Citizen Reporter
Reporter
2 minute read
30 May 2019
6:11 am

Child safety in top car brands found to be ‘disappointing’

Citizen Reporter

While the results were encouraging, more work needs to be done to protect children.

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Child safety in three vehicles tested in the Global NCAP (new car assessment programme) was found to be “disappointing”, the Automobile Association of SA (AASA) said yesterday.

“The models tested by Global NCAP are the Toyota Avanza, Honda Amaze, and Suzuki Ignis,” AASA chairperson Sikkie Kajee said.

“The Avanza is a very popular model in South Africa for public transport and fleet use. Global NCAP chose the entry-level version of each model and each was fitted with at least two airbags as standard. The results highlight significant differences between adult and child occupant protection.”

He said while the results were encouraging, more work needed to be done to protect children.

“While we have minimum safety standards for vehicles in South Africa, we need to appreciate that minimum is not good enough.

“At the same time, we want to encourage consumers to be more critical of safety features on vehicles before purchasing, and to be more mindful of their own, and their passengers’ safety.”

Global NCAP awards a separate child safety rating to each model to highlight the different levels of protection vehicles provide.Tests are conducted on the child restraint system (CRS) recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.

Since the only safe way for both toddlers and preschoolers to travel safely is to properly restrain them in a child seat, the Global NCAP assessment checks how compatible the vehicle is with the CRS recommended by the manufacturer, as well as the protection provided in the crash test.

Among the models tested, only the Avanza offered a three-point seatbelt for all passengers, facilitating the required conditions to safely install a CRS in case it is not equipped with Isofix – the international standard for attachment points for child safety seats in passenger cars.

Global NCAP chief executive David Ward said: “We encourage auto manufacturers to meet our five-star challenge and provide the levels of safety performance necessary for all passengers, whatever their age.”

The Avanza managed to achieve four stars for adult occupant protection (AOP) and achieved only two stars in child occupant protection (COP), while the Amaze achieved a solid four stars for AOP in the frontal crash test at 64km/h. The Amaze achieved a one-star rating for COP. The Ignis achieved three stars for AOP in the frontal crash test at 64km/h. The model did not recommend a CRS for the test.

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