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Car buyers 'denied safety system'
A safety system that could prevent more than 400 deaths and 3,000 serious injuries a year is not being fitted on most new cars, it has emerged.
Electronic stability control (ESC) - which works in situations where a driver may be losing control of a car - is available as standard in less than 40% of new British cars, according to the Thatcham motor insurance research centre.
The safety mechanism is fitted as standard in more than 90% of new cars in Sweden, and 60% in Germany. Thatcham is urging manufacturers to fit the system - which costs £50 to manufacture - as standard on all new cars.
Thatcham says that just six out of 38 manufacturers - Mercedes, Audi, Volvo, Porsche, Lexus and Cadillac - fit ESC as standard to their entire range of UK vehicles.
And five manufacturers - Chevrolet, Daihatsu, Lotus, Proton and Suzuki - do not have the safety mechanism at all, even as an optional extra.
Thatcham crash laboratory manager Matthew Avery described the current situation as 'a shocking state of affairs'.
He said: "British motorists, their passengers and other road users deserve the very best - do manufacturers think that their lives are less valuable? ESC doesn't just help during a crash like an airbag - it helps prevent the accident happening in the first place."
For the full story go to: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/5276196.stm
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