Serves the Commercial Small Fleet Market of 10 – 50 Vehicles

GM Says '04 Upgrades To 15-Passenger Vans Will Increase Safety

May 14, 2003

General Motors said May 13 it would take steps to avoid rollovers in its 15-passenger vans, six months after US safety investigators recommended that Detroit vehicle makers improve the vehicles, Reuters reported.GM said it will install vehicle stability enhancement systems, which use sensors to detect wheel skid and apply brakes to maintain control, as standard equipment in the GMC Savana and Chevrolet Express vans during the 2004 model year, which begins this summer, Reuters said."While vehicle stability enhancement systems do not directly prevent rollover crashes, they may help drivers avoid the conditions that cause them," Robert Lange, GM executive director of structure and safety integration, said in a statement cited by the news agency.According to Reuters, last November, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), concerned about rollovers, asked US regulators, as well as GM and Ford to improve the safety of 15-passenger vans, which are often used by community groups and colleges.Two National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advisories in the past two years, prompted by high-profile crashes, have warned consumers about the increased rollover risk of 15-passenger vans when they are fully loaded, Reuters said."We're delighted that they are addressing this issue," NHTSA spokesman Rae Tyson told Reuters.There are about 500,000 15-passenger vans on the road now and the latest federal statistics show at least 424 people have been killed and hundreds of others hurt in rollover crashes involving the vehicles since 1990, the news agency added.
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