24 Jul 2013
The Latin American New Car Assessment Program, Latin NCAP, has today awarded its first 5 star rating to the new SEAT Leon.
In contrast, best-selling global brands continue to provide sub-standard safety protection across the Latin American market with 0 star ratings applied to Suzuki, Chevrolet, Renault and Nissan models.
The release of Latin NCAP's Phase IV results has provided hope to local consumers with the Spanish-built SEAT Leon achieving top marks for adult occupant protection.
"The good news is that with the SEAT Leon receiving Latin NCAP's first 5 star safety rating, Latin America finally has a car that provides consumers with the level of protection they should expect from a new car," said ANCAP Chairman, Mr Lauchlan McIntosh.
"The crash structure of the Leon is robust and its six airbags and restraint systems protect its occupants well in both frontal and side impact crashes."
The worst performing cars in this latest round of testing - all rated 0 stars for safety - were the Suzuki Alto K10, Chevrolet Agile, Renault Clio Mio and Nissan Tsuru. The forces sustained by the dummies in each of these models were unacceptably high posing an extreme risk of death or serious injury.
"Consumers should be rightfully outraged at these results," said Mr McIntosh.
"These 0 star rated cars are built by companies that produce good, safe, 5 star cars at affordable prices for buyers in other parts of the world. It is astonishing that these big name manufacturers are prepared to build and sell cars in this region which fail to meet even basic global safety standards. It is as if lives in Latin America are worth less than lives in other parts of the world," he added.
Vehicles sold across Latin America and the Caribbean currently do not need to meet UN vehicle safety regulations. There is also no enforcement of conformity of production to ensure models maintain their original build quality from the time at which they are first approved for sale throughout the remaining period they are sold.
The results published by Latin NCAP today underscore the importance of both regulation and corporate social responsibility. In support of this, Mr Max Mosley, Chairman of Global NCAP has written to manufacturers urging them to apply the UN's minimum crash safety standards to their global passenger car production.
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