World First! A test of a Quantum’s swerve limits, and when you should rather take the taxi.
IN the first test of its kind, the New Car Assessment Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean (the Latin NCAP), and the Global New Car Assessment Programme (the Global NCAP) hosted a crash test between cars designed for poor and rich countries.
The test forms part of Global NCAP’s ongoing campaign #NoZeroStarCars, which aims to eliminate zero star cars from the global fleet and was conducted at the IIHS headquarters in Virginia, U.S., last week.
The test was unusual for NCap in that it was done at a realistic combined closing speed of 129 km/h instead of the usual 64 km/h that these tests are done at in the U.S.
The Nissan Tsuru used in the test failed dismally and as expected, Nissan have announced the Tsuru will be taken out of production in Mexico from next May.
Reacting to the announcement, David Ward, Global NCAP secretary-general, said: “This is a long overdue decision to cease production of a car that is fundamentally unsafe. Three years ago our partner Latin NCAP crash tested the car and revealed its zero star rating.
“It has taken Nissan too long to recognise that selling substandard cars is unacceptable.
“At last they have responded to the demands of Latin NCAP and Mexican consumers to withdraw the Tsuru from the market,” said Ward.
What the Global NCap did not say is that no car — no matter how many stars it wins in the NCAP tests, or how many airbags it has — will fare well when the collision speed exceeds 64 km/h.
The bottom line is that cars have become too fast for average drivers, as the charred body parts that paramedics pick up on a daily basis after high-speed crashes prove.
The only way to make cars safer is to make them a lot slower, or to fit the systems race car drivers use to protect themselves.
Clyde Victor, 2012 KZN rally champion and installer of roll cages at Ernie’s Panelbeaters in Pietermaritzburg, told Wheels the only system that makes a car truly safe at speed is a racing roll cage, deep bucket seats and wide seat belts that cover the chest.
“I don’t feel as safe in my road car at low speeds as I do in my rally car racing on dirt roads,” he said. • firstname.lastname@example.org
The new car assessment programmes want to eradicate cars that get zero stars, like the Nissan Tsuru, but what they don’t say is that all cars get zero stars in high-speed crashes.