Clamp on risky cars

China im­port bagged, writes Paul Gover

Herald Sun - Motoring - - First Drive -

THE dangers of cars with­out airbags are clearly re­flected in the first se­ries of Latin NCAP tests in South Amer­ica.

A Chi­nese-made Geely CK fin­ishes dead last in the tests, with zero stars for safety, as a range of mod­els from Volk­swa­gen, Peu­geot and Fiat also score poorly with­out airbags.

The Peu­geot 207 and Toy­ota Corolla that get a full five-star rat­ing in Euro NCAP are marked down to one and four in Latin NCAP, the 207 with­out airbags.

Nine cars are tested in the first Latin NCAP pro­gram, which cov­ers the most pop­u­lar ve­hi­cles sold in Uruguay, Brazil, Ar­gentina and through­out the Caribbean.

It also comes as NCAP con­tin­ues to ex­pand its global foot­print and makes closer ties be­tween NCAP pro­grams in Aus­tralia, Europe, the US and other coun­tries.

‘‘We are in­tro­duc­ing Latin NCAP to Latin Amer­ica and the Caribbean be­cause we want to see a dra­matic im­prove­ment in the safety of cars across our re­gion. Our ul­ti­mate and most im­por­tant aim is to save peo­ple’s lives,’’ Latin NCAP ex­ec­u­tive sec-

Latin NCAP scores

re­tary Nani Ro­driguez says . ‘‘These re­sults are just the start and we want man­u­fac­tur­ers and gov­ern­ments to work to­gether to raise the stan­dard of ve­hi­cle safety.’’

Latin NCAP says South Amer­ica is a rapidly grow­ing mar­ket and source of car pro­duc­tion, but is also ex­pe­ri­enc­ing many fa­tal­i­ties and se­ri­ous in­juries.

The first se­ries of Latin NCAP tests are run with the same 64km/h front im­pact as used in other pro­grams, with cars that were cho­sen for their show­room pop­u­lar­ity.

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