The Electronic Stability Control Coalition announced on November 6 that the availability of electronic stability control (ESC) increased in model year 2004, as vehicle manufacturers either made the automotive safety feature standard or expanded its availability. A full list of ESC equipped vehicles for the new model year is available on the Coalition's website ESC is active safety technology that uses microelectronics to help drivers maintain control of their vehicle and prevent crashes before they occur. The system detects when a driver is about to lose control of a vehicle and automatically intervenes to provide stability and help the driver stay on course. International research has shown that ESC could help prevent 15 percent of all crashes and 30 to 35 percent of single-vehicle crashes. Based on these findings, widespread installation of ESC in the United States could potentially save between 5,000-6,000 lives and $35 billion in economic losses annually. Model-year 2004 vehicles offering ESC for the first time are: * Acura TSX * Cadillac SRX * Cadillac XLR * Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 * Chevrolet Express 3500 * Chrysler Concorde * Chrysler Crossfire * Mazda RX-8 * Mitsubishi Endeavor * Nissan Maxima * Pontiac Grand Prix GTP * Volkswagen Touareg ESC is standard equipment on all Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz vehicles and Toyota sport-utility vehicles. "As highway fatalities have reached a decade-high, consumers need to know how to better protect themselves on the road," said Rich Golitko, vice chairman of the ESC Coalition. "Electronic stability control is the easy safety choice. Anyone looking to buy a new vehicle should consider it an essential feature. Additionally, when shopping for a new car, consumers interested in ESC need to work with their dealer to ensure the specific trim line they are considering includes this safety technology." The ESC Coalition is a joint effort of two of the largest automotive technology suppliers, Robert Bosch Corporation and Continental Teves. Both companies are working together to increase the general awareness of this potentially life saving technology.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials