Nissan to stop production of zero-star Tsuru in Mexico following NCAP safety campaign

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 28 Oct 2016

On the eve of Global NCAP and Latin NCAP’s car-to-car crash test, Nissan announced that it will take the zero-star Tsuru out of production in Mexico next May.

Reacting to the announcement David Ward, secretary general, Global NCAP, said: “This is a long overdue decision to cease production of a car that is fundamentally unsafe. Three years ago our partner Latin NCAP crash tested the car and revealed its zero-star rating. It has taken Nissan too long to recognise that selling sub-standard cars is unacceptable. At last they have responded to the demands of Latin NCAP and Mexican consumers to withdraw the Tsuru from the market.

The car-to-car crash test

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Global NCAP and Latin NCAP hosted a car-to-car crash yesterday at the IIHS headquarters in Virginia, USA.

The test was conducted between the 2016 Nissan Versa, sold in the United States, and the 2015 Nissan Tsuru, sold in Mexico. Both cars are manufactured in Mexico and have been previously tested by the IIHS and Latin NCAP respectively, the Versa obtained a performance of Good (equivalent to 5 Stars) and the Tsuru was rated Zero Stars.

After the test which involved a 50% overlap and a combined closing speed of 129 kph (80 mph), the results graphically highlighted the urgent need for the Nissan Tsuru to be taken out of production.

A driver in the Tsuru would have had high probability of suffering life-threatening injuries, it is likely that the crash would have been fatal, there were no airbags, and the main structures all failed, fatally compromising the survival space.

“Our first ever car-to-car test clearly shows the importance of minimum crash test regulations. Mexico doesn’t yet apply them and the US has had them for decades. The lack of standards can result in the sale of unsafe cars like the Nissan Tsuru. Across Latin America all countries should apply UN or equivalent safety standards to all new passenger cars, so that there is no future for zero star cars,” added Ward.

Commenting on Nissan’s decision to withdraw the Tsuru, Alejandro Furas, secretary general, Latin NCAP, said, “I believe that Nissan made this announcement as a reaction to our campaign to stop the production of zero star cars in Mexico and across Latin America.

“Our car-to-car crash test demonstrates why these zero star cars should be removed from the market immediately. In April this year we published a report showing that the Nissan Tsuru had been involved in more than 4,000 deaths on Mexico’s roads between 2007 and 2012. Even though we welcome Nissan’s announcement, why should at least 15,,000 more units of this potentially life threatening model be sold between now and May? Why has it taken Nissan three years since we first crash tested and gave the Tsuru a Zero Star rating to take this unsafe car out of production?” he added.

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