The AA and the New Zealand Transport Agency today announced that Mercedes-Benz B-Class compact sports tourer and Viano van have achieved the highest possible safety ratings in the latest Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP).
Mercedes-Benz has taken a lead, introducing a number of innovative Safety Assist Technologies (SAT) and successfully gaining a 5 star ANCAP safety rating. The B-Class model includes features such as a radar-based collision warning system and brake assist. Additional features such as lane keeping assist and blind spot assist are also available.
AA Motoring Services General Manager, Stella Stocks, says the ANCAP Rating Road Map sets out minimum mandatory and additional safety features requirements for the coming years, and Mercedes-Benz has demonstrated just how effective this technology can be.
"Mercedes-Benz is to be congratulated for proactively incorporating a number of advanced safety features that are designed to make a vehicle safer. In fact, the B-Class compact sports tourer is ahead of its time, scoring beyond current requirements."
"This certainly sets an even higher standard for other leading manufacturers to follow," says Ms Stocks.
NZTA Chief Executive Geoff Dangerfield said the investment manufacturers were putting into safety meant there was a growing pool of vehicles with top-safety ratings for people to choose from, and not just at the top end of the market.
"We encourage people to look carefully at safety features before making a purchase, and to buy the safest vehicle that they can afford."
Mr Dangerfield said the agency's RightCar website(external link) allows car buyers to search for vehicles with good safety features and compare them against similar vehicles in the same class.
"This information doesn't cost a thing, and it may save a life or prevent serious injuries in a crash," says Mr Dangerfield.
ANCAP is supported by all Australian and New Zealand motoring clubs, the Australian Government, the New Zealand Government, all Australian state governments, the Victorian Transport Accident Commission, NRMA Insurance and the FIA Foundation.
The full list of ANCAP's vehicle safety ratings, other vehicle safety information and the specifications of the rated vehicles are available online at aa.co.nz(external link) or rightcar.govt.nz(external link).