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ESC fitment rates rise ahead of 2011 deadline

26 March 2009

On 10 March 2009, Members of the European Parliament voted for a compulsory introduction of ESC in all new types of vehicles from 1 November 2011, and for all new vehicles from 1 November 2014.

However an increasing number of new cars on sale in the UK are equipped with life-saving electronic stability control (ESC) but there remains a long way to go according to Adrian Walsh director of RoadSafe.

Latest figures from the Choose ESC Campaign reveal that the ESC installation rate on new cars registered in Europe from 50% in 2007 to 53% in the first half of 2008.

In the UK installation rates increased to above the European average. The figures reveal that in the UK 56% of all new cars registered in the first half of last year were equipped with ESC compared with 48% in the whole of 2007. That means that since 2003 installation rates have almost tripled from 20%.

However, there remains a number of “black spots” where ESC is not fitted. This is primarily due to the technology either not being available at all on cheaper models or only available as an option.

For example, superminis account for a third of all UK new car registrations. But, ESC was only fitted as standard on 9% of vehicles registered in the first half of last year and an added option on a further 5%. That means 86% of superminis registered in the first six months of last year are taking to the road without ESC. The picture is even worse in the city car sector, which accounts for 6% of all new cars sold in the UK , where 89% of models registered in the first half of last year were without ESC.