Automatic emergency braking is now nearly universal in light vehicles, increasing safety

Photo source: IIHS

Three more automakers have begun to equip their vehicles with AEB

There's good news for car shoppers who consider safety a prime factor in choosing a vehicle. Buyers now have more to choices if they're looking for light vehicles -- those weighing 8,500 pounds or less -- with automatic emergency braking (AEB).

Three more automakers -- Mitsubishi, Nissan/Infiniti and Stellantis -- installed AEB on nearly all vehicles they produced between September 1, 2021, and August 31, 2022, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

That makes a total of 15 of the 20 car companies that pledged to equip at least 95% of their light-duty cars and trucks with the crash avoidance technology by the production year that began on September 1, 2022.

Substantial progress noted

Stellantis, with only 43% of its vehicles with AEB in 2021, made the most progress.

That company's dramatic increase means, according to IIHS President David Harkey, “there’s been another big jump in the number of affordable cars and SUVs with this important safety feature."

General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, and Porsche also made substantial progress, with around three-quarters of their light-duty vehicles equipped with AEB, compared with around 60% last year.

Maserati’s numbers were essentially flat, with 71% equipped in the latest reporting period.

Automakers that have included AEB on at least 95% of the vehicles they produce include Audi, BMW, Ford/Lincoln, Honda/Acura, Hyundai/Genesis, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan/Infiniti, Stellantis, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota/Lexus, Volkswagen and Volvo.

Supply chain issues

Not all of the news is good, though.

Honda/Acura dipped below the 95% threshold due to supply chain issues, installing AEB on 93% of the vehicles it produced for the U.S. market during this reporting period.

Once an automaker reaches the 95% mark, they aren’t required to continue filing reports, and neither BMW nor Tesla submitted data this time around.

Kia narrowly missed the cut this reporting period, increasing the percentage of its vehicles with AEB to 94% this reporting period from 89% last year.

Still, the news is good overall.

“The overwhelming number of vehicles produced with this critical safety technology means that consumers will receive safety benefits even if they aren’t actively shopping for them,” said Jennifer Stockburger, director of operations at Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center.

She notes that additional capabilities that many of these systems also provide – things like pedestrian detection and the ability to function at highway speeds -- “have the potential to save even more lives."

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