In the latest round of crash tests conducted under ‘Safer Cars for Africa’ initiative by the Global New Car Assessment Program (GNCAP) and AA South Africa, the Toyota Etios hatchback and the Datsun Go+ MPV were two of the made-in-India cars that were evaluated. GNCAP had conducted a similar program, earlier, called ‘Safer Cars for India’ to evaluate Indian cars.
Toyota’s made-in-India hatchback, the Etios Liva, equipped with two airbags has bagged 4-star rating in the crash test. The car scored a four-star rating in the frontal crash, which was conducted at 64kph. The Etios Liva was certified as stable in the test and offered good overall protection for adult passengers. The same car scored three stars in child safety, where Toyota-recommended child seats were used.
Datsun Go+ gets a 1-star rating
Another Indian-made car, the Datsun Go+ miserably failed the crash test, scoring a one-star rating. The Go+, which had one airbag, was rated unstable in frontal crash as the steering wheel movement recorded high compression to the chest of the driver dummy. In the child occupant safety, the car scored a slightly better two stars.
The Indian-made Datsun Go (a five-seater hatchback of the same make) underwent a crash testing in South Africa in September 2016, where the car failed horribly, scoring 0/135.
Other cars that participated in the current crash testing event were Volkswagen Polo Vivo, Renault Sandero and Chery QQ3. The Polo and Sandero scored three stars in the test while the Chery QQ3 stood last with a ‘zero’ star rating.
Global NCAP and AA South Africa launch Safer Cars for Africa
This was the first independent crash test assessment of some of South Africa’s most popular compact and small cars. The crashworthiness results of the five cars tested show a wide range of safety performance, from four to zero stars for adult protection, with the lowest ratings resulting in a high probability of life threatening injury in a road crash.
The models tested include South Africa’s best-selling car, the Volkswagen Polo Vivo. The Datsun Go+, Toyota Etios, Renault Sandero and Chery QQ3 also underwent the safety assessment. Combined sales of these five cars account for around 65 percent of all the new cars sold in South Africa last year. Global NCAP chose the entry-level version of each model and as a result one of them was not fitted with airbags as standard. The results highlight differences in the structural integrity of the vehicles tested.
Lauchlan McIntosh, Chairman of Global NCAP, said: “In 2016 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a road safety resolution which recognised the important role NCAPs play as a catalyst for improving vehicle safety standards. The UN has sought to encourage the spread of NCAPs across the regions and automotive markets of the World and today, in Cape Town, I am delighted that Global NCAP is helping to achieve that goal with the launch of the first ever crashworthiness programme for cars sold in Africa. Global NCAP has provided assistance to launch similar programmes in South America, India and the ASEAN region, programmes which have led to the delivery of safer cars into those markets over the last five years.”
Collins Khumalo, CEO of the AA of South Africa said: “The crash tests represent an important step in road safety in South Africa. We believe consumers have a right to know what the safety ratings are on the cars they want to buy. These results are critical to educating the public about vehicle safety, but, more than that, they empower road users to make informed decisions. In the same way emissions and green ratings are displayed on vehicles, we think safety ratings should also be displayed on vehicles, and we don’t believe this should be too much of a challenge to make happen.
“The involvement of Global NCAP, the FIA Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies in bringing these results to Africa, indicates how seriously our partners view road safety, and it is incumbent on us, as South Africans, to consider road, and vehicle safety, in the same way.”
David Ward, Secretary General of Global NCAP said: “It is good to see a four star result in these first ever African crash test ratings. However, it’s extremely disappointing that there’s a zero star car. Such a poor result shows why it is so important for countries like South Africa to fully apply the UN’s crash test standards.
“Consumers need clear, comparative crash test information to help inform their car purchase decisions. This is why Global NCAP supports the introduction of mandatory crash test labelling for all new cars sold in South Africa.”
Saul Billingsley, Executive Director of the FIA Foundation said: “These first independent car crash tests in Africa are a safety milestone, which the FIA Foundation is proud to support. The range of results show that consumers have a real choice, and with access to the right information they can use purchasing power to reward carmakers who put safety first. If we are to reduce road traffic injuries here in South Africa, and contribute to the overall United Nations development target of halving road deaths globally, safer cars for Africa must be a top priority.”
Dr. Kelly Henning, Director of Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Health team, said: “The latest Global NCAP crash test results for some of the most popular cars sold in South Africa clearly demonstrate why minimum UN vehicle safety standards should be universally applied.
“Ahead of legislation we would urge all auto makers worldwide to voluntarily commit to eliminate the production of zero star cars.”
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