Honk if your tyres are full

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE -

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.

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