a defective computer system. Defects in the sensors, as well as the way the VSA Module interprets data, are causing the VSA system to spontaneously and violently slam on the brakes, resulting in the wheels to locking up while driving. As a result, Plaintiff and Class Members are undergoing the harrowing and extremely dangerous experience of having their brakes suddenly engage, oftentimes at highway speeds.
Plaintiff is informed and believes and based thereon alleges that Defendants knew or should have known that the Class Vehicles are defective and not fit for their intended purpose of providing consumers with safe and reliable transportation. Nevertheless, Defendants have actively concealed and failed to disclose the Autonomous Braking Defect from Plaintiff and Class Members at the time of purchase or lease and thereafter.
Plaintiff was unaware, and could not have known, that her vehicle suffered from a manufacturing and/or design defect (the Autonomous Braking Defect), and of Defendant’s knowledge thereof, until NHTSA opened an investigation into involuntary brake application in the 2005 Honda Pilot on October 11, 2012 in response to increasing reports of the defect.
On or about December 8, 2004, in response to these reports and investigations, Honda began to apply the first of several design changes to the Honda Pilot VSA system for model year vehicles subsequent to 2005. Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that these design changes were implemented in an effort to remedy the Autonomous Braking Defect.
Despite all of the foregoing, including Honda’s numerous investigations and corrective actions in response to the Autonomous Braking Defect, Honda failed to disclose to its customers and actively concealed the inherent defect present in the Class Vehicles.
Defendants knew of and concealed from Plaintiff and Class Members the Autonomous Braking Defect in every Class Vehicle and either knew or should have known about the attendant safety hazards and associated repair costs, at the time of sale, lease, and repair and thereafter. Furthermore, Plaintiff and Class Members would not have purchased the Class Vehicles or would have paid less for them if they had known about the Autonomous Braking Defect at the time of sale or lease.
As a result of their reliance on Defendants’ omissions and/or misrepresentations, Plaintiff and Class Members have suffered ascertainable loss of money, property, and/or value of their Class Vehicles.