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Keeping People Safe

Developing Safe Products

As we continue to transform mobility through new technology platforms, we are committed to incorporating safety every step of the way. The safety of our employees and customers is of the utmost importance.

Decision-making for safety issues includes executives at the highest levels of the company and engages employees at every level to identify potential vehicle safety issues. The vice president of global product safety and systems leads the product safety organization and is accountable for developing GM’s vehicle safety systems, confirming and validating our vehicle safety performance, identifying emerging issues and conducting field actions, including recalls.

Global Product Safety Management Process

Investigate & Analyze

Robust teams of internal product investigators and safety forensic engineers help identify and investigate potential vehicle safety issues. A data analytics team merges multiple inputs—such as Speak Up For Safety submissions and dealer service records—to build a unique, comprehensive database. Through statistical analysis and machine learning models, potential issues are identified early by linking key information from disparate data sources.

Review

Appropriate levels of management, up to senior leadership, review issues. When a decision is made for a recall, a cross-functional team initiates all necessary actions to inform appropriate government agencies, dealers and customers.

Execute

The team supplies a remedy to the customer free of charge and provides follow-up communication to customers to encourage them to get the repair.

Completion rates are monitored and shared where appropriate with government agencies. Meanwhile, Global Product Safety and Systems improves cross-system integration and addresses functional safety and compliance in the vehicle development process.

Learn more about our product development
process in Earning Customers for Life.

GM Safety & Noncompliance Recalls
(Number of Recalls)

Bar chart showing our yearly number of safety and noncompliance recalls by number of recalls from 2017 through 2021

GM Safety & Noncompliance Recalls
(Vehicle Volume in Millions)

Bar chart showing our yearly number of safety and noncompliance recalls by vehicle volume in millions from 2017 through 2021
  1. Includes 7M Takata airbag-related recalls.

Number of Global Recalls
with <10,000 Vehicles

Bar chart showing our yearly number of global recalls with less than 10,000 vehicles from 2017 through 2021

Global recalls that involve fewer than 10,000 vehicles are one way we measure the effectiveness of our safety quality management process. The ability to catch more issues early—with a relatively low volume of vehicles affected—and act swiftly is positive. The data above is also included in the total vehicle volume of safety and noncompliance recalls.

Our Speak Up For Safety program is designed to give employees, customers, suppliers and dealers an easy, consistent and unfiltered way to report potential vehicle safety issues and suggest improvements. Concerns can be submitted through a toll-free phone number, a smartphone app, email or the Speak Up For Safety website.

We view Speak Up For Safety submissions by our employees as a measure of employee engagement in safety issues. Additionally, to reinforce a sense of personal accountability, employees’ performance is evaluated in part on a demonstrated commitment to safety.

Our dedicated safety team funnels concerns to the appropriate departments where they are evaluated, addressed and, where necessary, escalated. By building a culture of safety, we attempt to find issues sooner and reduce the number of impacted vehicles. For more information see the Global Product Safety Management Process table above.

Externally, GM maintains an open dialogue with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), including regularly scheduled meetings with senior agency officials. Expedited discussions, as needed, cover field investigations, safety recalls and other identified issues. GM also participates in meetings with NHTSA and other stakeholders to advance safety discussions that benefit the industry as a whole.

Speak Up For Safety
submissions

35,842
since program inception

4,103
average annual from 2018-2021

2,979
in 2021

In our pursuit of a world with zero crashes, we will continue to provide foundational vehicle safety through crash performance, thoughtful reminders, technology to help avoid or mitigate crashes and other safety innovations.

Even with the latest advancements in vehicle safety technology, seat belts remain the primary occupant restraint in the vehicle and can help save lives when properly worn.1 In 2020, NHTSA estimated that front seat belt use is about 90%2 in the United States, yet almost half of in-vehicle fatalities are unbelted occupants. For this reason, increasing seat belt use remains a priority at GM, and we are expanding our Buckle to Drive feature to more models. When turned on, this feature can prevent the vehicle from being shifted into gear for up to 20 seconds while reminding unbelted drivers to buckle their seat belt through a chime and a visual message.

  1. Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner’s Manual for more information.
  2. Visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/seat-belts for more details.

Helping drivers avoid crashes is another GM priority. ADAS innovations are already available today that represent significant steps toward avoiding crashes. For example, under certain conditions, Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)1 can help avoid or reduce the harm caused by striking the rear end of a detected vehicle ahead. AEB automatically provides hard emergency braking or enhances the driver’s hard braking if the system detects such a collision is imminent under certain conditions. Similarly, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning1 provides gentle steering wheel turns to help keep the driver from inadvertently leaving their lane. Through building-block changes such as these, drivers are increasingly aided in helping to avoid or mitigate the harm caused by common crashes.

Global Deployment of ADAS1

Number of models with these technologies available or as standard equipment out of 71 total models

50
Forward Collision
Alert
26
Safety
Alert Seat
43
Lane Keep Assist With
Lane Departure Warning
29
HD Surround
Vision
10
Lane Departure
Warning
41
Rear Cross
Traffic Alert
33
Adaptive
Cruise Control
45
Front Pedestrian
Braking
47
Enhanced Automatic Emergency Braking
or Automatic Emergency Braking
42
Lane Change Alert With Side Blind
Zone Alert or Side Blind Zone Alert

2023 Cadillac LYRIQ Debut Edition available Summer 2022, by reservation only. Additional LYRIQ models available starting Fall 2022. See dealer for details.

  1. Safety or driver assistance features are no substitute for the driver's responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. The driver must remain attentive to traffic, surroundings and road conditions at all times. Visibility, weather and road conditions may affect feature performance. Read the vehicle's owner's manual for more important feature limitations and information.

GM recognizes the need to continue building public awareness of roadway safety risks by promoting safe driving behaviors and a safe roadway environment. We invest in nonprofit relationships and initiatives to promote good behaviors such as seat belt usage and educate on the dangers of impaired and distracted driving. Examples of current relationships and initiatives include:

Safe Kids Worldwide

For more than 20 years, GM and Safe Kids Worldwide have collaborated to help keep kids safe in and around vehicles through many programs, like the GM-funded Buckle Up Program. The Buckle Up Program works through a nationwide coalition to provide inspection stations and free car seat check-up events throughout the year. In fact, over 30 of our own GM employees are trained as certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians and also volunteer their time to support these car seat check-up public events.

National Organization for Youth Safety

Directed toward the teen driver, GM partners with National Organizations for Youth Safety to implement the annual Seat Belts Save (SBS) Challenge. SBS is a four-week campaign designed to educate teens about the dangers of riding in a vehicle without wearing a seat belt and to increase the number of teens who regularly wear a seat belt while driving or riding in a vehicle.

America Walks

America Walks is leading the way in advancing safe, equitable, accessible and enjoyable places to walk and move by giving people and communities the resources to effectively advocate for change. GM supports America Walks to ensure pedestrians are equipped with resources to remain safe when sharing roadways with motorists, bicyclists and others.

In 2021, GM provided grant funding in support of Project Look Out, a U.S.- based media campaign aimed at preventing distracted driving. GM support aided Project Look Out in moving from its development phase to its implementation phase.

Periscope’s focus on research identifies which technologies may have a significant impact on reducing crashes and injuries. GM works with world-class research institutes to study how safety technologies currently available in vehicles are making a real-world difference on the path to a world with zero crashes. We have collaborated with organizations such as NHTSA, UMTRI, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute.

Following a landmark police report study conducted in 2019, GM continued to work with UMTRI to analyze the field effectiveness of a wide range of GM ADAS and headlighting technology in addressing rear-end striking, pedestrian, lane departure, lane change and backing crashes. In the latest study, UMTRI performed an analysis using over 10.9 million GM Model Year 2013–2020 vehicles along with police reports from 14 states. After comparing the crash instances involving vehicles with and without ADAS features, the study provided further evidence that much of this technology is making a proven impact, with statistically significant results, to help reduce crashes or mitigate injuries when crashes do occur. (Please see UMTRI-2022-2 report for further details.)

Because a key purpose of ADAS features is to alert the driver to potential crashes, how the driver is alerted and how the driver responds also play an important role to help ensure feature effectiveness in the field.1 GM has conducted significant research to determine how best to communicate those alerts to the driver so that they can take action to help avoid a crash threat. For example, the GM-exclusive Safety Alert Seat1 was developed with research conducted by TNO in the Netherlands, as well as with the VTTI. The Safety Alert Seat provides directional seat vibrations to help alert drivers of the direction of potential crash threats detected by various active safety systems. This haptic alert supplements provided visual alerts and has been shown to be preferred by our customers and to increase usage of ADAS that employ the technology.

To learn more about UMTRI please visit https://www.umtri.umich.edu

  1. Safety or driver assistance features are no substitute for the driver's responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. The driver must remain attentive to traffic, surroundings and road conditions at all times. Visibility, weather and road conditions may affect feature performance. Read the vehicle's owner's manual for more important feature limitations and information.

Effectiveness of ADAS

2022 GMC HUMMER EV Pickup

All results shown are from a research study conducted with UMTRI.

Edition 1 Pickup limited availability by waitlist. Additional GMC HUMMER EV models available Fall 2022.

Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert1 reduced lane change crashes by
16%
IntelliBeam1, or auto high beam highlighting, reduced a combined set of frontal animal, pedestrian and bicyclist crashes by
22%
Front Pedestrian Braking1 reduced frontal pedestrian crashes by
23%
AEB1 (or Forward Automatic Braking1) with Forward Collision Alert1 reduced rear end striking crashes by 41%, and reduced such crashes with reported suspected minor injury or higher severities for anyone in the crash by
55%
Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning1 reduced roadway departure crashes by 17%, and reduced such crashes with reported suspected minor injury or higher injury severities for anyone in the crash by
21%
The Reverse Automatic Braking1 feature, combined with Rear Vision Camera,1 Rear Park Assist1 and Rear Cross Traffic Alert1 reduced backing crashes by
83%
  1. Safety or driver assistance features are no substitute for the driver’s responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. The driver must remain attentive to traffic, surroundings and road conditions at all times. Visibility, weather and road conditions may affect feature performance. Read the vehicle’s owner’s manual for more important feature limitations and information.

OnStar Safety Innovation

Periscope’s holistic view of safety extends to OnStar, our safety and security service. For years, OnStar has helped customers primarily by responding to crashes or vehicle issues. Today, the service is expanding beyond both the vehicle and GM customers through the OnStar Guardian mobile phone app1. The app enables customers to access certain OnStar support services whether at home, out walking or in any vehicle, regardless of brand or ownership. In 2021, we expanded the availability of the app to GM customers in Mexico and made it available to anyone in the United States and Canada with a compatible Apple or Android device.

Also in 2021, OnStar and RapidDeploy, a public safety technology company working to accelerate Next Generation 911, launched a first-of-its-kind program to supply every 911 call center in California with OnStar’s Automatic Crash Response notifications. The certified emergency OnStar advisor will coordinate with the appropriate 911 center for rescue and response. In addition, GM invested in RapidDeploy, which will enable the company to improve the public safety community’s situational awareness with a cloud-native, data-driven solution. This investment underscores GM and OnStar’s commitment to working with the public safety community to support and accelerate Next Generation 911.

  1. Available on select Apple and Android devices. Service availability, features and functionality vary by vehicle, device and the plan you are enrolled in. User terms apply.

Safety is of equal priority and importance in the design of both EVs and internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.

We have a dedicated high-voltage battery safety team that works to help protect the battery in a crash, which is similar to how we approach protecting fuel systems in ICE-powered vehicles. Our batteries are packaged below the seating area and are designed to be an integral part of the vehicle structure safety cage that helps to protect the occupants in the event of a crash. We assess the crash performance of the unique characteristics of a high-voltage battery system, and our vehicles are designed to shut down and isolate the electrical system in the event of a crash or flood to avoid the risk of electrical shock.

We play key roles in leading standards committees on battery safety through organizations like the Society of Automotive Engineers International and intend to remain an industry leader in this area.

Our safety research and development extends to self-driving autonomous technology. AV development reflects all 12 safety elements in the NHTSA voluntary guidance, Automated Driving Systems 2.0—A Vision for Safety.

Across the country, state and federal regulators and legislators are actively considering how to help foster and shape the evolution of AVs. GM is engaged with policymakers to advance AV-enabling legislation and regulations. In particular, we are focused on discussing our mobility offerings with city officials across the United States and around the world, given that urban settings are the environment in which our AVs will first launch commercially.

GM Safety & Noncompliance Recalls
(Number of Recalls)

GM Safety & Noncompliance Recalls
(Vehicle Volume in Millions)

Number of Global Recalls with <10,000 Vehicles