Winning a five-star EuroNCAP crash test score is going to become more difficult. From next February, only cars whose range is 85 per cent equipped with standard ESP will be eligible for the full score.
This figure will rise to 90 per cent in 2010 and 95 per cent in 2011, to tie in with the EU’s push for ESP to become standard by 2011. Cars without stability control as standard across a majority of the range will only be able to win a maximum of four stars.
The new requirements could increase the cost of cheaper cars, as some manufacturers will pass the cost of an ESP system on to the consumer. To equip a car such as the Hyundai i20 with ESP, for example, costs around £200.
There are also concerns from poorer EU member states, such as Romania, that the additional cost could make cars prohibitively expensive for their citizens.