Australian safety body ANCAP has announced a five-star safety rating for the just-launched Renault Captur crossover, even though the Clio-based vehicle misses out on airbags for the second row.
Recent changes to the way ANCAP awards ratings means that despite missing airbags for rear seat passengers, the Captur still gets a five-star rating. The difference is that the five-star rating announced today is matched to a 2013 date stamp, as the car was originally tested by Euro NCAP in that year.
The changes implemented from January 1 this year mean that some Euro NCAP results will be transferred directly to ANCAP without being processed through its internal testing policies and protocols, a move which benefits the Captur.
ANCAP communications manager Rhianne Robson told CarAdvice this week that the Captur wouldn't achieve a five-star safety rating with a 2015 badge if it was tested again under the new rules.
"The Renault Captur receives a five-star ANCAP safety rating, but with a 2013 date stamp. This is an important detail for consumers as it means it has been assessed against earlier, less stringent criteria."
This system has the potential, it seems, to benefit brands that suffer a delayed Australian launch. The Captur arrived here 21 months after its global debut.
This confusing anomaly makes it hard for consumers to gauge the current safety rating of a car on first glance without delving into the details. Manufacturers are allowed to advertise safety ratings for current models, even if they are not matched with a 2015 date badge.
Renault Australia managing director Justin Hocevar told CarAdvice in May last year that “[rear curtain airbags] were never in the design of the vehicle [the Captur]. The vehicle was always designed to have a complete safety package excluding the rear airbag and it achieved its full five-star [Euro] NCAP [safety rating] with flying colours”.
Mr Hocevar also questioned the relevance of the ANCAP rule changes in January last year, saying “I think that any sort of divergence that the local testing authority has taken is interesting to the point where I wonder about the relevance going forward."
What are your thoughts? Should there be more clarity around safety ratings?