Global NCAP and AA South Africa have launched the #SaferCarsforAfrica initiative by releasing their first independent crash test assessment of some of South Africa’s most popular compact and small cars.
The models tested include South Africa’s best-selling car, the VW Polo Vivo. The Datsun Go+, Toyota Etios, Renault Sandero and Chery QQ3 were also assessed. Combined sales of these five cars account for around 65% of all the new cars sold in South Africa last year. The results vary significantly, ranging from zero to four stars.
“In 2016 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a road safety resolution which recognised the important role NCAPs play as a catalyst for improving vehicle safety standards,” said Lauchlan McIntosh, Chairman of Global NCAP. “The UN has sought to encourage the spread of NCAPs across the regions and automotive markets of the World and today, in Cape Town, I am delighted that Global NCAP is helping to achieve that goal with the launch of the first ever crashworthiness programme for cars sold in Africa.”
The Toyota Etios achieved a four-star rating for adult occupant protection in the frontal crash test at 64km/h. Using the child seats recommended by Toyota, the Etios achieved a three-star rating for child occupant protection.
The Renault Sandero and Volkswagen Polo Vivo both achieved a three-star rating for adult occupant protection in the frontal crash test at 64km/h. Using the child seats recommended by Renault, the Sandero achieved a four-star rating for child occupant protection. The Polo Vivo achieved three stars for child protection.
The Datsun GO+ achieved just a one-star rating for its poor adult occupant protection and a two-star rating for child occupant protection using the child seats.
The Chery QQ3 achieved a zero-star rating for its poor adult occupant protection. The vehicle structure was rated as unstable and there were no airbags for the adult passengers. The manufacturer did not recommend specific child seats, contributing to the zero-star rating for child occupant protection.
“The crash tests represent an important step in road safety in South Africa. We believe consumers have a right to know what the safety ratings are on the cars they want to buy,” said Collins Khumalo, CEO of the AA of South Africa said. “These results are critical to educating the public about vehicle safety, but, more than that, they empower road users to make informed decisions. In the same way emissions and green ratings are displayed on vehicles, we think safety ratings should also be displayed on vehicles, and we don’t believe this should be too much of a challenge to make happen.”
David Ward, Secretary General of Global NCAP, expressed disappointment at the Chery QQ3’s zero-star rating. “It is good to see a four-star result in these first ever African crash test ratings,” he said. “However, it’s extremely disappointing that there’s a zero-star car. Such a poor result shows why it is so important for countries like South Africa to fully apply the UN’s crash test standards.
“Consumers need clear, comparative crash test information to help inform their car purchase decisions. This is why Global NCAP supports the introduction of mandatory crash test labelling for all new cars sold in South Africa.”