It’s very disappointing to see how safety standards in the automotive industry vary greatly depending on market and region. North America, Europe, and Asia have strict laws defining the level of protection that a new vehicle must provide, but the situation in markets such as Latin America and Africa is different. The most recent results from the Latin NCAP test program show that a model currently sold in the region provides only minimal protection in the event of a crash.
The Honda WR-V, a Brazilian-made subcompact crossover, was recently evaluated by the New Car Assessment Program for Latin America and the Caribbean. The small five-seat vehicle is equipped with two frontal airbags and an electronic stability system as standard, but this is far from enough to earn it more than one star in the crash test. And this dismal rating is due not only to the vehicle’s standard equipment, but also to its poor crash protection.
The WR-V was tested for frontal impact, side impact, whiplash, and pedestrian protection by the Latin NCAP. Its best result in pedestrian protection was only 58.82 percent, while adult occupant protection and vulnerable road users protection were both in the 40-percent range. Not only that, but the Latin NCAP notes that the crossover’s seatbelts do not meet the organization’s standards, and the lack of side curtain airbags means that protection in a side impact crash is minimal.
The Volkswagen Nivus was also tested by Latin NCAP, and the German crossover received the highest five-star rating from the safety organization. The standard safety equipment of the Brazil-made Nivus includes six airbags and ESC, while at least 50 percent of the customers also opt for the autonomous emergency braking system. The Latin NCAP says all tested safety systems performed well during the test.
“Consumers should be pleased to see more popular models receiving 5 stars,” says Alejandor Furas, secretary general of Latin NCAP. “It surprises Latin NCAP to find such disparities between the Nivus and WR-V, which compete in the same segment, as the Honda only received one star due to a lack of safety equipment.” Latin NCAP strongly encourages Honda to improve the WR-V and return five-star models to the region as soon as possible, as it did in 2015.”
Source: Latin NCAP