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Australians are being denied life-saving vehicle technologies

11 JUNE, 2009

The latest safety ratings from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) show that Australians are being short-changed when it comes to safety features on overseas-manufactured vehicles.

The ANCAP Victorian partners, VicRoads, RACV and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) said the Honda Jazz and Kia Soul had missed out on five-star ANCAP ratings, because they lacked potentially life-saving technologies that are available on equivalent models in Europe.

ANCAP Council Chair and VicRoads Manager Vehicle Safety, Ross McArthur said in Europe, both models came with electronic stability control (ESC) and intelligent seat belt reminders for all seats.

“Yet ESC is not available on any Jazz in Australia and the base model only has a driver seat belt reminder,” Mr McArthur said.

“The Australian Soul only has a driver seat belt reminder and the base model does not have ESC. In contrast, the New Zealand Kia Soul has all these features and earns the top five-star rating from ANCAP.”

ANCAP, Australia’s leading independent vehicle safety advocate, crash tests new vehicles and awards safety-star ratings based on internationally recognised protocols.

ANCAP also announced the Audi Q5 and Skoda Superb earned five-star ratings, based on crash tests conducted by EuroNCAP.

The RACV Chief Engineer, Michael Case said the Kia Cerato and Suzuki Alto achieved four-star ratings, which was disappointing for new models.

“Both models have impressive safety features but need more work on leg protection to reach the increasingly coveted five-star rating,” Mr Case said.

Both the Cerato and the Alto also lacked seat belt reminders for the front and rear passengers.

TAC Senior Manager Road Safety David Healy said despite generally high seat belt wearing rates in Australia, passengers without seat belts were over-represented in road fatalities.

“There are now plenty of choices for five-star safety for small cars in Australia, with several models costing less than $20,000,” Mr Healy said.

“It is regrettable that these latest results have not added to that list.”

ANCAP is supported by all Australian and New Zealand motoring clubs, all Australian state governments, the New Zealand government, the Victorian Transport Accident Commission, NRMA Insurance and the FIA Foundation.

For a full list of ANCAP’s vehicle safety ratings and other vehicle safety information, go to www.howsafeisyourcar.com.au

Media contacts:

VicRoads:        Natalie Wilcock, Media Adviser - 9854 2499
RACV:             Jo Robertson, Senior Communications Advisor - 0407 910 278
TAC:               Emily Bogue, Media and Communications Adviser - 0429 416 778


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