What Does VDC Mean?

2021 Nissan Kicks grille 2021 Nissan Kicks | photo by Aaron Bragman

VDC stands for vehicle dynamics control, and is the name of the electronic stability control system on Nissan and Infiniti vehicles.

Electronic stability control is a safety feature that is designed to prevent skids and has been required on all cars and light trucks in the U.S. since the 2012 model year.

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Nissan introduced VDC in the U.S. in 2003 on the Infiniti Q45 and Nissan Murano and Pathfinder; all U.S. Nissan and Infiniti models were equipped with VDC prior to the 2012 mandate.

Like other stability control systems, VDC uses sensors at each wheel to detect when any wheel starts to slip (lose traction) and other sensors that monitor the throttle and steering wheel positions, lateral acceleration and other factors to detect when a vehicle is about to go into skid. VDC then intervenes by reducing engine power and rapidly applying and releasing the brakes at individual wheels to maintain steering control.

The system becomes active each time the vehicle is started, and it requires no action from the driver to engage. 

VDC operates in the same basic manner on all vehicles, but Nissan says it uses different components and software to adapt the system to the performance requirements of specific models and features, such as pickup trucks and SUVs that have trailer-sway control and models with adaptive cruise control.

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