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ESC announcement too little, too late

ESC announcement too little, too late, says safety campaigner

The government announcement that Electronic Stability Control will become compulsory on new vehicles, is too little, too late, says the car review website dogandlemon.com

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson, who spent many years campaigning for ESC to be compulsory, welcomes the government’s announcement, but says that it’s far too friendly to the car industry.

"These controls should have been in place five years ago. The proposed new rule change is effectively locking the stable after the horse has already bolted. There's only one passenger car, a few SUVs and a few light commercial vehicles still imported without electronic stability control.”

“There are now tens of thousands of vehicles in everyday use that lack this vital safety feature. These vehicles should never have been allowed into the country in the first place."

Matthew-Wilson says the new rules should apply to used imports at the same time as new cars.

"There are plenty of excellent used imports coming in from Japan. I don't see why there should be one safety standard for importing new vehicles and another standard for importing used ones.”

Matthew-Wilson does not believe that making ESC compulsory will raise the price of cars.

“There are new cars with ESC available for less than $20,000. It’s nonsense to say that ESC is a costly feature.”

Electronic Stability Control detects when a driver is skidding and selectively brakes the individual wheels to bring the vehicle back under control.

Studies by the American Institute for Highway Safety showed that: “Electronic Stability Control lowers the risk of a fatal single-vehicle crash by about half and the risk of a fatal rollover by up to 80 percent.”


The New Zealand government has widely promoted Electronic Stability Control in some of its road safety publicity, but has allowed new vehicles to be sold without it.

New vehicles sold without Electronic Stability Control

• • Chery J1, J3 and J11,
• • Foton Tunland 
• • Great Wall V200, V240 and X240
• • Land Rover Defender
• • Mahindra Genio
• • Mitsubishi L300
• • Mitsubishi Triton  (some versions)
• • Nissan Navara (some versions
• • Ssangyong Actyon (some versions)
• • Ssangyong Korando (some versions)
• • Ssangyong Rexton (some versions)
• • Suzuki Jimny
• • Toyota Hilux (some versions)

What manufacturers call Electronic Stability Control

Not all ESC systems are identical. The hardware is similar, but there are variations in the way systems activate when a driver begins to lose control.
In an ideal world, all the manufacturers would describe Electronic Stability Control as Electronic Stability Control. However, many manufacturers give it a different name in order to distinguish their brand from others. Below is a list of manufacturers that use Electronic Stability Control, and what they call it.

Maker model                         what they call ESC
Aston Martin              Automatic Stability Control (ASC)
Audi                          Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
BMW                          Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
Chrysler             Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
Citroën                          Automatic Stability Control (ASC)
Ford                         Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) /
Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
Great Wall Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
Holden              Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
Honda              Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
Hummer              StabiliTrak
Hyundai              Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
Jaguar              Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
Kia              Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
Land Rover              Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
Lexus              Vehicle Skid Control (VSC)
Mazda             Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
Mercedes-Benz             Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
Mini              Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
Mitsubishi             Active Skid and Traction Control
Nissan             Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC)
Peugeot             Automatic Stability Control (ASC)
Porsche              Porsche Stability Management (PSM)
Proton Vehicle stability control (VSC)
Renault Automatic Stability Control (ASC)
Rolls-Royce              Automatic Stability Control (ASC)
Saab              Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
Subaru Vehicle Dynamics Control System (VDCS)
Toyota Vehicle Skid Control (VSC)
Volkswagen Electronic Stabilisation Program (ESP)
Volvo              Dynamic Stability & Traction Control (DSTC)


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