24 Jul 2013
Global NCAP chairman Max Mosley asks car industry chiefs to give Latin America safer vehicles

Global NCAP chairman Max Mosley has urged the CEOs at Renault-Nissan, General Motors and Suzuki to apply the UN’s minimum crash safety standards to their global passenger car production. New crash test results have indicated that popular cars sold by the vehicle manufacturers in Latin America pose an unacceptably high risk of death or injury in the event of a crash.

Mosley has written letters to Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, General Motors CEO Daniel F Akerson, and Suzuki CEO Osamu Suzuki. The letters draw their attention to the unstable structures of some vehicles sold by their companies in Latin America. Some models by the companies have scored zero stars and zero points in independent crash safety tests.

“Global NCAP is concerned weak sales and deteriorating profits in traditional markets is encouraging car companies to take unnecessary risks on safety in emerging markets,” said Mosley. “Unregulated emerging markets make it too easy for car companies to produce products that shortchange customers on safety. If CEOs know their products do not meet global safety standards, they should take responsibility and act now. The lives of customers in Latin America are no less valuable than those in Europe, Japan and North America.”

The results crash test by Latin NCAP, published today, revealed that the Nissan Tsuru, Renault Clio Mio, Suzuki Alto K10 and Chevrolet Agile all provide inadequate protection for occupants. Sold with no airbags and body structures that collapse onto the people inside, the crash tests of these popular entry-level models make disturbing viewing.

Car production exceeds 60 million units annually due to strong growth in emerging markets where road injury has become a major public health concern. A key recommendation of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 is for manufacturers to apply global crash test standards more widely. Global NCAP estimates that as many as 20 million vehicles a year fail to meet the UN standards and has asked car industry leaders to consider a voluntary commitment on safety.

The organization is asking car companies to ensure that by 2015 all vehicles meet international standards for seatbelts (R16 and R14) and for front and side impacts (R94 and R95). By 2020, it would like Electronic Stability Control and pedestrian protection measures made standard.