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Chinese car folds in crash test

2010-11-24 12:33

SOME SURPRISES: In the latest round of Euro NCAP testing, the Jaguar XF executive sedan was largely expected to score the maximum five stars.

In the latest crash results released by Euro NCAP, of the 14 vehicles tested, one received a two-star result and Jaguar’s XF scored a disappointing four stars.

Ten of the cars tested, including the Audi A1, Mini Countryman, Kia Sportage, Opel Meriva and facelifted Volkswagen Passat all scored the maximum five stars. The Mini Countryman’s local launch is imminent, while the Audi A1 comes to South Africa early in 2010.

The Kia Venga was reassessed after tests conducted in February 2010 revealed weaknesses in the car’s frontal impact test. Following structural changes to the front of the car and improved occupant restraint systems, the Venga’s rating has improved from four to five stars.

DISAPPOINTING

The Nissan Micra, Volkswagen Amarok and Jaguar XF scored four stars. Euro NCAP reports the executive car’s rating was limited by its adult and child occupant protection. In the side pole impact test of the XF, chest protection was rated “weak” and the car’s seat and head restraints were found to provide only marginal whiplash protection.

The most interesting results from the latest round of tests are arguably those for Chinese manufacturer Landwind’s CV9 mid-sized MPV. After an unsuccessful European launch in 2005 where the automaker was plagued by safety issues, the MPV has reportedly “been revamped to meet the strictest European safety standards”.

However, according to Euro NCAP standards, the car remains poorly equipped as it lacks a side airbag, head protection and electronic stability control. It was awarded two stars.

Dr Michiel van Ratingen, Euro NCAP’s secretary general, said: “It is clear that vehicles from China, India and other emerging countries will in the next few years become commonplace on European roads.

“Euro NCAP will ensure that consumers know what levels of safety are offered by these vehicles. By highlighting differences in safety performance, we aim to drive the safety of all cars towards and beyond the high levels we see from more well-established manufacturers.”
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