Clamp on risky cars
China import bagged, writes Paul Gover
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.