What does VSA stand for?

2021 Honda Accord Hybrid

Cars.com photo by Aaron Bragman

VSA stands for Vehicle Stability Assist, the protected name for the electronic stability control system used in Honda and Acura vehicles.

Electronic stability control relies on sensors that detect when a vehicle is about to skid and intervene by reducing engine power and gently applying and releasing the brakes on each wheel to maintain steering control.

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Stability control has been required for all vehicles sold in the United States since the 2012 model year. The federal mandate for stability control was triggered in large part by an increase in the number of rollover and single vehicle accidents involving SUVs in the early 2000s.

Honda was an early adopter of the technology; VSA debuted in the Janese market on the Honda Accord sedan in 1997, and the 2000 Acura 3.5RL sedan was the first US model to have it. The 2005 Honda Pilot SUV and 2005 Honda Odyssey Minivan were the first US Honda models to receive VSA, and by 2006 it was standard on four Acura and four Honda models.

Like other stability control systems, VSA uses various sensors to measure a vehicle’s direction of travel versus steering wheel position, lateral acceleration, wheel slip and other factors to determine that it needs to be activated to prevent skidding. VSA contains traction control that reduces power to drive wheels that slip (lose traction) when accelerating.

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