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First commercial vehicles get five star safety rating

18 AUGUST, 2009

There has been a breakthrough in the safety of new commercial vehicles with the first five star-rated vans now on the market.

VicRoads, RACV, the TAC and the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) today announced the Mercedes Benz Viano and Vito light commercial vans have been given a five star safety rating after the latest ANCAP crash testing and assessment.

The ratings follow the recent four star results for other light commercials and continue a trend towards greater safety and occupant protection for these vehicles, which are the main drivers of Australian industry and the economy.

ANCAP Council Chair and VicRoads Manager Vehicle Safety Ross McArthur said ANCAP had focussed on van safety over the past year, by testing a range of light commercial vans.

“Over the past year or two we have seen manufacturers actively working to build safety into these vans,” Mr McArthur said.

“It is great that these improvements are taking effect with a number of 4-star ratings and today’s announcement of the Mercedes Benz five star result.”

“We have seen the family car, utilities and now these light commercial vehicles gradually become safer in the interests of the occupants and all who use the road. ANCAP looks forward to reporting further such results to consumers looking for a new vehicle,” he said.

RACV’s Michael Case said the five star rating meant these commercial vehicles were safer for everybody on the road.

“This is great news for Victorians who use these vans to move goods for work and often, as in the case for many people movers, also use them socially,” Mr Case said. 

“We know that many commercial drivers use their vehicles to ferry the family around after work.”

“The five star results mean these families are safer on the roads.”

ANCAP conducted a frontal offset, side offset and pole crash tests to deliver the five star rating for the Viano and the Vito, with the diesel left-hand drive models tested by EuroNCAP. 

Earlier this year, ANCAP published four star ratings for these models based on crash tests conducted by EuroNCAP. ANCAP recently conducted a pole crash test at its Melbourne test contractor’s facility, Autoliv – this delivered the five star rating for the Viano and Vito.

Mr McArthur noted that the five star rating only applies to Vito models fitted with head-protecting side airbags that became optional from January 2009 – Vianos has had these bags standard from 2006.

They both come fitted with dual front airbags, along with antilock brakes (ABS), electronic brake distribution (EBD) and electronic stability control (ESC) as standard.

For a full list of ANCAP’s vehicle safety ratings, including more commercial vehicles, and other vehicle safety information, go to www.ancap.com.au 

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. 

RACV:             Jo Robertson    0407 910 278
VicRoads:        Bree Taylor      0400 890 993


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