Safety beyon brochures
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.