Fit for Debate, Fit for Rebate

Honda’s Canadian subsidiary is facing an interesting choice: fuel economy at the expense of safety.  New federal regulations recently passed in Canada award a $1000 rebate for cars that fall below a fuel consumption threshold, set at 6.5 liters per 100 kilometers in that wacky metric system. While the competing Toyota Yaris tests at 6.3l/100km, Honda’s smallest offering, the Fit, sits just on the line at 6.5.

Honda figures the differential is created by the host of safety features – including more air bags and anti-lock brakes – which it includes with the Fit which do not come standard on the Yaris. Strip the safety features out, however, and Honda is confident the extra weight saved would bring the Fit below the limit and qualify for the federal rebate.

The question is surely not unique, as carmakers face similar issues in different markets around the globe. But it casts light onto the whole question of safety versus economy, even before cost considerations come into the picture. For your dime, and for your planet, is it worth sacrificing your safety?

[Windsor Star via Vancouver Sun]