Global NCAP test the 2019 Nissan NP300 Hardbody

The Nissan NP300 Hardbody is one of the best-selling bakkies in Africa

For the first time, Global NCAP has crashed the locally produced 2019 model into a second-hand Nissan Navara NP300 manufactured in Europe in 2015 to reveal the double standards applied by carmakers to vehicle safety in Africa.

The results from the collision indicated that the difference between the two models could be life and death. While the crash test driver in the 2015 model European Navara NP300 could have walked away from the crash, this was not the case for the driver of the African Nissan, which would have most likely incurred fatal injuries. In contrast with the African model the European vehicle also came fitted with Electronic Stability Control. Both vehicles will be on display at the third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Sweden as part of the ‘People’s Exhibition’ in Stockholm Central Railway Station. This will serve as a call to action to adopt a new target to halve road deaths and serious injuries by governments worldwide by 2030 follow the #50by30 theme.

The Nissan NP300 Hardbody received a zero-star safety rating during a Global NCAP in 2018 as part of the #SaferCarsForAfrica campaign. High forces were experienced by the crash test dummy as a result of the structure collapse and ineffective airbags. “This is a very dramatic car to car crash test which uniquely illustrates the double standard in vehicle safety performance between models sold in Europe and those sold in Africa. The difference in crashworthiness is extraordinary. The new Nissan Hardbody performs significantly worse than the second-hand Nissan Navara, to the extent that the driver in the new African Nissan would likely have died from their injuries but the driver from the second-hand European Nissan would have walked away.

“A new car in Africa is not necessarily a safer car. Second-hand imported cars from regions with tougher regulatory requirements for safety, and environmental performance can offer consumers much greater protection. Our aim in publishing this crash test result to coincide with the Global Ministerial Conference in Sweden is very clear. As we approach the end of the first UN Decade of Action for Road Safety and set an agenda for the next ten years, the double standard demonstrated by an auto manufacturer such as Nissan with the NP300 in Africa is utterly unacceptable,” David Ward CEO and President of Global NCAP.

“Does Nissan believe an African life is worth less than a European life? If not, how does the company explain the shocking safety gap between these two vehicles demonstrated by Global NCAP? If we are to meet the 2030 target of halving road deaths we must stamp out this kind of unethical behaviour by some in the car industry,” Saul Billingsley, Executive Director of the FIA Foundation.

“These results are extremely worrying and point to a major deficiency in the quality of vehicles available in Africa. We have for a long time been concerned that vehicles available in Africa are inferior to those in other markets such as Europe and Asia, and these results seem to confirm that concern. What this car to car crash also demonstrates is a complete disdain for African vehicle consumers and their safety at the expense of profit. It also again highlights the need for stricter regulation of standards and tougher controls in terms of allowing these inferior vehicles on to African roads. On a final note, we endorse David’s sentiments that higher safety-rated second-hand vehicles are a better option than lower-rated new vehicles, especially in light of these poor results which clearly show the devastating impact on families and society of inferior models which are sold in Africa,” Willem Groenewald, CEO of the AA.

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