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Crash testing improves small car safety standards

LTSA online
Small vehicles have again improved their safety performance, according to Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) crash test results announced today by the Land Transport Safety Authority.

The latest results combine Australian and European tests conducted to joint procedures. Test results are reported using a scale of one to four stars, with more stars indicating a better result and lower risk of occupant injury.

The best Australian results came from the Hyundai Accent, Daihatsu Sirion and Mazda 323 all with a rating of three out of four stars. The Nissan Pulsar and Daewoo Nubira rated two stars and the Daewoo Lanos rated one star.

The European NCAP has conducted crash tests using identical procedures and evaluations on small vehicles also sold on the New Zealand and Australian market. These results show the Audi A3, Holden Astra, Mercedes A140, Peugeot 206, Toyota Echo and VW Golf all received a rating of 4 stars. The Toyota Corolla and the Peugeot 306 received a 3 star rating.

The Australian and European test procedures involve an offset frontal test, a side impact test and pedestrian test.

LTSA safer vehicles manager Simon Whiteley said: “Research shows there is a strong correlation between the offset frontal crash test and the injuries sustained from serious on-road crashes.

“With these latest tests on small cars, it is pleasing to see lower cost vehicles achieving three and four star results.

“Unfortunately the tests indicate that there is still a high risk of life threatening injury in some models.”

The LTSA joined the crash test programme earlier this year with the aim of improving consumer access to vehicle safety information and encouraging manufacturers to make further safety improvements to their vehicles.

The next ANCAP testing will involve large cars, including Commodore, Falcon, Magna, Avalon and Camry.

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