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Mixed results for small cars in latest ANCAP crash tests

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New crash test results have highlighted the fact that vehicles sold in New Zealand can miss out on top five-star safety ratings because they aren't equipped with potentially life-saving technologies.

New crash test results have highlighted the fact that vehicles sold in New Zealand can miss out on top five-star safety ratings because they aren’t equipped with potentially life-saving technologies. 

In the latest round of safety ratings for small cars from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) released in New Zealand today by the New Zealand Transport Agency and the Automobile Association, the new Honda Jazz was unable to score five stars for occupant protection because electronic stability control is not available on any model sold in New Zealand or Australia.

NZTA’s Group Manager Access and Use Ian Gordon said since January 2008 ANCAP has made the standard fitment of electronic stability control a requirement for any vehicle to be awarded a fifth star for occupant protection.

“This means that in spite of performing well in the crash tests, the Jazz only scores four out of five stars. If it was equipped with electronic stability control, like the Jazz models sold in Europe, it would be a five star car,” Mr Gordon said.

Electronic stability control is a safety system which automatically comes into play if your car starts to lose control. It can instantly brake individual wheels, independently, making it easier to get your car back on to its intended path. Without electronic stability control your car is far more likely to continue skidding and crash.

Stella Stocks, AA General Manager – Technical Services, says stability control is usually a standard feature in new vehicles because of its strong safety benefits.

“Motorists really have to ask themselves why they would purchase a car without stability control, when so many others have it as part of their standard package,” Ms Stocks said.

Other results released today include five star ratings for the Audi Q5, Kia Soul and Skoda Superb, all fitted with stability control as standard, and four star ratings for the Kia Cerato and Suzuki Alto.

Ms Stocks said the four star results for the Cerato and Alto were also disappointing.

“Both missed out on five star ratings due to a lack of adequate leg protection and because they lack passenger seatbelt reminders,” she said.

Mr Gordon said there was now a wide range of five star vehicles available in New Zealand, including several relatively inexpensive small cars.

“These latest results again show that not all cars are created equally when it comes to safety. We encourage people to look carefully at safety ratings before purchasing any new vehicle,” he said.

ANCAP is supported by all New Zealand and Australian motoring clubs, the New Zealand government, all Australian State governments and the FIA Foundation. The AA and NZTA are both members of ANCAP.

Detailed crash tests are available on the websites of both organisations – www.aa.co.nz(external link) or www.nzta.govt.nz(external link)

For more information contact:

Andy Knackstedt
Media Manager
New Zealand Transport Agency
T.   +64 4 894 6285
M.  +64 21 276 3222

or

Stella Stocks
General Manager – Technical
New Zealand Automobile Association
M. +64 21 772 242

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