• Three vehicles were recently tested in the #SaferCarsForAfrica crash tests.
• The returned results were rated as 'worryingly poor'.
• The tested vehicles include a bakkie, compact SUV, and hatchback.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
The results from the latest #SaferCarsForAfrica crash tests are in and are worryingly poor. The three vehicles that were tested does duty near the bottom-end of their respective segments, but the findings from the crash tests do not inspire confidence.
The Automobile Association (AA), together with the Global NCAP, set about testing vehicles sold on the African continent as part of the #SaferCarsForAfrica campaign. While the tested vehicles are mostly those that are obtainable by most prospective buyers, it is imperative to test the vehicles that speak to a larger audience.
The AA released their findings and said the following about each vehicle.
GWM Steed 5
Pick-ups, also known as 'bakkies' are a popular category of vehicle in Africa. Following the 2018 crash test of the Nissan NP300 Hardbody, Global NCAP selected the Great Wall Motors (GWM) Steed 5, which competes on price with the Nissan in the pick-up category.
The Steed 5 is tested in the basic version without airbags. Driver dummy readings showed a redhead and brown chest and neck, which translates into poor protection for head and weak protection for the neck and chest. Those body parts are considered critical body regions. The structure was deemed unstable, as was the footwell area. The deformation in the passenger compartment and movement of the steering column questions if an airbag would be able to prevent serious injuries to the driver.
As the manufacturer decided not to recommend a Child Restraint System (CRS) for the test, zero points were awarded for the child occupant dynamic assessment score. The three-year-old dummy CRS broke during the impact due to the poor performance of the restrain system. The Steed 5 does not have ISOFIX anchorages for the child seats in the rear and lacks three-point belts in all seating positions.
The Haval H1 is part of the popular new vehicle segment of small SUVs. The H1 offers two airbags as standard. The injuries recorded in the driver and passenger head and neck showed good protection. Driver's chest showed weak protection, and passenger chest showed good protection. Feet showed poor protection, which together with the driver readings, unstable structure and unstable footwell area explain the two-star rating for adult occupant protection.
Child occupant protection was negatively affected because the manufacturer refused to indicate a CRS for use in the test bringing dynamic points to zero. The CRS selected by Global NCAP used the ISOFIX anchorages available in the car. Both child dummies heads contacted the car during the test threatening the safety of the child occupants. Lack of proper ISOFIX markings and the lack of a passenger airbag disabling switch resulted in a two-star child occupant protection rating for the H1.
The Renault Kwid was tested by Global NCAP when it was launched in India in 2016, and its structure has since been improved. A version manufactured in Brazil was later tested by Latin NCAP where it achieved three stars, with side body airbags added to frontal airbags and ABS.
In Africa, the Kwid with the recent facelift offers two airbags as standard. The protection offered to the driver's head was rated adequate and good for the passengers. Both necks show good protection but the driver chest showed weak protection. An unstable body structure, unstable footwell structure and pedal movement, explain the two stars for adult occupant protection. The child occupant protection showed poor performance as the head contacted the interior of the car.
The lack of three-point belts in all seating positions and lack of ISOFIX anchorages contribute to the two-star rating for Child occupant protection.
Compiled by: Charlen Raymond