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Electronic Stability Control (ESC) should be fitted for all vehicles - (Australia)

August 4th, 2008

Australia’s leading vehicle safety organisation, the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), supported the Federal Government’s announcement it is moving to have the leading-edge safety technology, Electronic Stability Control, fitted as standard on all new Australian cars.

In welcoming the Government’s move however, ANCAP noted the feature also needed to be standard on Australia’s massive fleet of light commercial vehicles.

ANCAP Chair, Lauchlan McIntosh, said it was pleasing to see the Government has listened to the calls by ANCAP and other international vehicle safety organisations, that Electronic Stability Control (ESC) has the potential to be the greatest safety innovation since the introduction of the seat belt in the 1970s.

“This is great news for Australian motorists and their families and follows several years of ANCAP and its members lobbying governments and the automotive industry to have the installation of Electronic Stability Control (ESC) as standard,” Mr McIntosh said.

The Government’s announcement today, that it has voted to adopt a Global Technical Regulation on Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems as standard, is recognition of ANCAP’s advocacy and increasing consumer awareness and demand for the feature.

ANCAP has this year made Electronic Stability Control (ESC) mandatory for any vehicle to achieve a 5-star safety rating.

Australian research shows that Electronic Stability Control (ESC) can reduce single-car crashes by more than a quarter, and almost three-quarters of single-vehicle 4WD crashes – these are significant numbers and will undoubtedly reduce crashes and save lives.

But ANCAP does have concerns about the fitment of Electronic Stability Control (ESC) in light commercial vehicles and utilities – ANCAP only last month announced it would increase its testing of light commercials to see just how safe they are.

Four-star utilities have been available for several years now but, up until recently, the best commercial van was rated just 3 stars.

ANCAP last month announced the awarding of its first 4-star rating for a commercial van, the VW Transporter – the only other light commercials to be tested and star rated are the Toyota Hiace, with a 3-star rating, and the Mitsubishi Express with 1 star.

The Transporter has optional Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and fleets are encouraged to include this life-saving feature on all vehicles that they purchase.

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