ANCAP has lashed out at Nissan and South Korean brand Ssangyong following its latest round of safety testing, the results of which were published today.
A trio of new models were subjected to the safety body’s regimen, with two — the Nissan Qashqai crossover and new Mercedes-Benz C-Class — scoring the maximum five stars, and Ssangyong’s Stavic people-mover falling short with a four-star result.
Despite awarding the maximum score to the new Qashqai (knwon as Dualis in its previous iteration), ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh criticised the company for the lack of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) technology on the vehicle, which sets the Australian-spec car apart from Europe. See full Australian specifications of the new Qashqai here.
“Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) is available on the European-sold Qashqai yet it is not available at all on Australian and New Zealand models. It is astounding to see yet another mainstream manufacturer de-specify their models for our local market," McIntosh said.
“AEB is a proven life-saver and all manufacturers should be doing their utmost to bring this technology to the market today. The lack of AEB cannot be a matter of cost as it is available on other inexpensive cars.
“Are lives in Australia and New Zealand worth less than those in Europe?” McIntosh asked.
In response to the attack from ANCAP, Nissan Australia general manager of corporate communications Peter Fadeyev told CarAdvice the company was working on making the technology available for the local market, but that it was not yet available outside of Europe.
In other words, it was not a result of Nissan Australia deliberately putting a line through the safety feature. Safety bodies, notably Euro NCAP, are increasingly making AEB and other technology a requirement to attain full marks.
“Nissan Australia sought to have AEB fitted to Qashqai during the product planning phase but Nissan has not made the technology available outside of Europe. We are continuing work to make this feature available,” Fadeyev said.
Meanwhile, McIntosh also threw some heat at Ssangyong and its sharply priced and hugely capacious Stavic, calling the four-star crash test result “mediocre” for a family-focused vehicle.
“A number of factors limited the Stavic to four stars including its average performance in the frontal offset crash test and the lack of head-protecting side curtain airbags,” said McIntosh.
Results from the frontal offset test of the Stavic showed chest and upper and lower leg injuries were “likely” for the driver. Structural integrity was reduced at the lower A-pillar and movement of the brake pedal was deemed to be excessive. See full Australian specifications of the Stavic here.