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ESC, ESP, DSC, VDIM, VDC name war

FCAI spokesman, James Goodwin, believes it would be difficult to mandate a single naming strategy.

But peak motoring body the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries believes consumers are confused enough to warrant a broad-ranging education program about what ESC is and what it does.

The Transport Accident Commission has already been running an ad highlighting the merits of curtain airbags and ESC. It has been endeavouring to lift awareness among buyers about what they do, via websites like howsafeisyourcar.com.au.

But with Victoria moving ahead for the compulsory fitting of ESC to all passenger cars from January, the FCAI believes now is the time to increase awareness among car buyers.

Despite TAC's efforts some carmakers like Honda believe consumers are still confused by the different acronyms used to describe the various systems. However, FCAI spokesman, James Goodwin, believes it will be difficult to mandate a single naming strategy.

"It comes down to marketing," he says. "All systems are different to some degree."

Goodwin also believes it would cost too much to standardise the terminology on imported cars because the volumes are relatively small. Carmakers use different terms for the proprietary electronic stability program invented by Bosch and co-developed with Mercedes-Benz.

Subaru Australia spokesman, David Rowley, says Subaru's own research shows a higher awareness among buyers of its own electronic stability control system, called vehicle dynamic control.

"Our customers tend to look in depth at the features of our cars," Rowley says. He backs an education program as “something worth considering" but balks at a name change. "A lot a brands have invested a lot of intellectual time in creating a point of difference with their various stability systems," he says.

What they call it -

  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) - Holden, HSV, Jeep
  • Electronic Stability Program (ESP) - Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes Benz, Renault, Chrysler, Citroen, Dodge, Skoda, Peugeot, Suzuki
  • Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) - Ford, FPV, BMW, Mazda, Land Rover, Aston Martin, Jaguar
  • Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management (VDIM) - Toyota
  • Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) - Lexus
  • Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) - Nissan, Subaru
  • Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) - Volvo
  • Electronic Stabilisation Program (ESP) - Audi, Volkswagen
  • Active Stability Control (ASC) - Mitsubishi
  • Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA)- Honda
  • Automatic Stability Control + Traction (ASC+T)  Mini
  • Maserati Stability Program (MSP) - Maserati
  • Porsche Stability Management (PSM) - Porsche
  • Stability and Traction Control - Fiat
  • StabiliTrak -Hummer