Canada Standardizes Stability Control Nomenclature

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago reports that Transport Canada (TC) has decided to eliminate consumer confusion over automotive stability control systems. First, they're looking for carmakers to drop all their proprietary handling aids' names — ESP, VSA, DSC, etc. TC wants everyone selling cars in Canada to use ESC (Electronic Stability Control) ASAP. To that end, they're creating a "universal" logo for the various systems. Next, the government has decided to spend its taxpayer's hard-earned money to do the heavy lifting in the spread the gospel of handling nannies department. They're launching a public education campaign to extol ESC's virtues to Canadian car buyers. As Auto123 scribe Mathieu Lapointe points out, all this enthusiasm for a government push stems from a similar European initiative that included a publicity campaign by none other than F1 legend Michael Schumacher. In a striking reversal of traditional free market vs. regulatory intervention protocol, America's National Highway Transport Safety Administration has taken a different stance; they've mandated that every new vehicle sold stateside must have some form of ESC onboard by September, 2011. And… that's it.

Robert Farago
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  • Cavendel Cavendel on Nov 02, 2007

    Jonny Canada: Luckily for us Canadians, we are such a small market that Porsche will continue to produce a better ESC than Chery. I'm of a similar mind to Ryan on this issue. I've long wanted to get an IS250, except for the nanny control. And from what I understand, you cannot turn it off on the IS250. If I can't do slide turns in the snow, I don't want the car.

  • Carguy Carguy on Nov 02, 2007

    If Canada will deny the automakers to use brand names for their stability control technology why not extend it to everything else? Do away with X-drive, synchro or quattro - let's just all call it AWD. And engines too - no more vanos, vavle-tronic, bluetec, Vtech or VVTi - let's have a government mandate to call them greenhouse polluting propulsion systems and, while we're at it, those car brand names are rally confusing too. This is an insult to Canadian consumers and yet another pointless government intervention.

  • Pfingst Pfingst on Nov 02, 2007

    So we (in the US) should count ourselves lucky that we only have to pay for this once, I guess (when we buy the car). The Canadians will be paying for it twice: when they buy the car, and with their tax money for the gov't run marketing campaign. Not that I don't believe that ESC works, but I'm not a fan of the government forcing car makers to include it. Buyers can make up their own minds about these things. Anyway, insurance companies for a long time have offered incentives via cheaper rates for having certain safety equipment, so many if not most people would go for it for that reason. This whole nanny-state thing is starting to get out of hand.

  • Biturbo Biturbo on Nov 02, 2007

    No amount of ESC, ESP, AH or whatever is called will save a driver that just didn't learn to drive as it should. Governments should allocate money for driver education and tough, thorough driver's license exam. Both USA and CA driver's licence test is a joke compared with Europe. Electronic aids give a false sense of security and many accidents have happened just because of that: driver thinking that he is so great and pushing it beyond limits. Make better drivers not better aids!