AA calls for action to prevent sale of zero-star cars

The latest crash test results in the #SaferCarsForAfrica campaign, the AA has called for urgent action to prevent the sale of zero-star vehicles…

The latest crash test results in the #SaferCarsForAfrica campaign, released by Global NCAP and AA South Africa in mid-November 2018, show that Nissan’s NP300 ‘Hardbody’ received a zero-star safety rating.

According to the Automobile Association, the vehicle structure collapsed and was found to be unstable during the test. “The high forces placed on the crash test driver dummy pose a significant risk of fatal injury. The NP300’s bodyshell was so unstable that the airbags were ineffective,” says the AA.

Global NCAP Secretary General, David Ward, and AA South Africa CEO, Collins Khumalo, have now written to the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank, calling for urgent action by African governments to prevent the sale of zero star cars like the Nissan NP300.

David Ward, Global NCAP Secretary-General said:

“The zero star result of the NP300 is particularly troubling as the car is fitted with dual airbags and this might encourage consumers to believe that the car has a good level of safety. Indeed, Nissan misleadingly claims that the car occupants are protected by a so-called ‘Safety Shield’ and its ‘Hardbody’ label also conveys an image of strength. However, in our crash test, the car’s bodyshell collapsed and neither the steering column nor the airbags acted as they should to minimise the risk of injury.

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“In our view remedial action to strengthen the NP300’s bodyshell is now urgently needed. This is a concern not just in South Africa but elsewhere as Nissan has plans to increase exports of this vehicle across Africa.

“We believe action should be taken now to prevent the sale of zero star cars like the Nissan NP300 anywhere in Africa.”

Collins Khumalo, CEO of the AA of South Africa said,

“These results are outrageous and show unsafe vehicles are being sold to the people of Africa, which no manufacturer would consider selling in other markets. Aiming to meet or exceed minimum standards is not the same as making vehicles with acceptable safety standards, and manufacturers know this. These standards must change, and we need urgent intervention from policymakers to make this happen.”

A copy of the full Nissan NP300 crash test report can be read here: https://aa-sa.co/NissanNP300Report