Skoda the latest brand to ditch safety tech amid semiconductor shortage

The Volkswagen-owned Skoda brand has issued a bulletin to dealers advising some safety features will be deleted from certain Kodiaq family SUVs – while particular variants of the Scala hatch and Kamiq small SUV will be paused until further notice.

Certain variants of the Skoda Kodiaq family SUV will soon be delivered without a number of key safety features – but come with a minor price drop – while Skoda Australia will also stop offering certain versions of its Scala hatch and Kamiq small SUV until further notice.

The Volkswagen-owned Skoda brand is the latest automotive brand to discreetly remove certain safety technology and luxury features – or delete model variants – amid the global semiconductor shortage, in an attempt to keep car assembly lines moving.

A confidential 14-page bulletin sent to Skoda dealers in Australia outlines the changes.

However, the Skoda Kodiaq’s missing features are still listed as optional on the Skoda Australia website – and on a brochure downloaded by Drive today.

Ford Australia was recently fined $53,000 by the Australian consumer watchdog, the ACCC – and had to spend an estimated $4.5 million to compensate affected customers – for advertising features on a special edition of the Ford Mustang that were not available here.

The confidential dealer notice says the Skoda Kodiaq “Style” model (pictured above) will for the time being not be available with the option pack that includes the 360-degree camera, “side assist” (Skoda’s term for blind-zone warning), rear cross-traffic alert, the electric child safety lock on the rear doors, and the 12-speaker Canton premium audio system.

Drive understands the removal of these features will not impact the Skoda Kodiaq’s ANCAP safety rating, however blind-zone warning and rear cross-traffic alert are two of the most useful and accurate pieces of advanced safety technology in modern cars.

The Skoda Kodiaq is still equipped with nine airbags, autonomous emergency braking, and a rear-view camera – among other safety aids.

Dealers who had ordered a vehicle with this option pack will instead be issued a refund of $1091, according to the bulletin.

As this is a dealer invoice cost, the amount of money to be refunded to affected customers remains unclear. The cost of these options to consumers is not listed on Skoda’s public website.

Skoda dealer sources say they are sorting through semiconductor “delayed” cars (which still have all their standard equipment) and semiconductor “affected” cars (which are missing some standard or optional features).

The news comes as Volkswagen Australia recently deleted premium audio from the Golf R hatch and Tiguan R SUV.

Last week, Peugeot became what is believed to be the first car company in Australia to delete airbags due to the semiconductor crisis.

In the Peugeot Expert van, two of the vehicle’s four airbags have been deleted in Australia until further notice.

Other brands such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz have also removed some safety features in Australia over the past 12 months.

The post Skoda the latest brand to ditch safety tech amid semiconductor shortage appeared first on Drive.

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