Last month I reported that the Canadian goverment had inacted new legislation that gave buyers of fuel-efficient vehicles a $1,000 rebate. If the vehicle falls below the fuel-economy threshold of 6.5 liters per 100 kilometers, the car is eligible for the rebate. Well that basically meant that the Honda Fit did not qualify because it only acheives 6.6L, but the Toyota Yaris does qualify. That did not sit well with Honda.
According to Honda, the Fit is designed to be both safe and fuel-efficient, and the automaker refuses to sacrifice safety for better fuel-economy. Honda has stated that if it weren’t for all of the standard safety equipment that comes on the Fit, the car would qualify. The extra airbags and standard ABS add extra weight, which has reduced the overall fuel economy of the Fit. The Yaris does not have ABS or side airbags as standard equipment.
Honda president, Hiroshi Kobayashi stated, “At Honda, we offer pride of ownership because we do not sacrifice safety for the environment.”
Basically the only automaker that is happy about the rebate program is Toyota. Yaris sales increased 15% in April, the first full month after the rebate was offered. Sales of the car’s competitors have dropped significantly.
Honda has raised its concerns with the Canadian government. They have also started to advertise their criticisms of the rebate program in newspapers across Canada, which is promoting specific cars and not the whole class of small fuel-efficient cars.
The automaker has also started offering its own $1,000 rebate on the Fit to match the rebate by the government. Honda is also giving the rebate to people who bought the Fit as far back as March 19th.
Apparently Honda isn’t going to stand still and take it! It is interesting that the Canadian government decided to set the bar at a level where the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa and other fuel conscious cars do not qualify.
Full Story: Autoblog
Would You Sacrifice Your Safety for Better Gas Mileage and $1000?!