Car manufacturers are removing advanced safety devices to address chip shortages

Some carmakers are cutting out consumer options due to chip shortages. The lack of semiconductor chips has led some new car buyers to look at the highly inflated second-hand market.

Automakers struggling to build vehicles during the supply crisis for these essential components have had to remove a number of electronic features from their vehicles to keep assembly lines running over the past few years.

Sometimes all components were removed, from seat heating to Start & Stop systems to fuel economy and touchscreen displays.

The safety features are not immune to cuts.

Also due to the scarcity of sensors, the availability of optional features such as blind spot monitoring systems, proximity alerts and semi-automatic driving aids has in some cases been suspended.

Volkswagen and Cadillac are among the brands that do not currently offer blind spot monitoring on some models, but the situation is constantly changing.

“Automakers are in a difficult situation when materials for certain safety technologies are not available,” said Jessica Cicchino, research director at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a U.S. institute that deals with highway safety.

“This really shifts the burden on consumers who are already having a hard time buying a car,” he added.

Blind-angle monitoring systems are not required by law, but they have become more and more common, and for good reason.

An IIHS study showed that the system can reduce collisions with casualties by 23%, while the warning behind cross traffic, often paired with the system, can reduce accidents by 22%.

Volkswagen’s transverse traffic alarm at the rear can detect vehicles approaching from the side while the driver reverses.

“While we do not test them in our vehicle assessment programs, these technologies are useful and we want them to be present on as many vehicles as possible,” Cicchino said.

As they are not mandatory, these systems are not yet available on some models, making it difficult to track exactly how many vehicles are built without these systems. It is difficult to predict what NetBet Italy betting will be like.

A car manufacturer could simply move towards producing a larger number of low-specific models that do not have them, without explicitly “removing” the features.

“These are useful technologies and we want them to be present on as many vehicles as possible.”

“It’s unfortunate that the chip shortage could prevent a new model from being equipped with the latest safety features that can prevent accidents and injuries,” said Jake Fisher, senior director of automotive testing at Consumer Reports.

“After all, improving safety is one of the main reasons why people decide to change their cars,” he added.

“But most automakers have the chips they need to continue producing their models without removing the equipment, and a smart buyer will avoid models that do.”

“It really is a challenge to buy a car today,” Cicchino said.

“Vehicles are generally difficult to find, but then consumers have to take the extra step to ensure that a vehicle has the technology they want, even though the information they sometimes receive is not always 100% accurate.”

With the average age of a car now over 12, the problem is not only with the current tight market of buyers.

“We will see the consequences of the chip shortage in the coming years,” Cicchino said. “These vehicles will remain in the fleet now that people keep their cars for more than a decade.”

“This will mean that fewer vehicles will be equipped with this important technology in the future,” he added.


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