Toyota has introduced ABS and EBD as standard across its model range. This will also include the fleet vehicles (pre-facelift) which it will continue to sell, alongside the Platinum Etios and new Etios Liva. This is the first from a mass manufacturer in India wherein these essential safety features are offered as standard across the range.
In the name of luring buyers with bling features, manufacturers tend to offer accessories instead of safety features, so when Toyota standardised dual airbags across all their cars in 2014, it was welcomed with open arms. This now comes in-line with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways move to standardise ABS, dual airbags for all passenger cars by October 2018.
Toyota currently leads the way in safety features offered across all models. Along with ABS and EBD, they are also equipping all five seats with 3-point ELR seatbelts, while the front belts also come with pre-tentioners and force limiters. As a part of child safety, the cars will incorporate ISOFIX child seat mounts as standard. Safety does come at a cost though and with the launch of the Platinum Etios and new Etios Liva, Toyota announced that there would be a price hike by two to three per cent across their whole model range.
The 2013 Latin NCAP crash test of the Etios Liva with airbags saw given four stars for the adult occupants and two stars for the child occupants. This was repeated in 2016 by a Global NCAP crash test, where the car scored the same again. Apart from Toyota, only Volkswagen has made airbags as standard on all their models. Maruti Suzuki does offer an optional safety pack across all its models at an extra cost, although on some models it will only be the driver’s side airbag.