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Euro NCAP wants ECS as standard across EU models

Euro NCAP has urged all car manufacturers to fit electronic stability control (ESC) as standard to all models in the UK.

The calls came after an EU wide ESC survey placed the UK, Holland, Greece, Malta and Ireland bottom of countries which have the least amount of cars fitted with ESC as standard. Denmark, Sweden and Germany had the most ESC standard models.

Euro NCAP said the reasons for the disparity are not technical ones. Some models have ESC fitted as standard equipment in one country, yet it’s not available even as an option, in others.

Adrian Hobbs, Euro NCAP’s secretary general, said: "Car manufacturers respond to the demands of customers but customers will only demand ESC when they become aware of the benefits."

Hobbs is raising awareness of ESC with the launch of the new ‘Choose ESC’ campaign, led by eSafetyAware! and the European Commission ‘to bring pressure to bear on manufacturers to fit ESC as standard on all new cars, in all countries’.

Nigel Wonnacott, head of communications for the SMMT, said: "ESC is a hugely important lifesaver and an essential active safety feature.

"However, we think forcing it to become standard across all manufacturers’ models is a step too far. Every safety feature should be included as standard, but the reality is that it’s just not possible.

"I think manufacturers have made a vast improvement with the amount of standard active safety features on cars and new model cycles will inevitably bring more and more in the near future. It is happening."

ESC recognises when a skid is starting to happen and applies the brakes at individual wheels, helping to keep the car under control before the skid develops.

  • A full breakdown of the UK survey results can be downloaded here. Results from other countries in the EU can be sent as a pdf. Send your request to
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