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Safety Watch: Nine 2011 Vehicles That Still Lack Stability Control

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Continental's Emergency Steer Assist

Continental's Emergency Steer Assist

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If you could check the box for a safety feature that's been shown to dramatically decrease the chances of an accident, you would, right?

That's the case with electronic stability control (ESC); it's been shown to reduce accidents, fatal crashes, and rollovers, and with economies of scale doesn't cost as much as you might think. NHTSA had estimated that its mandate for stability control to be standard by 2012 will cost an average of $111 per vehicle but save nearly 10,000 fatalities annually—along with, potentially, hundreds of thousands of injuries and accidents. Including related components, some automakers have placed the total cost of ESC to be $400 or more.

The idea behind electronic stability control is simple: the brakes are applied individually at one or more of the wheels to help restore a traction and/or a vehicle imbalance in an extreme maneuver—perhaps allowing you to avoid an accident.

But while stability control systems for some SUVs and luxury vehicles are already into their second or third generations of this technology, some of the least expensive models on the market still haven't received the lifesaving technology.

The need is especially dire for small cars because of their weight disadvantage in multiple-vehicle accidents.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), electronic stability control was standard on 85 percent of all vehicles for the 2010 model year—including 100 percent of SUVs but 88 percent of cars and just 62 percent of pickups.

Automakers have just over the past couple of years moved quickly to get stability control into compact pickups. The 2011 Chevrolet Colorado, 2011 GMC Canyon, and 2011 Ford Ranger all now come with it standard, and larger pickups have all come with it for several model years.

What remains for 2011—aside from a few wildcards like the four-cylinder Nissan Frontier and the Mazda RX-8—is a surprisingly long list of cheap, small cars that still don't get the feature, or don't have it standard.

A number of the smallest, least-expensive cars, including the 2011 Ford Fiesta, 2011 Toyota Yaris, 2011 Scion xB, 2011 Kia Soul and 2011 Mazda2, now include standard stability control, while a class up, vehicles such as the Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus, Kia Forte, Hyundai Elantra, and Mitsubishi Lancer all have it standard.

If price-conscious new-car shopping is on order for you or your family, scroll to the next page to take a look through this list of models that even, for 2011, don't include ESC:


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Comments (5)
  1. Boy, it sure is annoying how every single time I click to go to the next page to read more of the article, that darned pop up ad asking me if I want to have TCC delivered to my email box pops up. What a badly thought thing to have on your website!
     
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  2. $111 per vehicle? Keep dreaming. For some reason I think everyone has forgotten the costs of complexity, software, additional testing, liability, warranty claims, etc... The government and NOT FOR PROFIT organizations are quick to point out how easy and cheap this all is (as they expand our deficit)...
    By the way, how did we all survive without stability control for the past 100 years of driving? It is called grey matter and most people find it between their two ears...
    Z
     
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  3. 1. Why do you show pictures of BMWs in this article when BMW has had DSC for years. I have had four BMWs since 1999 and all had DSC.
    2. Why do I get this annoying pop up box on each page especially since I already receive CC daily?
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  4. Please stop the pop up asking me to subscribe. You already deliver it to me daily.
     
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  5. I am Stability Control. Learn it or you really shouldn't be a driver. Automated stability control works in most situations when poor driver input nudges a car toward a dangerous set of outcomes.
    On the other hand, automated stability control can act against a trained drivers inputs, creating a dangerous situation. I'm all for stability control, if it is provided with an off switch, for those instances when you might want to do something that stability control deems a no-go, like an induced slide on snow or ice to get the car or part of the car out of some other drivers way if they mess up. At those moments, I really don't want interference of any kind.
     
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