Honda Safety Technology – Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA)

I have just bought my very first car about six month ago. With the price of petrol soaring to RM2.70 per liter at one point almost a year back, I had my target set on a foreign car. Although it will cost twice as much compared to a local car, I thought it would be worth the price for tangible and intangible reasons. Having said that, my first set of wheels is still local made. I decided not to take the recession lightly and to not underestimate the liabilities of owning a vehicle.

To me, one of the most important reasons to opt for a more expensive foreign car is safety. Before this, I have only heard from others saying how one car looks safer compared to another. If it wasn’t because Honda has engaged me to do a research on their safety technology, I wouldn’t know that the safety aspects developed in Honda cars goes beyond its looks.

For example, Honda has been committed in researching and developing safer vehicles since they first introduced disc brakes in the early 1960s. Ever since then, they have introduced leading-edge equipment and systems that features intelligent technologies to be fitted into their vehicles. Honda’s commitment towards safety is proven when the Honda Accord has been re-accessed as one of the safest cars as reported by Euro NCAP after a new independent crash test was reported on the 27th of February 2009.

Honda’s safety technologies can be divided into three categories – active safety, pre-crash safety and passive safety. These technologies help prevent accidents from happening. At the same time, they also focus on minimizing injuries to all parties involved when an accident does happen.

Honda’s road vehicles go beyond protecting the driver and passengers riding in Honda cars and motorcycles. The designs of their vehicles are built to protect even the passengers of the other vehicle, cyclists and even pedestrians in the event of an accident. The introduction of the pedestrian injury-reduction safety body in the year 1998 is an example of such great innovations by Honda.

The Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system is another technology introduced by Honda together with two other technologies on the 2nd of July 1997. The VSA system is an active safety system that consists of three technologies. Two of them are existing safety systems – Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Traction Control System (TCS) – previously offered in Honda vehicles. The third technology in a VSA system is a Side Slip Control feature.

An example of when side slip may occur is when a driver engages a corner too quickly on a wet road. When the cornering forces of a vehicle are greater than the available tire grip levels, side slip occurs. If the front wheels are slipping sideways, the car is understeering. On the other hand, if the rear wheels are slipping sideways, the car is oversteering.

Sensors are placed around the vehicle to help detect when a side slip is occurring. These sensors include wheel speed sensors, steering angle sensor, yaw rate sensor and lateral acceleration sensor. The intelligent unit that detects and controls the VSA system to correct a side slip is the VSA-ECU component. This component detects understeers or oversteers by comparing the target yaw rate by the driver with the actual yaw rate of the vehicle.

The yaw rate used to detect understeers is calculated using the steering angle and vehicle speed variables collected from the respective sensors. When this happens, the VSA system reduces the engine torque and may even apply the brakes to the inner front wheel to correct the understeer. On the other hand, the yaw rate used to detect oversteers is calculated using the lateral acceleration, steering angle and vehicle speed variables. The VSA system applies the brakes to the outer front wheel to correct such oversteers.

In short, the VSA system helps to prevent accidents by preventing vehicles from sliding sideways caused by sudden changes in vehicle behavior or wet road. Such safety features is definitely worth the money that one has to fork out when buying a Honda.

If you need more information on Vehicle Stability Assist or other Honda safety technologies, you can always drop by Honda’s official website at for details. A few Honda Advanced Technology road shows are scheduled in the coming months across Malaysia. Do check those out as well.

Until then, drive safe and stay safe.

21 thoughts on “Honda Safety Technology – Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA)

  1. Joe Porter says:

    I also drive a Honda civic and I am always concerned about driving a small car. I noticed that the link does not work, but there is an entry in Wikipedia about vehicle stability assist.

  2. Kentucky Movers says:

    The electronic stability control feature is very helpful. Last week we had a lot of snowfall and my car was slipping around all over the place. I tried to drive carefully but I still had a few situations with a dangerous amount of side slip. I guess my next car will be a Honda!

  3. John koosa says:

    Hi, I’ve been driving a 2008 accord for 2 yrs , and wouldn’t reccomend it to my enemy!!!!! The vsa system is not perfect , it doesn’t deploy consistantly and not reliable, as a matter of fact I got into 2 accidents because of it. I recommend considering other vehicles

  4. dave says:

    hi, abiola, I have the same problem. my VSA warning light keep on, and i send to Honday malaysia to reset it, and everytime they charge me RM60, and it will still “on” once i drove off the car from service center. so i called and ask them about it, they just told me to change the ECU, which will cost about RM5k.
    Recently i borrow auto scanner and scan my car, then i found that the problem was ” Sensor Logic Malfunction”, hence i think is something to do with the Yaw sensor. as I can recall, this problem started when i send to workshop to change tires, workshop mechanic actually found some sensor on the wheel was loose, then the tighten it, but seems like not function now.
    I only guessing the problem is that sensor, but still dont know how to fix it, anyone have any idea?
    call me 0122268672

  5. Brent says:


    I don’t know what car you drive but in my 2007 civic si I can turn VSA on and off by pressing a button to the left side of my dashboard. Hope this helps.

  6. Hannah Hall says:

    Car Safety is always on the top of my head that is my i always use modern gadgets that could enhance the safety of my brand new car.”-“

  7. shams says:

    i put incorrect fuel in my honda accord 2.2 its show me vsa sign and stop excelatoring for 2-3 min.and then its work again normal

  8. Pingback: Which Sparks Your Interest? Camry? Or Accord?

  9. YING Kin-sang says:

    I have a Honda Accord Type S for less than 3 years. I never put the VSA system, as I did not know what it was. Now I understanding how it works. But I am still interested to know if the system would increase my fuel consumption or not if I turn it on now.

  10. fouad says:

    hi guys , i had honda civic 2007 EXI for 3 years before i crashed last week , i have always complained in the service center about the car stability in turns or suden movements , after searching and asking other drivers,some of them were working in honda and made the same accident , i came out with conclusion that honda dosent have good stability but they started to add VSA in 2011 models but still an option while its standard in all erupean cars , electronic stability program is very important for car stability during sudden or fast adjustment or turning.
    kind regards

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  12. jemy says:

    Hi, there
    I got a question about my Honda Civic Senda 2009
    The car had an accident before was fixed and drives well. After I opened the transmission stick hood and did something I don’t remember. The car started having some wired symptoms.
    When the vehicle turn on corner I feel driving unstable and vibration noise from breaks and wheels. I found it was caused by VSA malfunction. When I turn the vehicle to one direction the VSA put on break on opposite side of the wheel which suppose to same side wheels to help turning.
    I opened the driving shift hood. Found that the motion sensor is just hung there freely. After I turned around the sensor everything was back to normal. So It’s the sensor somehow was put into wrong direction to cause that problem. And the sensor could easily be misplaced by any force because it was just hung there free.
    there were two holes on both side of the sensor which looks like was mounted somewhere before. I couldn’t found anywhere I can mount under that hood. So I need information for where I should mount on this sensor.

    thank you

  13. Kamil says:

    For me VSA is a prevention tool design by Honda as their selling point, as a user we have to make sure our car is in best condition. No point if we complaining about this malfuction behaviour if we not see our car condition at the first place, in fact it has been tested and being reviwed before it come into market.
    Yes i’m sure there is problem and unfotunately not perfect, but before complaining do we ask ourself first, is it we drive it in a propper maner? is it we using a correct tire at the correct palce? is it we understand clearly how it’s work? do we have go for second option when service centre does not perform as needed? bla bla.. it’s a human creation and certainly it do has a LIMIT!

  14. Rob Letchford says:

    Hi,I have a question about my Honda type s on an 07 plate.After an accedent the car was repired in a main dealer garage.When i got it back the VSA system comes on when i go round roundabouts,i can hear and feel it working it sound like somthing rubbing and is quite noisy.the garage took it back and changed a censer.the car has been checked by a honda dealer and has been given a clean bill of health but the niose is still there.It doesnt happen on every roundabout just some.and not every time on the same roundabout.Any ideas???Thanks

  15. Regina Susek says:

    My husband got new tires about 2 months ago. Acura (2005) now has the light come on. Dealer could not find the problem. I have read the posts, any suggestion?. I am going to call our regular menchanic. We had loads of probs w/ our Jeep which I dagnosed which was accelerating w/o notice. No one could find the problem. I said “disconnect and reconnect the throttle”. After 6 months, someone listened to me. Some people got killed over this then found out it was a recall issue the dealer knew nothing about. Please help. Hellacios commute to work and worry about his safety.

  16. chaz says:

    I have a 2007 civic type s also. Same problem. VSA kicks in when driving normally and safely around roundabouts. Started after a repair that did both change rear brake discs, pads and shields, and also front driver side shock absorber. Attempted to fix by changing near side front bearing, which also involved changing that abs sensor since it broke whilst doing the bearing, but made no difference. Garage suggest need to reset yaw sensor. i suspect an ans sensor may have been damaged when doing the brakes and shocker repair. All repairs at Honda dealer.

  17. Elizabeth S. Blackwell says:

    We have had trouble all week with the VSA light coming on and there is a symbol looking like a battery flashing… I am afraid of the car now and my husband wants to take it to a mechanic. I am afraid they won’t know what to do… I paid $33,000 for this Honda Accord 2010 and now I am afraid of it… What do you have to say about this?

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