We've recently had two shining examples of the importance of having a properly functioning electronic stability control system (ESC) in new vehicles. The instability of the 2010 Lexus GX 460 is a known problem and Toyota is working to address it. The Lexus was equipped with ESC, it just wasn't effective enough. Over in Europe, the Citroën Nemo failed miserably in a test conducted for a British consumer magazine because it lacked ESC entirely.
Which? is something of a British counterpart to Consumer Reports and had recently worked with German auto club ADAC to evaluate a trio of compact MPVs from Fiat, Peugeot and Citroën. The Qubo, Bipper Teepee and Nemo all share the same basic design, but only the Italian variant offers ESC as an option (and then only on diesel models). The Peugeot and Citroën do not offer ESC at any price. Needless to say, the results on the dreaded "moose test" (also known as the "elk test") were not good. This particular test is a double lane change obstacle avoidance maneuver at 50 miles per hour.
After the Citroën Nemo flipped over in this test, the remaining testing of the Peugeot was abandoned. PSA, the parent company of the automakers, has announced that it will start installing ESC on the Nemo and Bipper diesel models in July of this year. A version for gas engined will have to be developed and installed starting in fall 2011. Video of the test is after the jump.