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Crash tests one of three

Crash tests one of three

20 July 2004

Good and bad results in latest round of independent crash tests

Not all cars are created equally when it comes to safety, and new crash test results show how important it is for New Zealand car buyers to shop around for a vehicle that offers good protection.

Results of the latest round of independent crash tests released today by the Land Transport Safety Authority (LTSA) ranged from a marginal two out of five stars to several top five star ratings.

New models of the Mercedes Benz E Class, Saab 9-3 and Volvo S40 scored five star results, as did the 2004 model of Toyota's petrol-electric Prius hybrid.

Four star results were achieved by the Mazda3, Opel Vectra, Mitsubishi Outlander, Ford Fiesta, Audi A3, Citroen C2 and BMW Z4. The Nissan Pulsar scored three out of five stars, and the Kia Rio just two stars.

The tests were conducted in Australia and Europe using identical procedures. Two tests are performed on each model to rate occupant protection; an offset frontal test where the car is driven into a crushable barrier at 64km/h, and a side impact test which involves running a 950kg trolley into the driver’s side of the vehicle at 50km/h. An optional pole impact test is also available for vehicles fitted with head-protecting side airbags.

Research shows a strong correlation between the tests and injuries suffered by vehicle occupants in serious on-road crashes.

Crash tests two of three

Detailed crash test results from the Australian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) for over 100 vehicle models are now available on the LTSA website, www.ltsa.govt.nz. Brochures with test results can be ordered at no charge by ringing the LTSA Helpdesk on 0800 699 000.

ENDS

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