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Consumer Reports 2004 Auto Issue Adds Electronic Stability Control to Its List of Auto Safety Features

Decision Highlights ESC As An Important Earmark for Safe Cars

NEW YORK, April 23 -- For the first time ever, Consumer Reports Magazine, premier publisher of car rankings and automotive authority since 1936, added a "Stability Control" check-box next to every car it ranked in this year's annual automotive issue. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is an active safety technology that incorporates ABS and TCS technologies -- two other auto safety features listed in Consumer Reports -- but also improves a vehicle's lateral stability, classifying it as the most advanced driving safety system of its kind.

The April Consumer Reports issue also highlighted ESC as one of the "10 Safety Checks to Make Before You Buy," and cited it as a feature that "improved handling in our tests." The spotlight on ESC is unprecedented, and represents the most solid public affirmation yet that cars containing ESC make American highways safer.

"ESC is important enough that every family should consider it before they choose a car," said Adele Derby, former Associate Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "With its remarkable capability to help prevent car crashes, ESC is a life saving technology that stands to significantly improve highway safety for everyone."

ESC comes as a standard feature in all vehicles from Audi, BMW and Mercedes, and select models from Acura, Chrysler, Ford Motor Company (including Volvo), General Motors Corporation (including Saab), Infiniti, Lexus, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Toyota and Volkswagen. It is available as an option in other models, and consumers should ask for ESC when purchasing a new vehicle. ESC works by comparing a driver's intended course with the vehicle's actual movement. When instability is detected, it applies brakes to individual wheels and can also reduce engine torque.

What is ESC:

ESC is a revolutionary active safety technology that uses advances in 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.

ESC is marketed under various trade names, which can be found at

What is the ESC Coalition:

The ESC Coalition was established in 2003 to inform consumers and other key audiences about the benefits of ESC systems. It is a joint effort of two of the largest automotive technology suppliers, Robert Bosch Corporation and Continental Teves. As leaders in the development and manufacture of ESC systems, both companies are working together to increase the general awareness of this potentially life saving technology.

ESC Coalition Mission Statement

The Electronic Stability Control (ESC) Coalition was formed in 2003 with the mission of educating consumers and other key audiences about the revolutionary active safety technology known as ESC. The ESC Coalition members believe that the widespread installation of ESC systems can play a significant role in helping to prevent crashes on America's roads. The Coalition seeks to increase the public's general awareness of this milestone in automotive safety. Through a national education campaign, the ESC Coalition aims to provide consumers with comprehensive information on ESC, including educational materials, technical data, video demonstrations, industry studies, and news about ESC.

For additional information on the ESC Coalition, please visit