Cars in Europe With eCall System Are Accidentally Calling the Cops


Europe's eCall system hasn't been getting off on the right foot as first responders keep getting tripped calls from glitchy cars.

Every now and then we like to lift our heads up from focusing on American auto news to see how things are going across the Atlantic Ocean. There's plenty to keep us occupied here (i.e. Tesla starts and stops, Ford axing most of its cars), but there's so much good news in Europe where a new legislation on emergency calling--its eCall system--hasn't started off so well.


Forbes is reporting that only a month into the European Union's new legislation that all new cars come equipped with the eCall system, which automatically calls emergency services in the event of an accident, is having some issues. The eCall system calls 112 (our 911, basically) after an accident happens and redirects to a local emergency service across the EU. Sounds like one of the many novel tech upgrades, but apparently it keeps accidentally calling emergency services when it's not needed.

Causing a Distraction

At a convention in Slovenia, emergency services representatives met to discuss just how amazingly the eCall system is going. The one consistent nugget brought up: it's pushing out a lot of false calls, providing a distraction from the real work.

"There have been false eCalls during repairs or checkups, or people unintentionally pressing the SOS button - particularly children," said Iratxe Gomez Susaeta, an emergency management expert who has been consulting with operators during the roll-out.


The alert can apparently be triggered while the car is being repaired and a mechanic may not hear the emergency service personnel trying to get in contact. All of a sudden a gaggle of first responders show up and therein lies the issue.

Monopolizing the Market

Another issue that the eCall system is having is how it works with private emergency calling services that have been already in play by automakers like GM (OnStar) and BMW's ConnectedDrive. The EU legislation is allowing these services to continue as long as they act as an equivalent to the eCall system.

The people behind the eCall system and its legislation are hoping that the issues will be resolved shortly because we're pretty sure cops and ambulances across Europe don't like getting pranked by tiny cars.

NEXT: GM to Integrate In-Vehicle Podcasts to 1 Million New Vehicles