Can anyone say "nanny state"?
The Toyota Yaris GR is one of the most hotly anticipated cars of recent times, a car that is arguably even more exciting than the Toyota 86. Unfortunately for us, we only have the regular Toyota Yaris at the moment, but the Japanese automaker has at least asked us if we want it, so there's hope yet. Australia is one of the lucky countries that did get the Yaris GR, and it's sure to be a rather popular machine wherever it's offered. However, what's not been all that popular Down Under is the latest commercial for the car, an advertisement that supposedly encourages dangerous driving. Have a look at the short clip below and decide for yourself.
You don't see anything too crazy in this commercial, right? Well, the scene where the Yaris GR powerslides away from one character's workshop has been touted by Australia's advertising regulators as "very dangerous," with claims that it could "influence people to speed."
While we're all for road safety and we understand that the Yaris GR is a very quick little car, this seems a little excessive, particularly since the supposedly dangerous driving on a dirt road could have taken place on a private road on a farm, which would surely be considered legal.
Toyota thinks the regulators are going too far, saying that it "takes the opinion of the complaint very seriously. However, it is our belief that the advertisement does not contravene the FCAI (Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries) code, or the applicable laws and regulations that govern community roads and driving standards."
The Advertising Standards Bureau agrees with both sides and notes that the advertisement does not promote driving beyond the speed limit, but does also say that the fact that the Yaris GR lost traction in the clip did constitute "unsafe driving". Unfortunately, Toyota now has to review the commercial and edit it before it can be shown again. We're not quite sure how the commercial can convey the performance of the Yaris GR without showing it driving quickly or with flair, but that's Toyota Australis's problem now. Are regulators going too far, or are people too silly to govern themselves? Probably a bit of both.