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by Tim Beissmann

The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu will debut a new Teen Driver safety system when it makes its world premiere at next week’s New York motor show.

Similar to rival Ford’s MyKey technology that we checked out late last year, Chevy’s Teen Driver system allows parents to automatically configure the Malibu to its safest settings when a young driver gets behind the wheel.

Chevrolet says Teen Driver can encourage safe driving habits by muting the radio or any paired audio device when the front seat occupants aren’t wearing their seatbelts and give audible and visual warnings when the vehicle is travelling faster than a pre-set speed.

Unique to Teen Driver is a function that creates a report card for parents to see how the teenager drove the vehicle, confirming the maximum speed reached, distance driven, and the number of times the vehicle’s active safety features were engaged.

Teen Driver, available on the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu

Teen Driver will automatically activate the following safety features (where fitted) and not allow them to be manually turned off: electronic stability control, traction control, forward collision alert, forward collision braking, front pedestrian braking, blind-spot alert, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear park assist, and daytime running lights.

To set up Teen Driver, the vehicle owner needs to enable the feature by creating a PIN in the settings menu of the Malibu’s MyLink system and then register the young driver’s key fob.

General Motors safety engineer MaryAnn Beebe says Teen Driver has been developed as a teaching tool, allowing parents to discuss and reinforce safe driving habits with their children.

Statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in the US, the fatal crash rate per mile driven for 16- to 19-year-olds is nearly three times the rate for drivers aged 20 and over.

The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu is set to launch in the US before the end of this year following its April unveiling.

Holden product communications senior manager Kate Lonsdale told CarAdvice today that while the new-generation Malibu “looks great” and “very interesting” it remains unconfirmed for our market at this stage as the local division weighs up the business case for the car.

The current Malibu is a slow-seller for Holden. The mid-sized sedan found just 1635 new homes last year, giving it a tiny 3.3 per cent share of its segment. Sales dropped off 32 per cent in the first two months of this year to just 150 units. The segment-leading Toyota Camry racked up 2900 sales over the same period.




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