Safety rank­ings ran­kle Volvo

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

VOLVO is un­happy. The re­sults of the latest used-car safety rank­ings came out last week, and the safety-first Swedish brand did not do as well as ex­pected.

It was solid, not spec­tac­u­lar, de­spite some top-ranked re­sults in ear­lier years.

So it ques­tioned the re­sults of the sur­vey, by the highly re­spected Monash Univer­sity Ac­ci­dent Re­search Cen­tre.

And, I have to ad­mit, Volvo has gen­uine rea­sons to com­plain.

‘‘If the Buy­ers Guide ta­ble is ac­tu­ally a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of those ve­hi­cles that have recorded at least 20 se­ri­ous in­juries per 100 ac­ci­dents, shouldn’t we be ques­tion­ing those car­mak­ers who have a higher rep­re­sen­ta­tion?’’ asks Lau­rissa Mirabelli of Volvo Cars Aus­tralia. ‘‘Per­haps Volvo’s lack of rep­re­sen­ta­tion is ac­tu­ally a good thing.’’

She also ques­tions how the Volvo re­sults were com­piled.

‘‘First, we’re not sure how Volvos pro­duced in the ’80s can ‘out­per­form’ those pro­duced in the ’90s, which came equipped with ex­tra pas­sive safety sys­tems.

‘‘Sec­ond, ques­tions seem to sur­round the group­ing of cer­tain mod­els. It ap­pears the mod­els have been com­bined to help meet the quota of ‘20 se­ri­ous in­juries per 100 ac­ci­dents per model’, yet each model in­tro­duced dif­fer­ent safety tech­nol­ogy at dif­fer­ent stages.’’

The bot­tom line for Volvo is it does not be­lieve the re­sults give a true pic­ture of its safety.

‘‘Volvo prides it­self on its com­mit­ment to real-world safety . . . which has been a key fea­ture of the Volvo brand for more than 80 years — well be­fore it be­came a fash­ion­able mar­ket­ing tool,’’ Mirabelli says.

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