The U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced last week a new regulation making electronic stability systems standard safety features by 2012.
Ford had already pledged to make stability control standard by 2009, and many companies already include it standard on their SUVs. Now the federal government is taking the final step to make stability control as routine as seat belts and airbags. NHTSA says stability control could save up to 9,600 lives a year, and almost 200,000 injuries. The rule would require all 2012-model-year vehicles be equipped with the system by September 2011.
Today’s car shoppers should know that stability systems go by a number of names, depending on the manufacturer. Hopefully they’ll all adopt a standard naming convention, but until then check out the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s list of names of stability systems here. They’re standard on most SUVs and luxury cars, but it will take a few years before they’re available on all vehicles.
You can also search new cars with stability control using Cars.com’s vehicle recommender here.
[U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters Announces A Substantial Life-Saving Technology For All New Passenger Vehicles, U.S. Department of Transportation]