Additional Safety Features Coming to Toyota Vehicles for 2020

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
additional safety features coming to toyota vehicles for 2020

Fans of excessive idling will want to consider a 2019 Toyota model rather than a 2020. The automaker has announced two new safety features destined for most of its lineup for the 2020 model year, one of them being a system that shuts off the engine if left running for too long. How long? That’s for Toyota to decide.

The second feature is one employed by automakers with unconventional transmission shifters that really want to keep litigation at bay.

Currently, Toyota’s venerable Smart Key System issues a two-step alert to hassle the driver into shutting off the engine — a reminder that’s easily ignored. After the 2020 update, the vehicle will go ahead and turn itself off after a “pre-determined period of time.” The Auto Shut Off feature will add smartphone app notifications sometime in the future, Toyota claims.

While idling a car has its benefits (Northerners know what’s No. 1 on the list), there’s an obvious safety issue when that vehicle is humming away in a garage. A New York Times article last year detailed the 28 accidental carbon monoxide deaths in the U.S. since 2006; more than half of the vehicles involved were Toyota or Lexus products.

It looks like the automaker is taking action to stamp out the phenomena.

The second of the two new features is something that came into vogue following a spate of highly publicized rollaway incidents, mainly involving Fiat Chrysler and Ford vehicles. Automatic Park prevents unplanned, driverless journeys by your personal vehicle by ensuring the car is in “Park” when you exit your ride.

“The feature will be available in vehicles with electronic means of shifting and/or applying the parking brake, and is designed to automatically shift the vehicle into the “park” position and/or apply the electronic parking brake, in the event the driver exits the vehicle without placing the vehicle in “park,” the automaker stated.

[Image: Toyota]

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6 of 27 comments
  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Jun 14, 2019

    Isn't idling car over certain period of time illegal in EU and you can get ticket for doing that? I remember in Germany it was against rule. In any case I do not have that habit for some reason. There are no good reasons to keep engine idling I can think of especially considering all that brouhaha about climate change.

    • See 1 previous
    • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Jun 15, 2019

      tankinbeans I am originally from Moscow region of Russia. You can hardly find climate harsher than there. Germans could not overcome local climate with all their wonder machines. You just need to keep car in a warm garage so you are able to start engine in the morning. Gas is also expensive so I did not want to idle car and waste money.

  • VWGTI VWGTI on Jun 15, 2019

    Here's the reality: as the Baby Boomers age, more of these 'safety features' become appealing to them. As a car buying demographic, they have a major influence on what manufacturers build into their cars. Back in the day, folks bought Benzes or big road boats because they were seen as safer than everyday sedans. Nothing's really changed- people of a certain age buy safety, or the illusion thereof.

    • See 1 previous
    • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Jun 17, 2019

      I'm a baby boomer, and I hate every one of those passive safety devices. They may be optional, or you may be able to turn them off AT FIRST, but the people who can't resist telling other people how to live will eventually make those measures, and many more, MANDATORY. If automakers are forced to put these things in cars, at least install them as modules so owners can remove them.

  • Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)
  • AMcA Phoenix. Awful. The roads are huge and wide, with dedicated lanes for turning, always. Requires no attention to what you're doing. The roads are idiot proofed, so all the idiots drive - they have no choice, because everything is so spread out.
  • Leonard Ostrander Pet peeve: Drivers who swerve to the left to make a right turn and vice versa. They take up as much space as possible for as long as possible as though they're driving trailer trucks or school busses. It's a Kia people, not a Kenworth! Oh, and use your turn signals if you ever figure out where you're going.
  • Master Baiter This is horrible. Delaying this ban will raise the Earth's temperature by 0.00000001°C in the year 2100.
  • Alan Buy a Skoda Superb.