Readying myself for a 37-minute speech on CNN.com, I noticed a Hyundai Sonata commercial playing first. Because stability control can save up to 10,000 lives annually, suggests Hyundai, it ought to be standard on every 2009 Sonata.
Good for Hyundai. Their website goes further, using the NHTSA claim that vehicles with electronic stability control experience 35% fewer single-vehicle accidents and 30% fewer fatalities in single-vehicle accidents.
Because stability control is standard safety equipment on every Sonata, Hyundai advertises it well. But is it fair that Hyundai can play this safety card in one commercial while completely ignoring this feature on other cars?
Head over to Hyundai’s website and see that stability control isn’t mentioned in the Hyundai Accent section. I thought stability control could save 10,000 lives a year and cut single-vehicle accidents by 35%? As for the next rung up the Hyundai ladder, only the Elantra SE has stability control. More expensive than the Sonata, the Hyundai Azera lists stability control as standard equipment. Hyundai asks that you upgrade to the Tuscon SE for stability control on that small crossover SUV.
The story is the same at many manufacturers; probably most. Claim righteousness on one front; act with ignorance on the others. By model year 2012, all cars built for American consumption will be required to have electronic stability control, a system that uses brakes and engine power to keep vehicles in a straight line. You can assume that law will strip away any automaker’s ability to basically advertise against itself.