Some of the country’s popular cars have received a zero rating for safety and protection of adults and children, with GWM’s Steed 5 highly likely to cause life-threatening injuries.
Global NCAP and Automobile Association (AA) South Africa on Wednesday launched the fourth round of #SaferCarsForAfrica crash test results which found that three models, the Steed 5 pick-up of Great Wall Motors, the Haval H1 five-door SUV and the Renault Kwid five-door compact all showed poor levels of adult and child protection.
The zero-rated Steed 5, however, demonstrated a high probability of life-threatening injuries, which was of serious concern, said Global NCAP secretary-general Alejandro Furas.
“The potential for life threatening injury in the Steed 5 follows the zero-star performance of the Nissan Hardbody pick-up. The contrast between the marketing claims for such vehicles and the reality of their poor safety performance could not be [starker],” he said.
The Steed 5 was tested in its basic version without airbags, showing a poor and weak protection for critical body regions such as the head, neck and chest.
Zero points were also awarded for child protection as a three-year-old dummy broke during impact due to the poor restrain system. The vehicle does not have ISOFix brackets for child car seats in the rear and lacks three-point seatbelts in all seating positions.
The Kwid’s recent facelift offered two airbags and had an adequate rating for the driver’s head but scored weak for chest protection. Child protection was poor as the head contacted in interior of the car and the car also lacked ISOFix brackets and three-point seatbelts in all seating postions.
While the Haval H1 was fitted with ISOFix brackets, results showed that the child would contact the interior of the car, threatening its safety. It also scored weak for protecting the driver’s chest and feet but received a good rating for protecting the passengers’ head and neck.
But since the #SaferCarsForAfrica programme’s first results were launched in 2017, AA South Africa has been calling for an improvement in the safety standards set by government, said AA chief Willem Groenewald.
“These results again confirm the urgent need for this to happen; we simply cannot have unsafe cars on our roads anymore. We have spoken to the National Regulator for Compulsory Standards about standards and although the evidence is clear, we are eager to see movement in this regard. Action is needed and needed now because it’s about protecting South African citizens,” he said.