Safety be­yon brochures

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOTORING -

ONE of the most im­por­tant mar­ket­ing tools for car com­pa­nies is the glossy colour­ful brochure that dis­plays car fea­tures, among other things.

Un­for­tu­nately, in­for­ma­tion on ad­ver­tis­ing ma­te­rial may not be 100% cor­rect. Car com­pa­nies may not out­rightly give wrong in­for­ma­tion but they are some­times mis­lead­ing.

One of the usual tricks is to dis­play the crash test rat­ing for the Euro­pean mod­els on brochures for the lo­cal variant of the same ve­hi­cle.

Un­less the car com­pany can prove that the model sold in Malaysia is the same one sold in Europe, crash test rat­ings such as Euro New Car As­sess­ment Pro­gramme ( NCAP) can­not be ap­plied to the same model here.

The crash test might have used a variant that comes with seven airbags, trac­tion con­trol and a strength­ened chas­sis but the lo­cal model sold here might have none of those fea­tures.

This is the rea­son a govern­ment agency called Malaysian In­sti­tute for Road Safety ( MIROS) teamed up with Euro NCAP, a non- govern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion based in Europe, to pro­duce the Asean NCAP.

Asean NCAP has a few crash test fa­cil­i­ties in this re­gion with one lo­cated in Malacca. The rest use NCAP’s part­ners’ lo­ca­tions such as Ja­pan, Aus­tralia and South Korea.

Asean NCAP ran­domly chooses cars from car com­pa­nies and in the case where car com­pa­nies refuse to give them cars, Asean NCAP gets fund­ing from var­i­ous par­ties to pur­chase the car.

Cars are not bought from Malaysia alone but from dis­trib­u­tors in Thai­land and In­done­sia as well.

Crash tests and the eval­u­a­tion process have been de­signed with the as­sis­tance of Euro NCAP and are de­signed to pro­mote the use of safety aids such as airbags and the elec­tronic sta­bil­ity pro­gramme.

One of the core aspects of car safety is the strength of the chas­sis. This is not a fea­ture that can be added later and no amount of safety aids or elec­tronic devices can be used to hide a weak chas­sis.

Hence, the only way to test the strength of a car’s chas­sis is through a crash test. Asean NCAP has un­cov­ered cases where a car model that re­ceived a five- star rat­ing in the Euro­pean test only re­ceived a poor one- to two- star rat­ing for its lo­cal vari­ants.

This proves that car com­pa­nies have made dif­fer­ent chas­sis for dif­fer­ent mar­kets. So how can you de­ter­mine if the car that you want to pur­chase has a good and strong chas­sis that can act as a pro­tec­tion cage dur­ing an ac­ci­dent?

Visit Asean NCAP web­site at www. asean­cap. org and check the list of cars that it has crash tested.

You may be sur­prised to find that Malaysia’s home­grown brand Pro­ton has three of the most af­ford­able five- star cars in Asean – Iriz, Preve and Suprima S.

Even the most ba­sic Iriz has sta­bil­ity con­trol as stan­dard equip­ment, which shows that cost is never re­ally an ex­cuse for not hav­ing a five- star safety

rat­ing in a car.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit

The Pro­ton Iriz is one of the most af­ford­able cars with a five- star Asean NCAP rat­ing.

The Asean NCAP pro­vides a more lo­cally rel­e­vant safety stan­dard than the Euro­pean NCAP.

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