Product Safety

Automatic Emergency Braking, A Technological Vaccine Aimed at Reducing the Tragic Toll of Auto Accidents, Rolls Out Slowly

Washington, D.C. — “Today’s announcement of the progress automakers are making in voluntarily adding automatic emergency braking (AEB) to their vehicles is good news for luxury car buyers, but unfortunate for those buying less expensive vehicles,” said Jack Gillis, CFA’s, Director of Public Affairs and author of The Car Book.

Traditionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration mandates safety requirements for two reasons: to insure vehicle to vehicle consistency in safety protection and because automakers vary greatly in their commitment to safety.  This voluntary program, which has raised significant concerns among safety advocates, is a true test of automaker commitment to safety.  Unfortunately, so far, the majority of automakers only offer AEB as an expensive option (often tied to other features) or don’t offer it at all.

“At this point, the manufacturers only have 4 model years to reach the voluntary deadline of September 2022 to have all vehicles under 8500 lbs. equipped with standard AEB. That’s going to be a huge challenge for the majority of companies,” said Gillis.  “It remains to be seen if this voluntary safety improvement program can get out of the slow lane.  If not, the NHTSA needs to get back to their role as safety protectors and mandate, not only AEB, but the other technological vaccines currently available to stem the recent, and tragic, growth of auto related deaths and injuries,” added Gillis.

“We appreciate the efforts of Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, who is serving as the independent monitor of automaker progress,” said Gillis.

Contact: Jack Gillis, 202-737-0766