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13 February 2013

Who’s the Safest of them all? ASEAN NCAP unveils Phase 1 crash tests results

Words by Jose Carlo R. Sapera
ncap results
Early last year, we hailed about the formation of the ASEAN NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) - a governing body that will verify the safety of vehicles built and sold in the Asia-Pacific region. You see, some cars in this part of the world may not be identical to its global counterparts in terms of specs and safety features. So to address this, the Australian NCAP (under the Global NCAP) and automobile associations of Singapore, Malaysia, and Philippines have worked together to put these vehicles in question to the test.

The first phase of evaluation was held between November 15, 2012 and January 29, 2013 at the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) PC3 crash laboratory in Melaka, Malaysia. Eight cars participated namely: the Ford Fiesta sedan, Honda City, Toyota Vios, Hyundai i10, Nissan March, Proton Saga, Proton Saga FLX+, and Perodua Myvi. (Of the bunch, only the first four are sold here in the Philippines.) And after months of steel-crumpling and glass-shattering tests, here are the results.
To gather data, all cars are subjected to an offset frontal collision test at a speed of 64 km/h. Scoring of front adult protection is based on the injury levels on the head, neck, chest, knee, foot, and ankle. Child protection is also stringently screened, where ratings are based on the Child Restraint System (CRS).
Adult Occupant Protection
The Ford Fiesta sedan and Honda City both obtained the highest score in the group - bagging 5 stars in adult occupant protection. But do care to note that in order to be qualified for a 5-star rating, a vehicle must have at least dual airbags, electronic stability control, and seat belt reminder.
The Toyota Vios and Nissan March, on the other hand, received 4 stars while the Hyundai i10 garnered only 2 stars out of 5.
Child Occupant Protection
In terms of child safety, the Honda City provides most protection, earning 81% in the total score. The Ford Fiesta sedan obtained 66%, while the Hyundai i10, Nissan March, and Toyota Vios were all tied at 48%.
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According to MIROS, less damaged cars don’t always mean that they’re the safest. What’s more important is the impact sustained by the passengers. Also do care to note that the ASEAN NCAP is not particular on the model’s variants or grade and crash test results apply to the whole region.
Interestingly, the group shells out money from their own pockets to buy test cars direct from dealers without the manufacturers knowing it. They’re only notified a month before the actual event, probably to prevent some conflicts and issues. The data collected doesn’t intend to scare buyers, but to increase safety awareness. It should be treated as a tool to help manufacturers improve their vehicles and guide consumers when buying a new car.
The next stage of the testing will be held this coming April, with 12 new vehicles on the list. There’s no word yet if it will involve popular family haulers or best selling compact sedans. Let’s just wait and see.
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