October 1, 2007 – Torrance, CA - The Toyota Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system was first introduced in select Lexus models in 1997. The system was designed to help reduce lateral skids caused by sudden steering inputs or abrupt changes in road conditions on curves. Since its introduction, VSC has become available on a wide range of Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles.
Past studies have concluded that a significant number of one-car accidents resulting in serious injury are caused by lateral skidding conditions, and loss of driver control, often due to sudden steering input or changing road conditions on curves. The VSC system is designed to help reduce lateral skids through active control of the brakes and engine output, such as when the driver steers abruptly, or when turning on slippery road surfaces. VSC works in concert with the anti-lock brakes (ABS) and traction control (TRAC) systems to help prevent straight-line skids and lateral skids.
The VSC system harnesses the ABS and TRAC sensors, actuators, and computer electronics to help avoid and recover from vehicle skids and spins. A combination of three sensors - - a lateral G-sensor, yaw-rate sensor and steering-angle sensor - - detect when the vehicle's direction of travel does not correlate with driver steering inputs. It then uses throttle and selective brake intervention to help maintain the path of travel.
In the event of "fishtailing," VSC will command instantaneous braking on the vehicle's front outer wheel creating rotational power (or momentum force) to the outer side, helping the vehicle to stay on course. In cases where the vehicle skids toward the outside of the curve, braking on the rear inner wheel and reduced engine power are applied.
The VSC system also includes a slip indicator, which beeps to warn the driver the tires are about to exceed the grip limit.
The VSC system is standard equipment on all Toyota and Lexus sport utility vehicles (SUV), select Sienna vans, the Scion xB urban utility vehicle, and virtually all Lexus passenger cars. It is available as an option on nearly all other Toyota passenger cars and the Lexus ES and IS models.
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