It may be too little too late for Scion, but the new iA has been a hit in both sales and industry accolades. Together the iM and iA account for the majority of Scion's February sales and have helped catapult Scion's year-to-date sales to a 45% increase over the previous year. That incredible growth also makes Scion the fastest growing automotive brand in the US for the month of February.
The Scion iA specifically has been honored with many awards. Those include: Top Safety Pick + from the IIHS, Best Buy award from Consumer Guide Automotive, and Hottest New Car for 2016 from Forbes. A common theme that can be found in the explanation for each of these awards is the iA's low price at $16,695, and its automatic emergency braking (AEB) feature that comes standard. In fact, the Top Safety Pick + award from IIHS is only given to vehicles that are equipped with AEB.
Historically, as new features are developed they are offered in higher end vehicles first due to cost, and then as technology and economies of scale improve, they are rolled out through entire model lineups.
Even the automakers’ most fervent backers believe it will take seven or eight years for widespread adoption of AEB throughout the industry, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said at a recent industry event.
The Scion iA clearly shows that cost is not a prohibitive factor in proliferating AEB throughout the industry. The feature may actually reduce costs and make a vehicle more attractive to consumers. A Consumer Reports survey shows that safety is a top concern for buyers when they are considering new cars, and "several insurers have said that they will offer a pricing break for vehicles that have AEB."
And that brings us to the most important part of this subject -- AEB prevents injuries and saves lives.
So I question why other automakers have not equipped their lineups, from top to bottom, with AEB. This feature saves lives, makes vehicles less expensive to insure for owners, can attract potential customers, and (with the iA as proof) can be offered standard in a vehicle without having to drastically increase the price.When comparing vehicles with and without forward-collision warning systems and automatic emergency braking, the combination of FCW and AEB has proved to reduce bodily injury insurance claims by up to 30 percent and reduce rear-end crashes by about 40 percent, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Even when a car has only forward-collision warning, rear-end crashes are cut by 23 percent. Translated, that means fewer people got hurt and the injuries weren’t as severe.