May 4, 2016 10:55 AM, EDT

Bendix Says Approaching NHTSA Mandate Boosts Sales of Electronic Stability Systems

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems said it has sold its 450,000th Electronic Stability Program, a system that automatically deploys a truck’s brakes to protect against loss of control from swerving or a rollover.

The Elyria, Ohio-based manufacturer said May 4 that sales of ESP, introduced in 2005, have been on the increase because of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rule that takes effect Aug. 1, 2017. At that point, all new Classes 7-8 tractors sold in the United States must have electronic stability control systems.

In June 2018, the NHTSA rule expands to cover Class 8 buses, and in August 2019 it will cover some large specialty vehicles.

“Bendix ESP fully meets the new stability mandate,” the company said in its announcement. Bendix said it took six years to sell 100,000 ESPs to truck makers, and since then the pace accelerated, with the company moving more than 350,000 units in the five years since 2011.

Bendix’s major competitor in active safety systems is Meritor Wabco, a joint venture between Meritor Inc. and Wabco Holdings. Meritor Wabco calls its equivalent system OnGuard.

Bendix Vice President Scott Burkhart said the systems are designed not just to comply with a rule, but to make sense economically.

“We hear again and again from fleets how the technology rewards their businesses in terms of safety, performance and value. They see firsthand the loss-of-control and rollover mitigation, along with the ROI benefits, and they come away as believers,” Burkhart said.

“The benefits of full stability will be experienced industrywide as NHTSA’s mandate is implemented,” said Fred Andersky, Bendix director of government and industry affairs. He said the change “will help to improve highway safety even further. In the future, we expect NHTSA will address stability on medium-duty vehicles as well.”