Watch: bakkie scores zero in South African crash safety test

Global NCAP and the Automobile Association (AA) South Africa has launched the second round of its #SaferCarsForAfrica crash test results.

The four models tested show a wide range of safety performance, with the cars rated from zero to three stars for adult protection.

The models tested include:

  • Nissan NP300 Hardbody;
  • Hyundai i20;
  • Kia Picanto;
  • Toyota Yaris.

Global NCAP chose the entry-level version of each model and as a result, all were fitted with at least one airbag as standard.

The results highlighted significant differences in the structural integrity of the vehicles tested.

“Of concern with these results is that the most expensive vehicle tested in this round – the Nissan NP300 Hardbody – produced the lowest score of all tests completed to date, achieving a 00.00 score and zero stars, said Collins Khumalo, CEO of the AA of South Africa.

He added that there should be no zero rated vehicles on our roads.

“What these results show is that three vehicles priced lower than the Nissan produced three-star ratings for adult occupancy indicating that safety does not have to be tied to price.

“They also emphasize that cars may not be what they seem based purely on looks and descriptions and that until many more vehicles are tested, this issue may be a much bigger problem throughout Africa than we originally believed.”

David Ward, secretary general of Global NCAP said that while a trio of three-star results is acceptable, the zero star Nissan NP300 is shockingly bad.

“It is astonishing that a global company like Nissan can produce a car today as poorly engineered as this,” it said.


Nissan NP300 ‘Hardbody’

The NP300 ‘Hardbody’ achieved an alarming zero star rating for its poor adult occupant protection mainly in the driver head and chest areas in the frontal crash test at 64km/h.

The vehicle structure collapsed during the crash test and it was rated as unstable.

The steering wheel column did not collapse penetrating the passengers’ compartment, creating an additional risk for the driver as it moved straight into the dummy chest.

This performance showed a significant risk of injuries for the driver despite the car being equipped with double frontal airbags.

The high probability of life threatening injuries to the driver’s head and chest resulted in the zero star adult occupant protection rating.

Even with an airbag the driver’s head and chest showed high biomechanical readings.

The NP300 ‘Hardbody’ achieved two stars for child occupant protection, the low result is mainly explained by the decision of the car manufacturer to install one of the Child seats without following Child seat manufacturer clear instructions.


Toyota Yaris

The Yaris achieved a three star rating for adult occupant protection in the frontal crash test at 64km/h.

The vehicle structure was rated as unstable and offered marginal to good general adult occupant protection.

The car provides seat belt reminders for both frontal positions. The car included seatbelts with pretensioners for both front passengers.

Using the child seats recommended by Toyota, the Yaris achieved a three star rating for child occupant protection.


Hyundai i20

The i20 achieved a three star rating for adult occupant protection in the frontal crash test at 64km/h.

The vehicle structure was rated as unstable as well as the footwell area.

The protection levels ranged from marginal to good in adult occupant protection.

The car offers seatbelt pretensioners for both front passengers and seatbelt reminder for the driver.

Using the child seats recommended by Hyundai, the i20 achieved a two star rating for child occupant protection explained by the limited protection offered to the 3 year old dummy and lack of ISOFIX anchorages.

The i20 structure is different to that of the European model. Safety equipment in South Africa does not offer Electronic Stability Control (ESC), side body airbags and side curtain airbags which are standard in Europe.


Kia Picanto

The Picanto achieved a three star rating for adult occupant protection in the frontal crash test at 64km/h.

The vehicle structure was rated as stable while the footwell area was rated as unstable. The car offers seatbelt pretensioners for both front passengers and seat belt reminder for the driver only.

Using the child seats recommended by Kia the Picanto achieved a two star rating for child protection.

The detachment of the ISOFIX anchorages for the 3 years old CRS during the test explains the low score for child occupant protection.

The manufacturer did not yet offer an explanation to this problem, but the child seat manufacturer which is also investigating, took immediate action and removed the Picanto from their recommended list of cars for this CRS model.


Read: New, more powerful Suzuki Jimny launches in South Africa – with prices

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Watch: bakkie scores zero in South African crash safety test