General Motors announced on November 11 that it will make electronic stability control standard on 1.3 million sport utility vehicles beginning immediately on light-duty full-size SUVs followed by mid-size SUVs in 2005. Recent studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) both indicated that the widespread application of electronic stability control to the vehicle fleet could result in a significant safety benefit. GM began installing electronic stability control in passenger cars in 1997 and currently has 2 million ESC-equipped vehicles on the road today. Vehicles included in the November 11 announcement are: Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban and Avalanche and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL. Hummer H2 will get ESC in 2006. The Cadillac Escalade, Escalade EXT and ESV, GMC Yukon Denali and GMC Yukon XL Denali already feature standard electronic stability control. Midsize utilities that will get ESC beginning in 2005 include Chevrolet TrailBlazer, and TrailBlazer EXT; GMC Envoy, Envoy XL and Envoy XUV, Hummer H3 and Saab 9-7X and Buick Rainier. In 2003, GM was the first automaker to make electronic stability control standard on full-size, extended vans (the 15-passenger GMC Savana and Chevrolet Express); and added the feature to the 12-passenger Savana and Express vans earlier this year. Electronic stability control helps a driver maintain vehicle control during certain difficult driving conditions, such as ice, snow, gravel, wet pavement and uneven road surfaces, as well as in emergency lane changes or avoidance maneuvers.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials