Rear Seat Reminder, a feature designed to remind a driver to check the back seat for children before exiting the vehicle, will be offered across many Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC vehicles by the 2018 model year, General Motors said.
A total of 39 children died from heatstroke this year because they were left in a vehicle or they gained access to an unattended vehicle. That represents a 60% increase over 2015’s figure.
Rear Seat Reminder debuted earlier this year on the all-new 2017 GMC Acadia.
“GM’s Rear Seat Reminder feature is an initial step to use technology to help remind drivers to check the rear seat before exiting the vehicle under certain conditions,” said Jeff Boyer, vice president of GM global vehicle safety. “We want to help everyone to take one simple, extra step. That’s why Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac will offer the Rear Seat Reminder on a broad range of vehicles, from small cars to full-size SUVs and everything in between.”
Models to offer the feature include those listed below as well as some 2018 vehicles models that will be announced at a later date:
- 2017 Buick Lacrosse
- 2017 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV
- 2017 Cadillac CT6
- 2017 Chevrolet Cruze and Cruze Hatchback
- 2017 Chevrolet Malibu
- 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe
- 2017 Chevrolet Suburban
- 2017 Chevrolet Silverado
- 2017 Chevrolet Colorado
- 2017 GMC Yukon
- 2017 GMC Yukon XL
- 2017 GMC Sierra
- 2017 GMC Canyon
- 2018 Cadillac XT5
- 2018 Cadillac CTS and CTS-V
- 2018 Cadillac ATS
- 2018 Chevrolet Equinox
Rear Seat Reminder works by monitoring the vehicle’s rear doors. The feature is intended to activate when either rear door is opened and closed up to 10 minutes before the vehicle is started or while the vehicle is running. Once the system is activated, the vehicle is designed to sound five chimes and display a message in the driver information center that reads “Rear Seat Reminder / Look in Rear Seat” the next time the vehicle is turned off.
“This new technology developed by General Motors will give busy parents and caregivers the important reminder to always check the back seat,” said Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “The safest way to protect a child from heatstroke is to never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, and features like Rear Seat Reminder, coupled with continued public education, can help combat this preventable tragedy.”
The feature cannot actually detect items in the back seat, so it's always important to check the rear seat prior to exiting the vehicle, GM said.