Consumer Reports Says GM and Stellantis Are Lagging in Adding Important Active Safety Features

Cars, trucks, and SUVs have come a long way in the past 10 years. Due to this, Consumer Reports says that new cars have a lot of technology to help prevent crashes. But two major manufacturers are holding back from adding one of the most important active safety features: GM and Stellantis. What safety feature is imperative these days? Automatic emergency braking, also known as AEB.

According to Consumer Reports, 12 manufacturers have committed to adding automatic emergency braking

Consumer Reports says GM and Stellantis are lagging in adding this important safety feature: automatic emergency braking
Consumer Reports says GM and Stellantis are lagging in adding this important safety feature | Xinhua/Zhao Dingzhe via Getty Images

Keith Barry of Consumer Reports says that 12 automakers equipped the entire 2021 lineup with automatic emergency braking (AEB). Consumer Reports says that AEB is a “technology that has been proven to reduce crashes and injuries by stopping or slowing a vehicle if a collision is imminent.” That number of automakers was at 10 in 2020. That means two more automakers stepped up to the plate. Manufacturers have a voluntary commitment to equip most vehicles with AEB by September of next year.

CR and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) estimate that if all manufacturers added this feature, it could prevent “42,000 crashes and 20,000 injuries by 2025.” The last two brands to jump on this trend are Ford and Honda. These brands include Lincoln and Acura. The brands that have already committed to adding ABS are Tesla, Volvo, Mazda, Subaru, Audi, BMW, Hyundai/Genesis, Volkswagen/Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Toyota/Lexus. These manufacturers have equipped more than 95% of 2021 model year cars with automatic emergency braking.

Consumer Reports noted that GM and Stellantis were falling behind

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Only 58% of the 2021 lineup had AEB included as far as GM vehicles. Stellantis, which has Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Maserati, and Ram under the brand umbrella, only equipped 43% of vehicles with AEB. That number is supposed to go down to 40% as the 2022 lineup rolls out. “We will and have always intended to comply,” says Eric Mayne of Stellantis. While Stuart Fowle from GM noted that the manufacturer “remains on track to meet the industry commitment to automatic emergency braking.”

While that seems optimistic, there isn’t that much time left. September 2022 is only about 10 months away, and most of those plans should already be in place.

“Delays like this send a terrible message to customers about how much these companies value safety—especially at a time when more people than ever are being injured or killed on our roads. Stellantis and GM have had more than five years to get their act together, and it’s long past time for them to make this lifesaving technology standard, instead of forcing customers to pay extra for their safety.”

William Wallace | Consumer Reports manager of safety policy

As it stands right now, Porsche and Jaguar Land Rover are not included in the list of compliant automakers either. Consumer reports says that Porsche hasn’t provided all of the information on the lineup yet. Jaguar Land Rover hasn’t reported that information, either. A spokesperson for Porsche says around 93% of the vehicles sold in 2021 had AEB. Jaguar says all of its vehicles comply.

How does an automaker meet these terms?

Consumer Reports says there are a few stipulations to meeting this voluntary agreement. The AEB system has to meet the standards set forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This means meeting a five-star safety rating requirement for the timing of driver alerts.

The AEB system must also meet the standards set forth by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention evaluation. To do that, the system has to slow the vehicle down by 10 mph in one of the 12-25 mph tests. Or, it has to slow the car by five miles per hour in both tests.

It is a good idea to check any new car, truck, or SUV to ensure the automaker included AEB. If it is only optional on some trim levels, Consumer Reports suggests picking a trim level with AEB included.

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