Toyota has announced that it intends to phase in a safer replacement of one of the Australian mining industry’s most popular light vehicles…the 70 series Landcruiser, citing ageing ANCAP safety certifications.
Industry sources say that it is likely that Toyota will need to retire the 70 series model by 2022 or otherwise miss out on fleet sales to a range of industry groups including mining.
Back in 2016, to chase mining fleet sales, Toyota ramped up the ANCAP safety ratings of the single cab 70 series, however, changes amidst in ANCAP may force the light vehicle manufacturer to phase out the current model due to significant design changes and requirements.
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A range of active safety features (Safety Assist) is now available in recently certified light vehicles. These include autonomous emergency braking, lane support, AEB urban/interurban. They are no doubt placing pressure on the ageing Toyota 70 series model.
Each year the ANCAP safety rating brings forth a range of new initiatives for light vehicles. Accordingly, the expectation of many in the mining industry is to source vehicles that provide the latest safety features which (from 2018) include assessment against the following criteria:
- Adult Occupant Protection;
- Child Occupant Protection;
- Vulnerable Road User Protection;
- Safety Assist.
70 series Landcruiser ANCAP certification languishing
The current design Landcruiser 70 series was certified by ANCAP in 2016 enabling it to by-pass recertification requirements introduced in 2018 by ANCAP. Light vehicles certified after 2018 are required to have safety ratings re-certified after a period of six years or lose their ANCAP rating.
ANCAP chief James Goodwin is planning to ramp up the pressure on “legacy ratings” from 2016 through better-educating fleet buyers on the absence of new standard safety features under newer ratings. Goodwin said, “Our advice to fleet buyers … is to buy a five-star vehicle with a date-stamp no more than three years old.”
Toyota Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Sean Hanley recently told 4×4 magazine “We have to bring a car to market … that fulfils the requirements of those peoples’ livelihoods and/or recreation, whether it be construction, farming, mining, recreation, private, whatever it may be. We’ve got to bring powertrains to market that reduce our CO2 footprint but still serve to be able to enable people the freedom of mobility.”