Features on new US models: use of advanced driving stability systems expands

Equipment on new models introduced by GM/Ford/Chrysler in the US

2012/06/19

Summary

 Reported below is a summary of major equipment, either standard or optional, on new models (new and fully-remodeled passenger cars and light trucks) released for sale in the United States by GM, Ford and Chrysler in and after the second quarter of 2011.

 Among the driving stability systems, the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is required by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) starting with the 2012 models (not shown in the table below). Advanced driving stability systems available on select models include the Roll Stability Control, and the Torque Vectoring Control (a slight braking force is applied to the inside drive wheel during cornering so that more torque is transmitted to the outside wheel to improve turning performance).

 As for collision safety systems, the Driver Knee Airbags are now standard on an increasing number of models partly because of the fact that protection of the lower limbs and neck regions was added to the DOT crash safety tests starting with the 2011 models (tests have been limited to the head and thorax regions for the 2010 models and earlier). Also becoming increasingly available are the chest or pelvic region airbags for the rear seat occupants.

 The Automatic Braking, a new driver-assist system introduced in the new models, automatically applies brakes when potential crash is detected to avoid collision or otherwise reduce the damage. The Rear Cross Traffic Alert, an increasingly available feature, alerts the driver of other vehicles approaching from behind when backing up from the parking space onto the street.

 Among visibility enhancement systems, the Auto High Beams that automatically switches the headlamp mode between high- and low-beams, and the Automatic-dimming Side Mirror are available on more models than before. As for the seats, the Ventilated Seats for front seat occupants and the Heated Seats for rear seat occupants are available especially with luxury models.

 Systems designed to increase comfort and convenience include the newly-introduced Reconfigurable Gauge Cluster which is a freely reconfigurable LED instrument panel, and the Power Liftgate which is a rear gate that opens and shuts electrically.

Related reports: 
Features on new Japanese models (March 2012)
Features on new Hyundai/Kia models (June 2011)
Equipment on new European models (1), (2) (October 2011)

Advanced equipment made available by GM/Ford/Chrysler in their new models released in and after the second quarter of 2011

Driving stability Roll stability control Lincoln MKT, Dodge Dart
Torque vectoring control Ford Escape, Lincoln MKT
Collision safety Driver knee airbag Chevrolet Malibu Eco, Chevrolet Sonic, Cadillac XTS,
Buick Verano, Ford Escape, Dodge Dart
Rear-seat mounted airbags Chevrolet Sonic, Cadillac XTS, Buick Verano, Dodge Dart
Driving assist Automatic braking Cadillac XTS
Rear cross traffic alert Cadillac XTS, Ford Escape, Lincoln MKT, Dodge Dart
Visibility Auto high beams Lincoln MKT, Dodge Dart
Automatic-dimming side mirror Cadillac XTS, Lincoln MKT
Seat Ventilated front seats Cadillac XTS, Lincoln MKT
Heated rear outboard seats Cadillac XTS, Lincoln MKT
Comfort &
convenience
Reconfigurable gauge cluster Cadillac XTS, Dodge Dart
Power liftgate Ford Escape, Lincoln MKT