“Safety first!” rules the industry-at long last!
Marysville, OH-The drive for vehicle safety-system coverage has moved to the front now as American Honda uncovers a flock of new 2014 models with elaborate systems designed to avert front-end and rear-end collisions and reduce collision and sideways fatalities and injuries.
Honda’s leap into a full-line posture on vehicle safety, which embraces the Acura brand and price leader Fit, serves notice on NHTSA that safety-system deployment will not be delayed beyond 2015 or 2016.
Administration speakers at the industry CAR seminars in Traverse City last month had been advised of Honda’s move, which surprised Honda competitors for its all-inclusiveness.
Auto writers were treated to near-miss displays at Honda’s mid-Ohio test track and competitors stepped up their safety-equipment plans to keep abreast of Honda and Acura marketing plans for “100%-safe” 2014 and 2015 models.
In the not too distant history of automaker responses to pressure for seat belts, headrests and cruise-control systems with brake-stopping capability, automakers were reluctant to equip their vehicles with “100%-safe” systems, fearing that accident damage suits could become overwhelming.
However safety has become a consumer and marketing-demand item. We look for Hyundai/Kia, Volkswagen/Audi, Toyota/Lexus, Ford and GM to crack the whip on matching Honda’s initiative.