Both the Camry and the Great Wall Motors X240 are tipped to get four out of a possible five-stars in the latest Australian New Car Assessment Program's crash test results due out this morning.
Toyota was quick to take a swipe at Great Wall Motors, releasing a statement early this morning critical of the result. Spokesman, Mike Breen, said ANCAP needed to look at the way it did its testing.
"Toyota Australia rejects as a distortion any suggestion that Camry models provided a level of safety that was the same as cars without vital life-saving technology or have fewer than Camry's six standard airbags," he said. Breen said the Camry delivered a 'comprehensive package of both active and passive safety'.
The Camry hybrid, which is built at Altona, has six airbags and stability control while the X240 gets by with just two airbags and anti-skid brakes. At $23,990, it is $13,000 cheaper than the Camry hybrid.
ANCAP chair, Lauchlan McIntosh, said Toyota was being 'a bit fragile' about the result. "Toyota has a history of deliberately leaving features off their cars when other manufacturers have put them on," he said.
McIntosh was critical of the length of time it took for the Corolla to get stability control and the Prius to get side curtain airbags.
"Are they saying that no other manufacturer has the right to do what they did? The real question is why are the manufacturers still down-specifying their vehicles."
Toyota acknowledged that ANCAP results are one measure that can help consumers identify cars that are safe. However, they said it was critical that the testing does not specifically look at the life-saving benefits of stability control, traction control and anti-skid brakes, all of which are standard on the Camry.
Two other locally made rivals, the Ford Falcon and the Holden Commodore, have five-star ratings.