The Hyundai Tucson has been hit with a “disappointing” four-star safety rating from independent local crash-tester ANCAP.
The Tucson’s four-star rating comes just weeks after a left-hand-drive example of Hyundai’s new mid-sized SUV earned the maximum five-star rating with ANCAP’s sister organisation Euro NCAP.
ANCAP CEO James Goodwin said local testing showed the structural integrity of the driver’s footwell was compromised in the frontal offset crash test, while there was also excessive movement of the brake pedal, meaning it could not be awarded five stars.
“The result is disappointing and unexpected for a new vehicle in this competitive class,” Goodwin said.
“It’s important for consumers to understand the left-hand-drive Tucson recently rated by Euro NCAP received a higher score due to differences in the crash performance as well as a higher standard of safety features, including a pop-up bonnet to improve pedestrian safety, which are not available to consumers in Australasia.”
The Tucson’s frontal offset crash test score of 11.46 points out of 16 fell below the 12.5 minimum required for a vehicle to achieve a five-star rating under ANCAP’s criteria.
It scored full marks in every other part of the assessment that affects its overall score, and was found to provide “marginal” protection to pedestrians in a test that doesn’t currently affect a vehicle’s overall score.
Acknowledging ANCAP’s rating for the Tucson, Hyundai Australia said the company’s engineers were currently assessing the crash test data to determine what changes could be made to secure a five-star rating.
“While the Tucson performed well overall, and is inherently strong and safe, it is not the maximum five-star result we hoped it would achieve,” Hyundai Australia said in a statement.
“It does not match the five-star Euro NCAP rating recently awarded to Tucson, nor does it match the five-star score achieved by Hyundai Motor Company during its own internal testing.
“Hyundai Motor Company engineers are currently examining the data from the ANCAP 64km/h frontal offset test in order to determine what changes may be necessary to achieve a five-star score.”
Hyundai Australia said it “fully supports the work ANCAP does to improve the safety of motor vehicles on Australian roads”, and intends to have the Tucson reassessed by ANCAP “as soon as possible” in pursuit of an improved rating.
The Tucson becomes the latest in a string of vehicles to earn different ratings from ANCAP and Euro NCAP, creating a situation that some have criticised for being confusing for Australian car shoppers.