Friday, June 23, 2006
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Electronic stability control could prevent nearly one-third of all fatal crashes and reduce rollover risk by as much as 80%; effect is found on single- and multiple-vehicle crashes
ARLINGTON, VA — An extension of antilock brake technology, electronic stability control (ESC) is designed to help drivers retain control of their vehicles during high-speed maneuvers or on slippery roads. Previous research found significant effects of ESC in reducing the risk of fatal single-vehicle crashes. Using data from an additional year of crashes and a larger set of vehicle models, researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have updated the 2004 results and found that ESC reduces the risk of fatal multiple-vehicle crashes by 32 percent. The new research confirms that ESC reduces the risk of all single-vehicle crashes by more than 40 percent — fatal ones by 56 percent. The researchers estimate that if all vehicles were equipped with ESC, as many as 10,000 fatal crashes could be avoided each year. "The findings indicate that ESC should be standard on all vehicles," says Susan Ferguson, Institute senior vice president for research. "Very few safety technologies show this kind of large effect in reducing crash deaths." Availability varies: ESC is standard on 40 percent of 2006 passenger vehicle models and optional on another 15 percent. It's standard on every 2006 Audi, BMW, Infiniti, Mercedes, and Porsche. Another 8 vehicle makes (Cadillac, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mini, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo) offer at least optional ESC on all of their models. But ESC, standard or optional, is limited to 25 percent or fewer models from Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, Hummer, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Saturn, Subaru, and Suzuki. After studies in 2004 by the Institute and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some manufacturers announced plans to make ESC standard on all SUVs. The percentage of SUV models with standard ESC has been growing faster than for cars. As a stand-alone option, ESC costs from about $300 to $800, but it can cost more than $2,000 on some models when packaged with other equipment. A potential problem for increasing consumer awareness is that automakers market ESC by various names including Electronic Stability Program, StabiliTrak, or Active Handling. "When ESC is optional, this hodgepodge of terms is bound to be confusing," Ferguson points out. "It's good that some of the major manufacturers have pledged to make ESC standard on their SUVs in the next few model years, and it should be standard on cars and pickup trucks too." How ESC works: Antilock brakes have speed sensors and independent braking capability. ESC adds sensors that continuously monitor how well a vehicle is responding to a driver's steering wheel input. These sensors can detect when a driver is about to lose control because the vehicle is straying from the intended line of travel — a problem that usually occurs in high-speed maneuvers or on slippery roads. In these circumstances, ESC brakes individual wheels automatically to keep the vehicle under control. When a driver makes a sudden emergency maneuver or, for example, enters a curve too fast, the vehicle may spin out of control. Then ESC's automatic braking is applied and in some cases throttle reduced to help keep the vehicle under control. ESC is relatively new. Only in the last few years have researchers had sufficient data to analyze its effects on real-world crashes. The new Institute study is based on data from the federal Fatality Analysis Reporting System and police reports of crashes in 10 states during 2001-04. Researchers compared crash rates for cars and SUVs without ESC and the same models in subsequent years when ESC was standard (note: some vehicles with optional ESC were included in the no-ESC group because so few buyers choose this option). More effects of ESC on SUVs: The data in the Institute's 2004 study weren't extensive enough to allow researchers to compute separate risk reduction estimates for cars and SUVs. However, this was possible in the broader analysis that's just completed. While both cars and SUVs benefit from ESC, the reduction in the risk of single-vehicle crashes was significantly greater for SUVs — 49 percent versus 33 percent for cars. The reduction in fatal single-vehicle crashes wasn't significantly different for SUVs (59 percent) than for cars (53 percent). Many single-vehicle crashes involve rolling over, and ESC effectiveness in preventing rollovers is even more dramatic. It reduces the risk of fatal single-vehicle rollovers of SUVs by 80 percent, 77 percent for cars. ESC was found to reduce the risk of all kinds of fatal crashes by 43 percent. This is more than the 34 percent reduction reported in 2004. If all vehicles had ESC, it could prevent as many as 10,000 of the 34,000 fatal passenger vehicle crashes that occur each year. Insurance claims show effects on collision losses: The results of the Institute's studies showing significant reductions in serious crash risk are reflected in some insurance losses. According to a new analysis by the Highway Loss Data Institute, an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, losses under collision coverage are about 15 percent lower for vehicles with ESC than for predecessor models without it. However, ESC doesn't have much effect on property damage liability claims or the frequency of injury claims. These findings track police-reported crashes, which show little effect of ESC on the risk of low-severity multiple-vehicle crashes. Source: iihs.org
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Monday, June 12, 2006
FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Hyundai Motor America announced today the launch of an initiative to support vehicle owners with special physical needs. Through the new Mobility Program, customers will be reimbursed up to $1,000 for new adaptive equipment installed in any new Hyundai vehicle leased or purchased through an authorized dealership.
"Hyundai is committed to offering all consumers access to the most sophisticated vehicle safety technologies. For example, we package Electronic Stability Control on more than 70 percent of the vehicles we sell, and Hyundai models consistently receive high marks for crashworthiness," said John Krafcik, vice president of product development and strategic planning, Hyundai Motor America. "This assistance program will make it easier for drivers with special needs to purchase vehicles with the right combination of convenience, comfort and safety."
According to research conducted by Louisiana Tech University, minivans and sedans make up the majority -- 55.4 percent -- of modified vehicles for the disabled. The most common modifications made by those with special physical needs include the use of lifts and lowered floors, as well as special steering and braking controls.
Hyundai vehicles feature unsurpassed standard safety technologies, outstanding cargo capacity and comfortable, ergonomic interior space making them well suited for drivers with special physical needs.
The all-new Entourage minivan, just launched this spring, recently earned the "Top Safety Pick" award by the IIHS -- the best rating ever for a minivan. The Entourage was also the first Hyundai to receive a gold award for good crashworthiness ratings. In addition to outstanding safety features, Entourage boasts a generous 172 cubic feet of interior volume -- more than Honda Odyssey.
The all-new Azera sedan is the most luxurious and well-equipped Hyundai model ever. Among its many features, Azera comes standard with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), eight standard airbags and active front head restraints. Azera also received the top crash test rating for frontal offset impacts by the IIHS.
Additionally, the 2006 Sonata was the industry's first midsize sedan with standard ESC and six airbags, and received the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA's) five-star crash test rating for front and side impacts. Combined with its "class-above" interior space (categorized a "large car" by the United States EPA), Sonata is another outstanding option for drivers with special physical needs.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Monday, June 05, 2006
FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., June 1 -- Hyundai Motor America announced sales of 42,514 vehicles for the month, which represents the best May sales in company history. Hyundai sedans again led the way; the new-for-2006 Sonata improved sales by 112 percent, and the Azera posted an 84 percent increase over XG350 sales from May of last year.
"Our new sedans continue to set the pace in 2006," said Mark Barnes, vice president, National Sales, Hyundai Motor America. "We are already ahead of last year's record-breaking pace and we expect our exceptional value, unsurpassed safety and sophisticated design to continue to resonate with consumers as we bring several new models to dealerships during the summer and fall. This month, we have released our new three-door Accent, which is perfect for today's market with a strong value and fuel economy message."
All Hyundai cars and sport utility vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by The Hyundai Advantage, America's Best Warranty. Hyundai buyers are protected by a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 7-year/unlimited-mile anti-perforation warranty and 5-year/unlimited-mile roadside assistance protection.