ANCAP targets poor crash performers
CARS that have scored poorly in crash testing will come under the microscope as the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) pressures car makers to lift their game over the next five years.
The program awards a maximum five-star rating to cars that offer good protection occupants from a crash, sliding down to one star for poor protection that is considered more likely to cause serious injuries to occupants or other road users.
ANCAP says its 2017 Road Map will target cars that have scored one, two or three stars, focusing on improving whiplash protection and pedestrian safety for one- and two-star cars, and roof strength for three-star cars.
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It will also make seatbelt reminders for front-seat passengers compulsory in all cars with three stars or fewer, and will lobby manufacturers to build more "safety assist technologies" - such as blind spot warning, lane assist and automated emergency braking - in cars with four stars or fewer.
ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh says the 2017 Road Map will benefit both manufacturers and consumers.
"Vehicle safety is a crucial element in reducing the unnecessary loss of life on our roads, and with a combined road toll of 1600 across Australia and New Zealand last year, we mustn't become complacent," he says.
"The development of vehicle safety systems is moving forward at a rapid pace and ANCAP is moving just as fast by ensuring manufacturers continue to include, and progressively increase these life-saving technologies into their builds."
Of the 399 current model and previous-generation cars listed on ANCAP's website - which make up the vast bulk of cars on Australian roads today - 186 have received the maximum five-star crash rating.
However, 58 models have three stars or fewer, although many are cars that are no longer on sale or ones that have been superseded by safer models with revised ratings.
Notably, several brands from China as well as one each from India and Malaysia have cars currently on the market that have scored three stars or fewer.
- Great Wall Motors' SA220 and V240 (two stars each)
- Chery's J11 (two) and J1 (three)
- Geely's MK (three, sold only in WA)
- Mahindra's Pik-Up (three or two, depending on variant)
- Proton's S16 (two) and Jumbuck (one)
Other models that will attract ANCAP's focus under the 2017 plan include:
- Mitsubishi Express (one star)
- Nissan Patrol
- Toyota LandCruiser 70-Series
- Nissan Navara D22
- Suzuki APV
- Ssangyong Actyon
- Ford Transit (three stars)