A software error that could allow transmissions to switch unexpectedly from manual to automatic mode, removing engine braking, has led General Motors to recall certain model year 2013 Cadillac SRX crossovers and Buick LaCrosse large sedans. The recall includes 26,582 vehicles in the U.S., according to GM. The company’s dealers will reprogram the transmission software for owners free of charge.
2013 Cadillac SRX vehicles manufactured between May 29, 2012 and February 18, 2013, are affected by the recall, as are Buick LaCrosses manufactured during the period from April 25, 2012, to March 6, 2013. According to the recall notice issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the vehicles failed to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 102, “Transmission Shift Lever Sequence, Starter Interlock, and Transmission Braking Effect.”
“A software problem may cause the transmission to inadvertently shift to Sport mode removing any transmission-related engine braking effect,” the NHTSA notice stated. It added, “If engine braking is unexpectedly removed, it may increase the risk of a vehicle crash.”
GM noticed the problem while engineering development vehicles for the 2014 model year, and it has not had any reports of the issue among customers, the Wall Street Journal reported. Those who are affected have been notified and can have their transmission control modules reprogrammed by their dealer free of charge.
Manufacturers can improve their compliance with federal safety regulations and avoid similar large-scale recalls by following coding standards such as MISRA, which governs automotive embedded software written in C and C++. Organizations can confirm MISRA compliance by using static analysis software tools. By taking the time to catch automotive software errors during the development process, companies can avoid having to issue patches following an incident and decrease the likelihood of crashes or other problems occurring as a result of poorly coded software.
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