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Toyota North America to standardise two environment/safety items

By Graeme Roberts | 14 June 2019

Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) plans to standardise Automatic Engine Shut Off and Automatic transmission Park selection.

Starting with most model year 2020 vehicles, automatic engine shut off or Auto Shut Off with an enhanced audible and visual warning will be added to the Smart Key System (SKS).

The Auto Shut Off feature will automatically shut off the engine after a pre-determined period of time in the event the vehicle is left running. Future enhancements will include smartphone App capabilities as an added reminder.  Currently, Toyota vehicles issue a two-step alert to notify the driver that the engine is running and requests the engine be turned off. Toyota has included this feature since its 2003 SKS introduction.

Toyota claims its current Smart Key System meets or exceeds all relevant federal safety standards while providing added convenience, improved theft prevention and personal security benefits. 

Also, starting from MY2020, Toyota will begin to phase in Automatic Park, which is designed to help reduce the risk of roll-away.

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.

Currently, Toyota vehicles include audible and visual warnings and non-traditional shifters have a separate P button to reduce confusion.