In Malaysia, Volkswagen is one of the very few brands not to offer active safety systems on its cars. This includes the latest Golf models, which many expected to be the first to be offered with at least autonomous emergency braking, a feature that is standard in most major markets.

So, why is this the case? Well, we posed the question to Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) managing director Erik Winter during an exclusive interview to find out his comments on the matter. In the same interview, Winter also touched upon the significance of the Golf being a locally-assembled (CKD) model and the company’s focus on going upmarket.

“Safety is always a priority, and we will continue to add features into our products. Any updates to our driver assistance systems will require technical and regulatory approvals. These active safety systems are currently undergoing evaluation and technical approval process for Malaysia. They will be made available upon completion of these processes,” Winter replied.

The reply indicates that active safety systems will eventually come to Volkswagen models sold here, although when this will happen remains to be seen. We asked Winter a similar question last July regarding the lack of AEB on the facelifted Arteon that was launched at the time, and we were told that such systems were still subject to approval from the relevant authorities.

Active safety systems are now a lot more prevalent in new cars these days and customers are willing to pay more for such features, as we’ve discussed before. As VPCM is currently working on getting systems like AEB approved, we should expect their models to be updated with them moving forward.

On a related note, Audi, which is Volkswagen’s premium brand, also doesn’t offer AEB for its cars sold in Malaysia, likely because it is facing the same approval issue for such systems. It’s a similar story in Singapore, as volume models like the Golf and Tiguan don’t come with AEB – the large Touareg does come with it though.