Systems to Prevent Rollovers to Be in All New Cars by 2012
Seems like cheap insurance.
All new vehicles will be required to have antirollover technology by the 2012 model year, the government said yesterday.
The Transportation Department said the technology, called electronic stability control, could save 5,300 to 9,600 lives annually and prevent up to 238,000 injuries a year once it was fully deployed into the nation’s fleet.
“Like air bags and like seat belts, 10 years down the road we’re going to look back and wonder how the E.S.C. technology was ever lived without,” the transportation secretary, Mary E. Peters, said at the New York International Auto Show.
Electronic stability control senses when a driver may lose control of the vehicle and automatically applies brakes to individual wheels to help stabilize it and avoid a rollover.
Many vehicles, including sport utility vehicles, already have the technology, and several automakers have outlined plans to make it a standard feature in future cars. The mandate has been widely supported in the industry because of its far-reaching safety benefits.
“There seems to be general recognition from auto manufacturers and the suppliers and safety advocates that this is technology that will save” thousands of lives, said Nicole R. Nason, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
More than 43,000 people are killed annually on the nation’s roadways; more than 10,000 of them die in rollover accidents, although only 3 percent of crashes involve rollovers.
Ms. Peters said nearly 40 percent of 2007 vehicles already had the technology, including about 90 percent of S.U.V.’s.
The traffic safety administration said the proposal would cost about $111 a vehicle on those that already include antilock brakes, or $479 a vehicle for the entire system.
The requirement was first proposed last year, and the final regulations include a swifter phase-in plan. Stability control will be phased in starting with the 2009 model year, when 55 percent of new vehicles will need to have it. By the 2011 model year, it will be in 95 percent of new vehicles.