Dutch police recall 300 cars over automatic brake system

The National Police is recalling 300 of its new cars due to problems with the automatic brake system. The system performs its function admirably - automatically slowing a car down when there is a risk of a collision - but makes high-speed chases in pursuit of criminals impossible, AD reports.

The newspaper also had several reports from officers ramming into the dashboard when the car suddenly made an emergency stop.

AD does not have figures on how often this braking system resulted in officers arriving too late to emergency calls or how often criminals evaded pursuit, but deems it likely scenarios.

The cars involved are Volkswagen Tourans, type 3, equipped with the safety system City Emergency Brake. Officers can disable the system with the push of the button, but have to do so every time the car is turned on.

Geert Priem, president of police union ANPV, calls it incomprehensible that the police decided to buy cars with this system installed. "As an officer you have to drive offensively and push road users off the road. But that is no longer possible."

The 300 cars equipped with the automatic braking system are being recalled and the system will be permanently disabled, the corps leadership of the National police said to the newspaper. The cost involved in the recall is unknown, but it disabling the systems will take several months as the police have to wait on Volkswagen.