OPINION: vehicle brands in Malaysia need certainly to stop providing compromised security gear on cheaper variations

Malaysian automobile buyers have come a long way in the past ten years or so. From only caring about appearance, performance and spaciousness, we now have a demanding consumer base that asks more relevant questions regarding safety features (i.e. how many airbags does it have? Does it have electronic security control? Think about active safety features and crash security reviews?).

That’s great to learn, as well as in basic, car requirements in Malaysia have seen gradual improvements over time. It wasn’t too long ago that a brand new Toyota Camry, a D-segment sedan, had been offered right here without any as a type of electronic security control (ESP, ESC or VSC, anything you desire to phone it).

Now, not merely does the latest Camry have actually ESP as standard, but it also gets the full suite of active security features, complete with autonomous emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and blind spot monitor. Actually, basically the whole Toyota range in Malaysia is fitted with ESP as standard now, down to the lowest priced Yaris. Just the long-in-the-tooth Avanza is an exception.

Similar complements more basic safety features such as airbags. Many years right back, you’d require at the least a C-segment automobile to own any thing more than two airbags, however now, even the Perodua Myvi gets at least four. The Kia Picanto, theoretically an A-segmenter, gets six airbags. Similarly, AEB as well as other active safety features had been when exclusive to high-end premium automobiles, and today they’re available on the Perodua Axia and Bezza.

However it’s only a few flowers, demonstrably, because although we have seen great advancements generally in most areas, several things have remained similar. Even with Malaysian car purchasers being more demanding of safety gear in new cars, quite a few automobile brands in the country still have the habit of providing compromised safety kit on lower, cheaper variants.

I’m able to forgive older models that have been launched a few years ago. It was another time, then. The Proton Iriz, for instance, only offers two airbags in Standard and Executive types, but let’s not forget so it being offered with six airbags in Premium guise was a landmark minute for the industry in Malaysia long ago in 2014.

In those days, the Perodua Myvi only had two airbags with no ESP, even yet in its most high-priced variant. It had been perhaps not before end of 2017 so it matched the Proton while moving the goalpost even more using the inclusion of AEB. Stability control was additionally suited to the Myvi and added to the Axia and Bezza now. A good byproduct of competition (nonetheless lopsided) – all events improve.

But back once again to the situation available, we nevertheless have actually groundbreaking car models introducing with compromised security kit right here now in 2020. Associated with the three biggest launches in the past thirty days – the Proton X50, Honda City and Nissan Almera – all have actually less airbags inside reduced variants compared to the higher priced variations.

The X50 Standard and City S and E variations lose out on side curtain airbags which are fitted on remainder of the particular ranges. Significantly more than only reduced amount of airbag count, this means that back people are not protected by airbags at all in serious collisions. The four airbags – dual front and part – just serve the driver and front passenger.

The bottom Almera VL, at the same time, just gets two airbags versus the VLP and VLT, using the side and curtain bags stripped away. So here the security of both the front side and back occupants are compromised into the base model. Now, i will point out that Nissan provides AEB as standard across the range the brand new Almera, which will be absolutely fantastic – an unprecedented move that other car brands in Malaysia should follow to any extent further. But offering just two airbags for the base model continues to be a negative move around in my book.

In B-segment sedan course, Toyota is just about the not likely hero here. From lagging at the rear of in safety stakes (the Vios had been offered without more than two airbags with no ESP because recently as 2016), the Vios now provides seven airbags as standard also on its cheapest model.

A few of you might mention the Mitsubishi Xpander, that is also being launched soon with only two airbags for the single variant. But the tale is a little various the Xpander as it ended up being made to provide no more than two. So it’s not the case of Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia deliberately choosing to provide just two airbags to reduce the price or price – the possibility of having more airbags merely cannot exist.

This pertains to many other models in Malaysia, including the Perodua Axia/Bezza, Proton Saga, Honda BR-V and Toyota Avanza. Considering that the base of the cause is pre-determined and not a conscious choice, I’ll let them have a pass here. Maybe not ideal, but they’re not completely the culprit either.

Equivalent leeway can’t be afforded to car brands which are intentionally providing substandard safety features on the cheaper variations of these new cars. It simply must not happen any more. Period.

Whenever expected about it, many brands supply the typical reason of “creating product differentiation” and “offering what customers want.” Well, to your former, we state there are improved ways to differentiate the variants besides compromising security. To the latter, when you yourself have customers that think they don’t require the extra airbags, it is in that case your responsibility to coach them otherwise.

Just how I notice it, the general car purchasers really should not be given an option regarding security. Basic safety is essential, a bare minimum – it should never ever be a choice.

Simply take the Proton X50, like. In place of minimizing security generate product differentiation between the Standard and Executive variants, Proton could simply have easily given it a cheaper group of headlights or smaller wheels, similar to it did using the X70 Standard. The airbag count should not have been moved. Same complements the town and Almera, too.

Even though i did so state that I’d give older models a pass right here, several unique cases do must be taken to light. The Perodua Axia G at RM32,485 should not have existed, maybe not if the ESP-equipped Axia GXtra is priced so closely at RM33,940. Why provide clients the option here at all? Drop the cheaper variation and they’d have to purchase the safer item – there are not any other choices within price range anyhow.

Proton is similarly guilty right here aided by the Exora, as both variants will have compromised security kit – the ESP-less Exora Executive should no longer be on sale (similar goes for all seven-seaters without ESP), although the Exora Premium had its airbag count inexplicably slashed from four to two back in 2017. A decision was made right here to cut back security kit in favour of affordability – a wrong someone to my eyes.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading my ramblings. I truly do be thankful.

Please, vehicle brands in Malaysia, stop providing compromised security kit on cheaper variations. You’re better than that. And dear Malaysians, it is time for you to show them that individuals understand better, which we will no more accept vehicles with sub-standard security kit to any extent further. We deserve much better than that.

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