The European Commission is pushing ahead with plans to make Electronic Stability Control mandatory throughout the European Union - although legislation may not be in place until 2011, rather than 2009 as first mooted.
Commissioners want to make the system, which uses clever electronics and a car's braking system to prevent skids during emergency manoeuvres, compulsory across Europe.
However, it fears its average £200 cost would make buying a car prohibitively expensive in poorer member nations, such as Romania.
However, it says that by making it compulsory in 2011, car makers will have time to reduce costs further.
'If we are serious about saving lives on European roads, then all 27 Member States should set a deadline,' said Viviane Reding, the EU's Commissioner for the Information Society and Media.
'If fast progress cannot be made voluntarily, I stand ready to intervene.'
The EU is also eager to make the in-vehicle emergency call system eCall standard in all new cars in the EU from 2010.
The system works via an in-car recorder, which sends data back to a central control centre.
In the event of the airbags being set off, it would inform the control centre of the car's exact GPS location and trigger a call for assistance.
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