Nikkei reports that Daihatsu will equip its minicars with side-curtain airbags. The airbags – which help protect the head and neck in the event of a collision and are more associated with large luxury models – will be available as an option on Daihatsu minicars within the next few months.

It is a first in the minicar segment and Daihatsu is aiming to gain a competitive advantage on segment leader Suzuki.

The report adds that consumer awareness of safety issues is growing in Japan.