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by Brett Davis

The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has expressed concerns over the latest NCAP crash testing results from Latin America. ANCAP is disappointed with the poor safety standards of the region’s cars mainly due to manufacturers de-specifying them to reduce costs.

Vehicles that share often share their name with models known for a high level of safety but are often very different cars scored well below what they are rated here in Australia. The Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus Trend and Toyota Corolla all scored four stars, while cars such as the Fiat Patio ELX (three stars) and Peugeot 207 (two stars) were less safe than the counterparts sold elsewhere around the world.

The Volkswagen Gol Trend, a micro car based on the VW Fox and not to be confused with the Golf hatchback, was given a mere one-star rating, while other local-specific models were given no stars at all. According to ANCAP, the low ratings are due to manufacturers not installing features that are mandatory in other markets, such as airbags, as well as relying on – in some cases – 20-year-old platforms for their brand new models.

ANCAP Chairman Lauchlan McIntosh implored manufacturers to improve the safety of their cars sold in developing markets.

“At the beginning of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety it is simply not good enough for substandard, considerably unsafe vehicles to be sold anywhere in the world.

“Road trauma around the world accounts for 3500 deaths and 100,000 serious injuries every day – the lion’s share of these are in developing countries.

“ANCAP calls on vehicle manufacturers to sell the same five-star-rated vehicles that are sold in Australia to consumers in all countries.”

All of the above vehicles that are currently sold in Australia are fitted with various safety features including electronic stability control, and have been given at least a four-star rating by ANCAP.




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