Proton has announced an extension of the end date of its free rear centre lap belt installation service from 31 December 2011 to 31 January 2012. This is due to poor response so far – only about 17% out of the 225,930 affected Proton vehicles have been installed with the rear lap belt, to date.

Since the Government first announced in June 2008 to make it compulsory for vehicles to be fitted with the lap belt, Proton has been installing it at no cost to owners of the Saga LMST and Gen.2 models manufactured between 2004 and 2008.

In September this year, Proton embarked on an outreach programme consisting of roadshows and on-ground activities across the country to create awareness on this matter. This included setting up hospitality and safety marquees at highway R&Rs in Dengkil, Ayer Keroh, Gunung Semanggol and Temerloh, and pamphlet distribution at selected tolls.

Stepping up efforts, Proton Mobile Teams (eight teams of four technical personnel) were also dispatched beginning early this month to used car outlets and locations such as mosques, hypermarkets and petrol stations.

“We would like to urge our customers with the affected cars, and Malaysians in general, to not only comply with the new ruling to avoid getting fined by the authorities, but to adopt the practice of using seat belts for rear occupants in the name of safety. We also urge parents to take up the habit of ensuring that their children who are seated at the back are properly belted up,” said Proton Group MD Dato’ Sri Syed Zainal Abidin.

With this extension, Saga LMST and Gen.2 owners who have yet to fix their rear centre lap belts can make an appointment at authorised Proton Service Centres to have it done. Installation will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes per car.