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New Holden Barina slips to two star rating in crash tests

9 MAY, 2006

THE new model Holden Barina - one of the most popular small cars on the Australian market - has received a two-star rating in the latest Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) crash tests, as released today by VicRoads, RACV and the TAC.

The latest Barina crash test rating is particularly disappointing because the previous model of the vehicle achieved a four-star rating. ANCAP is releasing this result as part of its program to provide independent advice to consumers.

Car buyers need to be aware that the new model Barina is a completely different vehicle to the previous four-star model and that it is built in a different country.

The latest Barina rating is the lowest recorded by ANCAP for a small passenger car since 2004.

Most of the recent passenger cars and 4WDs tested by ANCAP have achieved at least a four-star rating and some small cars are scoring five stars.

It is possible for vehicle manufacturers to achieve four or five-star ratings in ANCAP crash tests by including current vehicle safety technology in their cars. ANCAP expects this technology to be widely incorporated into new vehicles.

The Barina pedestrian crash test result is a one-star rating, meaning a high risk of severe injury to a pedestrian if hit at 40km/h. Most vehicles currently score one or two-star pedestrian ratings.

The crash test procedures conducted by ANCAP involve a frontal test at 64km/h where part of the vehicle hits a barrier, and a side impact test at 50km/h. The vehicles also undergo a test to assess likely injuries caused to pedestrians by a vehicle travelling at 40km/h.

A pole test is optional, where the vehicle travelling sideways at 29km/h strikes a round pole lined up with the driver's head. This measures the effectiveness of head protecting side airbags and can result in extra points being scored. The Barina was not eligible for a pole test as it is not available with head protecting side airbags.

ANCAP is supported by all Australian and New Zealand motoring clubs, all state governments, the New Zealand Government and the FIA Foundation.

ANCAP partners, VicRoads, RACV and the TAC encourage all car buyers to consider Electronic Stability Control technology in their next car purchase, to reduce the risk of being involved in a crash in the first place.

Contact:          RACV              Denis Brown               9790 2572

                       TAC              Anna Chalko               9664 6862

                      VicRoads        Jennifer Howard         9854 2335

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