26 Nov 2019
Chevrolet New Onix Hatchback tops in safety, while Mitsubishi L200 disappoints with zero stars

The New Car Assessment Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean, Latin NCAP, ninth set of results of 2019 was released today with the New Onix Hatchback version scoring five stars for adult and child occupants with Pedestrian Protection and Electronic Stability Control as standard. The Mitsubishi L200 shows an embarrassing zero stars for Adult Occupant Protection.  

The Chevrolet New Onix Hatchback, manufactured in Brazil, achieved five stars for Adult and Child Occupant Protection plus a Latin NCAP Advanced Awards for its Pedestrian Protection, the same result as the New Onix Plus introduced two months ago. The recently launched Chevrolet New Onix Hatchback offers Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and 6 airbags as standard: two frontal, two side body plus two curtain airbags. The New Onix Plus showed good performance in frontal, side and side pole impact for adult and child occupant protection. Chevrolet recommended to install both child dummies facing rearwards, following the latest global best practice. This was confirmed with high protection scores in the dynamic test for child occupants. The New Onix Hatchback offers Seatbelt Reminders (SBR) as standard in front and in the rear seats, which is a very relevant equipment not yet that common in Latin America. Moreover the New Onix hatchback offers Pedestrian Protection as standard, according to United Nations Regulation and this relevant safety characteristic made the model earn a Latin NCAP Advanced Award

As the Chevrolet New Onix Hatchback has a different wheel base than the Onix Plus (sedan version), after confirming that both cars are the same in the front until the B-pillar and in its platform, Latin NCAP assessed the hatchback for the side impact test and considered the results of the frontal and pole impact protection of the Sedan version. After detailed analysis, the rating was extended for the hatchback version as well. The New Chevrolet Onix Hatchback, that aims to substitute in the market the best-selling model in Brazil and in the region, is another milestone in vehicle safety offered in Latin America with a popular model offering such a high level of basic safety equipment.

The Mitsubishi L200 pick up achieved zero stars for Adult Occupant Protection and two stars for Child Occupant Protection. The latest version of the best-selling pick-up in Chile is available in the market without airbags, Seatbelt Reminders and ESC. The model scored zero stars for adult occupant protection due to the high probability of life threatening injuries at a crash at only 64km/h. The L200 showed an unstable structure and footwell rupture. Following the recommendation of the car manufacturer, the CRS were installed using seatbelts instead of recommending ISOFIX CRS to be used with the ISOFIX anchorages available in the car as standard. The CRS offered low protection for the 3 years old dummy. Still in 2019, the L200 offers a version with lap belts in the rear centre seating position still in 2019. Considering Mitsubishi’s models tested by Latin NCAP it is clear that Child Occupant Protection does not appear to be a priority for this manufacturer. 

Mitsubishi committed to increase the basic standard equipment of the L200 throughout Latin America in production as from February 2020, reaching the market no earlier than April 2020, with driver and passenger frontal airbags and driver and passenger seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters. Latin NCAP considers that this equipment is not enough as it will still lack ESC, side head protection and pedestrian protection which are needed to score more than two stars in 2020 Latin NCAP’s protocols. The effectiveness of the updated equipment must be proven to Latin NCAP and consumers by having the L200 tested and assessed by Latin NCAP as soon as they become available. 

The Mitsubishi L200 is very popular among fleet managers, particularly for mining companies in the region, and it is Chile’s best-selling pickup. With this alarmingly poor result, Latin NCAP calls on fleet managers to take immediate action and to adopt a five star fleet policy ahead of the UN Ministerial road safety meeting in Sweden next February 2020. 

Latin NCAP believes it is totally unacceptable for Mitsubishi and some Mitsubishi importers in Latin America to be offering the L200 with zero star safety levels and misleading customers by saying “airbags are not needed as the structure is robust” (statement from a salesman to a Latin NCAP at the time of buying the car as a mystery shopper). The ethics of Mitsubishi and its importers in Latin America should be seriously questioned for putting people’s lives at risk and misinforming consumers in such a sensitive topic as safety. It is of deep concern that  Mitsubishi apparently discriminates against Latin American consumers as they do in terms of basic safety equipment. 

Latin NCAP recommends consumers from the region to only buy cars offering ESC.

Alejandro Furas, Secretary General of Latin NCAP said:

“Excellent score for the New Onix Hatchback.  All car manufacturers should learn from Chevrolet and follow their example of offering popular models with 5 star safety. At the same time the L200 result is appalling, especially for a Japanese car manufacturer brand leader like Mitsubishi. It is a great disappointment for Latin NCAP and Latin American consumers and calls into question the car makers ethics when it comes to Latin American consumers. The L200 in markets like Europe offers 7 airbags and ESC as standard among other safety features.

Ricardo Morales Rubio, Latin NCAP Chairman said: 

The Mitsubishi L200 result shows that independent and clear consumer information is absolutely needed in the region. Informing consumers will shift the market for safer cars voluntarily, without unnecessary political friction and faster than expected. We call Latin America’s and the Caribbean Governments to incentivise and support independent consumer information on vehicle safety following UN’s recommendations about NCAPs . Latin NCAP has proved that the changes are possible by testing just a few models sold in the region. Making mandatory star rating labelling requirements is a must in order to prevent manufactures to continue selling substandard and life threatening models such as the Mitsubishi L200”. 

Chevrolet New Onix Hatchback (6 airbags)
Read the full crash test report
Watch the crash test video
Watch ESC test video
Watch Latin NCAP Advanced Award video
Download crash test image

Mitsubishi L200 (no airbags)
Read the full crash test report
Watch the crash test video
Download crash test image

About Latin NCAP

The Latin New Car Assessment Programme (Latin NCAP) was launched in 2010 to develop a regional system of independent crashworthiness and safety rating across Latin America and Caribbean (LAC). Latin NCAP replicates similar consumer testing programmes developed over the last thirty years in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, and which have proved to be very effective in improving the safety of motor vehicles. Since 2010 Latin NCAP has published the results of more than 120 models, all results available at www.latinncap.com/results.

Latin NCAP acknowledges the support received by the Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP), International Consumer Research and Testing (ICRT), FIA Foundation, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Initiative.

Latin NCAP is an Associate member of Global NCAP and supports the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 and the Stop the Crash Partnership.

More info: www.latinncap.com