Honk if your tyres are full
MUM and dad buyers will have access to cheaper and safer vehicles a lot sooner thanks to moves by government and big business to adopt a range of minimum safety requirements.
BHP Billiton has announced it is following the Australian Government’s decision of last year to adopt a minimum five-star Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) safety rating for their fleet of passenger and light commercial vehicles.
ANCAP boss Nicholas Clarke applauded the ‘‘monumental’’ decision and says there are flow-on benefits for all motorists.
‘‘They are a world leader in many fields, not the least of which will be safety, and, on the back of this, we will see safer vehicles on BHP mining sites all around the world,’’ he says.
‘‘And because these vehicles are turned over to the used car market in two to four years mums and dads will be able to buy an exfleet vehicle for cheaper than they can buy a new five-star car.’’
Clarke says the light commercial vehicle sector has one of the lowest safety re- cords of any category in the market mainly because they have a longer product cycle and are slow to upgrade their vehicles.
‘‘They come on the market for five or 10 years with only a couple of facelifts in that time, so traditionally they have been behind the high levels of safety we have seen, but more and more they are coming up to speed,’’ he says.
‘‘We are expecting new models of light commercial vehicles to do better and a good deal of those will be five-star.’’
Utes based on sedans are all five-star.
The first of the dual cab utes with a maximum safety score was the VW Amarok which was followed late last year by the Ford Ranger and Mazda BT50.
‘‘The new Colorado will be subject to testing shortly and we expect a good score,’’ says Clarke.
‘‘We also re-tested and updated the Nissan Navara from three to four stars and the Mitsubishi Triton is four stars.
‘‘But languishing behind those are the two-star Great Wall utes, which we don’t recommend, and the threestar Isuzu D-Max.’’
Clarke says he expects new Chinese dual cab utes to hit our showrooms later this year, but would not comment on their likely safety ratings.
‘‘Chinese brands to date have had fairly poor results across all the cars,’’ he says.
‘‘However, the Great Wall SUV is a four-star vehicle so that shows they can produce safer cars.’’
Clarke says the Australian Government deserves congratulations for the decision last year to introduce five-star requirements.
‘‘We would encourage the other mining companies and big business to adopt a similar policy,’’ he says. WHAT is the air pressure needed for your car tyres?
Nissan in the US this week unveiled an automatic monitoring system that simply honks the car’s horn when the tyres are at the correct pressure.
The Nissan Easy Fill Tire Alert system will be standard equipment on its 2013 model year vehicles.
It is in response to US law changes on tyres.
Properly inflated tyres are important for a vehicle’s fuel economy and roadholding safety. There are no plans yet for the system to come to Australia.