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Barina sedan safe, but Yaris sedan safer - Toyota

Crash test dummies: Toyota Yaris hatch (below, top) received a five-star crash rating from Euro NCAP, while the Chevrolet Aveo (below, bottom) scored a two-star rating. The latter form the basis for Holden's first Barina sedan (above).

Toyota defends Holden Barina sedan's poor crash rating but says Yaris sedan is safer

9 Mar 2006

TOYOTA Australia refused to wade into the Barina sedan safety debate at the launch of the most direct rival for Holden’s controversial new light car last week, but conceded safety will be the cornerstone of the marketing campaign for its all-new Yaris sedan.

Designed and manufactured in Japan, Yaris is one of the few light cars – known as "superminis" in Europe – to achieve a five-star crash test rating from the crash safety authority Euro NCAP.

Holden launched its representative for the emerging light-sedan category last month in the shape of its first ever Barina sedan, sourced from GM Daewoo in South Korea.

Priced significantly lower than the $17,690 Yaris sedan at $14,490, Barina sedan’s donor vehicle, the Chevrolet-badged Aveo, achieved a dismal two-star ENCAP crash rating two weeks ago.

But Toyota was unwilling to enter into a discussion on the notchback Barina’s safety record, and backed up Holden’s official policy of objecting to ENCAP’s crash-test procedures.

13 center image"I’d just remind everybody that NCAP is a measure, which is outside the ADRs (Australian Design Rules)," said Toyota Australia executive chairman John Conomos. "Cars must meet ADRs or they can’t come into the country. Whether it’sa small car or a large luxury car, it must pass the ADR test.

"ENCAP has its own set of values, and the fact it (Barina) didn’t do very well could conjure up in the minds of some that it’s not safe. But that’s incorrect: the car meets ADRs.

"Whether it meets the standards set down by ENCAP, in whichever part of the world they test, whatever car they test, in which conditions they test, which specifi cation they test ... all those are unknown factors.

"Keep it in perspective: cars that come into this country must meet ADRs. Don’tconfuse it with ENCAP ratings which in this country the industry doesn’t recognise."Toyota did, however, stress the built-in safety of all its models, and admitted safety is and will continue to be emphasised in the marketing campaign for Toyota’s newest light-car entrant.

"We’re very mindful of these issues and, yes, we’ll be pushing the safety message (of Yaris) very strongly – because it is in fact the safest vehicle you can get in the category. It’s obviously a unique selling point," Mr Conomos said.

"One of our fundamentals is GOA (Global Outstanding Assessment), a policy by which every one of our cars strives to establish standards way above those in any part of the world for every model.

"We’re not driven by ENCAP – although we do take notice of it – but we do establish standards that are up to and in some cases ahead of ENCAP performance."

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