Toyota India to standardize ABS across its vehicle range from 2016-17

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After automakers like Volkswagen made airbags standard across its low-cost range, the Japanese auto maker, Toyota also felt the need for the ABS fitment and is set to make the Anti-lock Braking System a standard feature across its locally assembled vehicles from 2016-17 in India. This is an add-on to the fact that Toyota already offers airbags as a standard option since October 2014. With these steps, Toyota wants to move two steps ahead of the German rival.

We cannot deny the fact that road accidents in India have increased drastically and on an average, approx. 1.4 lakh people are killed annually. While pricing is an important factor for the Indian car buyers, manufacturers have been offering music systems and features like Bluetooth and USB, but have been ignoring the important safety features like Airbags and ABS (Anti-Braking System). Similar to the European rules, Bharat Safety rules are going to make the side and frontal crash-testing mandatory for each car at a speed of 56 kmph and this will be effective from April 2017. Once this rule is put into action, Toyota will be executing the car crash test using its THUMS safety model, which will help in calculating the impact on internal organs, ligaments and bones.

The Japanese car maker also plans to work on pedestrian safety and will keep this in mind while designing future vehicles. The company is likely to build an openable driver’s side door even during the event of a crash. Toyota sold 1.35 lakh cars last year, and Toyota India intends to localize the airbags if the demand remains constant.

There is no specific timeline given by N Raja, director and senior VP for sales and marketing as to when Toyota Kirloskar will apply the mandatory ABS plan. It is quite possible that it will be formulated sometime during 2017. After Toyota makes the ABS feature mandatory, it is highly possible that other automakers might follow suit by making such safety features mandatory across their low cost range and help in reducing the road accidents.