October 1, 2004

Consumer Reports rates aftermarket vehicle backup systems

Yonkers, New York – Consumer Reports tested and rated a mix of aftermarket products that use electronic sensors and rear-view cameras. All such systems are intended to help drivers detect objects within the blind spot behind the vehicle. Backup systems are typically marketed as parking aids, not safety equipment, but CR’s tests show that the camera models can also help drivers avoid backover-accident injuries and fatalities.

In the United Stares, ninety-one children were killed in 2003 by drivers who didn’t see them while backing up, according to Kids and Cars, a nonprofit organization working to improve child safety around vehicles.

The Grote Obstacle Detection System 78520 ($275) and EchoMaster EM-PV ($275), were both rated as “Excellent” overall and are CR Best Buys. The Rostra Obstacle Sensing System 250-1594 ($350) also received an “Excellent” rating.

For backup cameras, Consumer Reports recommends the HitchCAM Framecam HCFC-18 ($800), the Audiovox RVMPKG3 ($400), or the Hitchcam MC-001C ($800). All three were rated “Excellent” overall.

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