In 2009 Volkswagen wanted to be ahead of the auto industry by including ASR or Anti-Slip Regulation. You may also know this in your car as traction control. But you might be asking, how exactly does this work in my VW? ASR or ESP (electronic stabilization program), as it is now referred to, is the first part of traction control.
ASR uses the anti-lock brake sensors to determine if one driving wheel is spinning faster than another due to a loss of traction, over useage of the throttle, too much power for the road conditions, etc. In VW’s case, the ESP system works in conjunction with the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Anti-slip Regulation (ASR) system as well as components of the Electronic Differential Lock (EDL) system.
The NHTSA announced that by 2012 all models would include ESP. At the time it was estimated because of ESP that 10,000 lives would be saved each year.
This great video shows the difference of a non-ESP equipped Volkswagen and an equipped ESP New VW Beetle
This video was provided by Volkswagen showing the ESP engaged and disengaged.
The MotorReport.com.au (2009)