Motoring Correspondent
3 minute read
7 Nov 2018
10:00 am

Nissan’s NP300 scores zero-star in Global NCAP

Motoring Correspondent

‘... this issue may be a bigger problem than originally believed’ – AA chief.

POOR RESULTS: The Nissan NP300 scored a zero in the latest Global NCAP crash test. Picture: QuickPic

Global new car assessment programmes (NCAP) and the Automobile Association (AA) South Africa launched the second round of #SaferCarsForAfrica crash test results last week with the support of the FIA Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

The four models tested show a wide range of safety performance ratings, from zero to three stars for adult protection, with the Nissan NP300 Hardbody scoring the lowest ratings – and a high probability of life-threatening injury in a crash.

The models tested were the NP300, Hyundai i20, Kia Picanto and Toyota Yaris. Global NCAP chose the entry-level version of each model and all were fitted with at least one airbag as standard.

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

AA chief executive Collins Khumalo said: “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.

There should be no zero-rated vehicles on our roads. “… three vehicles priced lower than the Nissan produced threestar ratings for adult occupancy, indicating that safety does not have to be tied to price.

“They also emphasise that cars may not be what they seem 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, also raised his concerns over the NP300’s rating.

“A trio of three-star results are acceptable but the zero-star Nissan NP300 is shockingly bad. It is astonishing that a global company can produce a car today as poorly engineered as this.”

Saul Billingsley, executive director of the FIA Foundation, said: “The #SaferCarsForAfrica campaign introduces essential transparency to the South African car market and these results show that consumers are still getting a raw deal.

“The ironically named Hardbody is the worst of the bunch, but all these car makers should be doing better and offering the same high standard of safety in South Africa and across the African continent as they do in Europe and the US.”

Global NCAP awards a separate child safety rating to each car in order to highlight the different levels of protection for passengers on the rear seats.

Because the only safe way for young children to travel is properly restrained in a child seat, the assessment checks how compatible the car is with the child seats recommended by the manufacturer, as well as the protection provided in the crash test.

Airbags are not a substitute for seatbelts.

Passengers must always wear seatbelts.

Only the Yaris and Picanto offered standard ISOFIX anchorages for child restraint systems (CRS).

The NP300 showed incompatibilities with the recommended CRS.

Only the Yaris offered threepoint seatbelt for all passengers, facilitating the required conditions to safely install a child seat in all seating positions, while all the others offered a lap belt in the middle position, which makes it impossible to properly install a CRS.

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