The head of the Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has said that "all car brands should be on notice from today", following the audit crash test of Kia's Picanto micro car.
ANCAP chief executive officer, James Goodwin, told CarAdvice that brands should not be surprised to learn that more surprise crash tests could be on the cards.
"Audit testing will happen from time to time and it's really a message to car brands — we're not picking on one, or the other, they should all be on notice from today," Goodwin said.
ANCAP performs audit crash tests in instances where it wants to confirm the validity of existing ratings or to compare test results across other NCAPs and markets.
The reason ANCAP chose to audit the Picanto was due to poor structural deformation results during testing conducted by ASEAN NCAP (the assessment program for southeast Asian countries), which tested a version of the car built as a Complete Knock Down - a car assembled locally from parts, rather than being imported as an entire car.
"There were very credible reasons for doing this... and doing this one as quickly as we have. It can happen to any of the models that are in the marketplace," Goodwin said.
"It provides the assurance to the consumer that you can trust our ratings, that we are independent and we also want to ensure that car brands keeping a car in the market for a while, are continuing to update that model."
"We hear about facelifts all the time and new model years, that shouldn't just include a new grille and colours to the range. They should be constantly looking at safety features for the vehicle as well."