Traction is important; it’s the difference between moving forward and sitting still. Without any friction between your vehicle’s tires and the road surface you’d never make it to work in the morning, let alone to that Grand Funk Railroad concert on Saturday night.
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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a recall for 4,077 Buick LaCrosse sedans after finding issues pertaining to the electronic stability control system. The issue only pertains to 2012 model year cars, built between June 9 and July 2.
According to the recall notice, “The StabiliTrak system has an incorrect calibration that may cause the system to not properly detect if a sensor were to malfunction, and the warning light indicating that the system is not operating would not illuminate, as required in the safety standard”.
If the ESC malfunctions, there is a possibility the system could falsely activate, resulting in sudden changes to the vehicles driving dynamics. If this were to happen, there is a higher probability in loss of driver control, which could lead to a crash.
The recall will begin towards the end of August, and affected vehicles will have the electronic brake reprogrammed free of charge.
According to a new study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), stability control has made cars much safer, lowering fatal accidents by eighteen percent. The government study used statistics from 1997 to 2009 to assess the effectiveness of stability control systems. The study also noted in 2005, less than twenty percent of new vehicles were sold with the feature. By 2007, legislation was passed to require electronic software in all 2012 models.
Stability control consists of sensors in the vehicle that detect roll and wheel slip and adjust braking and power to compensate for loss of control.
“In many ways, ESC (electronic stability control) is an ideal crash avoidance technology,” the study said in its summary. “Because it acts so quickly and without driver input it can prevent a crash without the driver of the vehicle being aware that the system has intervened.”