VIRGINIA, Sept. 14 / | PR News/ – A proposal to require auto manufacturers to install electronic stability control (ESC) as a standard feature on all new passenger vehicles has the potential to save more than 10,000 lives every year, according to a statement issued today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).The proposed DOT rule would require all manufacturers to begin equipping passenger vehicles under 10,000 pounds with ESC starting with the 2009 model year and to have the feature available as standard equipment on all vehicles by the 2012 model year.

ESC systems use automatic computer-controlled braking of individual wheels. The result is better driver control of the vehicle and fewer accidents. And, according to a 2004 study by NHTSA, ESC can reduced fatalities in single-vehicle crashes by 30 percent for passenger cars and 63 percent for SUVs.

NHTSA Administrator Nicole Nason called electronic stability control for cars, “the greatest life saving improvement since the safety belt.”

The agency estimates that ESC will save between 5,300 and 10,300 lives annually and prevent between 168,000 and 252,000 injuries. ESC will prevent between 4,200 and 5,400 of the more than 10,000 deaths that occur each year as a result of rollover crashes.

According the NHTSA’s proposed regulation, the average cost is estimated to be $111 per vehicle for vehicles that already include ABS brakes. Since 2004, NHTSA has urged manufacturers to voluntarily add ESC as standard equipment. About 29 percent of all 2006 models – 57 percent of SUVs – are currently equipped with ESC.

Mercedes-Benz pioneered ESP® stability control. According to a Mercedes-Benz USA press release, also issued today, NHTSA analyzed more than 40,000 collisions over a period of six years, focusing on similar vehicles with and without stability control. Stability control systems are now being used by several auto manufacturers.
The NHTSA and IIHS analysis corroborates a Mercedes-Benz study from 2002 that revealed a 40 percent reduction in “loss of control” accidents after the company made ESP standard equipment on all models. Studies by the University of Iowa and other auto manufacturers found similar results.

After bringing the industry’s first ABS anti-lock brakes and traction control systems to consumers in the 1980s, Mercedes-Benz collaborated with Bosch to invent ESP stability control and introduced it in 1995. The new safety system made its debut on the 1996 S-Class line, became standard equipment on most Mercedes-Benz models by the 2000 model year and is standard on all Mercedes-Benz models today.

More info:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) | U.S. DOT
DOT Proposes Anti-Rollover Technology for New Vehicles

Mercedes-Benz USA
News Media Contacts: Rob Moran at 201-573-2245 and Michelle Murad at 201-573-4320; Toll-Free 888-MBNEWS-1

eoecho | PR News Media
News Media Contact: Greg Magnus,, 804-915-7379