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In November, a prospective customer was at the wheel of Mazda Motor Corp.’s new sport utility vehicle during a demonstration in Fukaya, Saitama Prefecture. With a sales rep in the passenger seat, the 38-year-old man drove the car toward a urethane mat hanging 7 meters ahead to test the collision avoidance feature, which is supposed to activate the brakes when sensors detect an imminent collision.

Instead of stopping in front of the mat, however, the SUV brushed it aside, barreled on another 6.6 meters and crashed into a fence, leaving the driver with a neck injury and the sales rep with a broken arm.

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