Global NCAP and AA Crash Test Popular Cars in SA


Global NCAP and the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) have launched the first independent crash test assessment of some of South Africa’s most popular compact and small cars under the campaign #SaferCarsforAfrica. The results are scary...

If you think the safety offered by your car is not important, then maybe this news will change your mind! For the first time ever on the African continent, cars sold in South Africa have been subjected to independent crashworthiness testing in Cape Town by Global NCAP and the AA in an effort to highlight road safety and to give local consumers safety knowledge on the cars they buy. This move represents a major win for road safety in South Africa.

A total of 5 cars sold locally were subjected to the test to determine their crashworthiness. The cars subjected to the test were the Toyota Etios, Volkswagen Polo Vivo, Datsun Go+, Renault Sandero and the Chery QQ3.

Lauchlan McIntosh, Chairman of Global NCAP, said: “In 2016 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a road safety resolution which recognised the important role NCAPs play as a catalyst for improving vehicle safety standards. The UN has sought to encourage the spread of NCAPs across the regions and automotive markets of the World and today, in Cape Town, I am delighted that Global NCAP is helping to achieve that goal with the launch of the first ever crashworthiness programme for cars sold in Africa. Global NCAP has provided assistance to launch similar programmes in South America, India and the ASEAN region, programmes which have led to the delivery of safer cars into those markets over the last five years.”

Collins Khumalo, CEO of the AA of South Africa said: “The crash tests represent an important step in road safety in South Africa. We believe consumers have a right to know what the safety ratings are on the cars they want to buy. These results are critical to educating the public about vehicle safety, but, more than that, they empower road users to make informed decisions. In the same way emissions and green ratings are displayed on vehicles, we think safety ratings should also be displayed on vehicles, and we don’t believe this should be too much of a challenge to make happen.

“The involvement of Global NCAP, the FIA Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies in bringing these results to Africa, indicates how seriously our partners view road safety, and it is incumbent on us, as South Africans, to consider road, and vehicle safety, in the same way.”

David Ward, Secretary General of Global NCAP said: “It is good to see a four star result in these first ever African crash test ratings. However, it’s extremely disappointing that there’s a zero star car. Such a poor result shows why it is so important for countries like South Africa to fully apply the UN’s crash test standards.

“Consumers need clear, comparative crash test information to help inform their car purchase decisions. This is why Global NCAP supports the introduction of mandatory crash test labelling for all new cars sold in South Africa.”

The Results

Toyota Etios

The Toyota Etios performed the best with a 4-star rating for adult occupant protection in the frontal crash test at 64 kph. The Etios’ body structure was rated as stable and displayed good general adult occupant protection with seatbelts with pre-tensioners for both front passengers. The Etios achieved a 3-star rating for child occupant safety using child seats recommended by Toyota.


Renault Sandero

The Renault Sandero achieved a 3-star rating for adult occupant protection in the frontal crash test at 64 kph. The Sandero’s body structure was rated as stable with acceptable general adult occupant protection. The Sandero however, did not include seatbelt pre-tensioners. In terms of child occupant protection, the Sandero achieved a 4-star rating using child seats recommended by Renault.

Volkswagen Polo Vivo

As for the Polo Vivo, it achieved a 3-star rating for adult occupant protection in the frontal crash test at 64km/h. The vehicle structure was rated as stable, offering acceptable adult occupant protection. The car, however, did not include seatbelt pre-tensioners. The Polo Vivo achieved a 3-star rating for child protection child seats recommended by VW.


Datsun GO+

The Datsun GO+ performed badly, achieving a 1-star rating for its poor adult occupant protection, mainly in the driver's chest in the frontal crash test at 64km/h. The vehicle structure was rated as unstable with steering wheel movement. Even though a steering wheel airbag was fitted, a high compression to the chest of the driver dummy was recorded. There was no airbag for the passenger. The Datsun GO+ only achieved a 2-star rating for child occupant protection using the child seats.


Chery QQ3

The Chery QQ3 achieved a 0-star rating for its poor adult occupant protection mainly in driver’s head and chest. The vehicle structure was rated as unstable and collapsed in crucial areas during the impact. Injury impacts recorded in the dummy’s head and chest, in particular, led to this result. There were no airbags for the adult passengers. Chery did not recommend specific child seats, resulting in points lost for child occupant protection. The QQ3 was given a 0-star rating for child occupant protection, considering the vehicle’s poor readiness to safely accommodate the child seats.


Note: In the assessments, some of the child seats recommended by manufacturers were found to be incompatible with their vehicle’s belt system. In the Polo Vivo, Chery QQ3 and Datsun GO+ there was no three-point seatbelt on the rear centre seats and no way to safely install a child seat or transport a small child safely in that seating position. Only the Toyota Etios and Renault Sandero offer Standard ISOFIX anchorages for the outboard rear positions and three-point seatbelt for all passengers, facilitating minimum conditions to safely install a child seat.

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