Electronic stability control

How this technology works

Electronic Stability Control (or ESC) is a crash avoidance system, mandatory on all cars, SUVs, pickups and minivans from 2012 model yearFootnote 1, to help you stay in control of your vehicle when you need to swerve or brake suddenly to avoid an obstacle.

When the ESC's sensors and computer detect that your steering does not match the direction of your vehicle, it automatically brakes one or more wheels for short periods of time, reduces engine power, or both to keep your vehicle moving in the intended direction.

Things for drivers to keep in mind

  • ESC is "ON" whenever you start your vehicle. Some vehicles have a manual ESC Off switch for certain situations such as when you are stuck in snow.
  • Even if your vehicle is equipped with ESC, you must continue to drive carefully. This technology does not and cannot change the laws of physics. If you drive too fast for road conditions, you can still lose control.
  • Keeping your tires and brakes in good condition is important too. The best ESC system can do little if your tires are worn-out, under-inflated or overloaded. You also need tires suitable for driving in winter conditions.

A vehicle with ESC is able to avoid an obstacle. The same vehicle without ESC deviates from the road trying to avoid the same obstacle.

Text description

A vehicle with ESC is able to avoid an obstacle. The same vehicle without ESC deviates from the road trying to avoid the same obstacle.

A vehicle with ESC is able to avoid an obstacle. The same vehicle without ESC deviates from the road trying to avoid the same obstacle.

Text description

A vehicle with ESC is able to avoid an obstacle. The same vehicle without ESC deviates from the road trying to avoid the same obstacle.

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