Above is a backside view of a target used to test an automatic emergency braking system which shows that it is substantial and designed to take a hit if or when the vehicle being tested hits the target. James Halderman photo

Reader questions how to test automatic braking system

Russ W. writes by email: “I have a 2016 Cadillac XTS platinum with front and rear automatic breaking. The rear works perfectly and has saved me a few times, and it’s a great feature. However, the front does not work and I have had it to the dealer numerous times; the dealer’s response is it works fine. When I request him to demonstrate that he says he cannot demonstrate it. If it works why can’t he demonstrate that?

I have also talked to the Detroit customer relations department and received the same answer; it works and it can’t be demonstrated. However, the Cadillac website has video of how it works and tells how good it is.

I have tried using a plastic trash can; all that happens is I just knock it over with no braking. I have tried numerous times using small cans as well as the big 60-gallon trash container on wheels each time I hit the container and no braking.

I still feel the dealer should be able to demonstrate the braking using a soft object trash can, cardboard box or something that GM has designed for testing or demonstrating. Please tell me how to test the front automatic braking.”