Global NCAP, AA South Africa launch Safer Cars for Africa campaign

By Road Safety Hub Reporter

Global New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) and Automobile Association (AA) South Africa revealed the results of crash tests on five popular cars in South Africa during the launch of a Safer Car for Africa campaign in Cape Town.

The test results show how safe a vehicle is for the driver, passenger on the front seat and safety of a baby in a child seat at the back.

This was the first independent crash test assessment of some of South Africa’s most popular cars.

The crashworthiness results of the five cars tested show a wide range of safety performance, from four to zero stars for adult protection, with the lowest ratings resulting in a high probability of life threatening injury in a road crash.

The vehicles tested were the Volkswagen Polo Vivo, Datsun Go+, Toyota Etios, Renault Sandero and Chery QQ3

Combined sales of the five cars account for around 65 percent of all the new cars sold in South Africa last year.


A statement by Global NCAP said the organization chose the entry-level version of each model and as a result one of them was not fitted with airbags as standard. The results highlight differences in the structural integrity of the vehicles tested.

Global NCAP awarded a separate child safety rating to each car to highlight the different levels of protection vehicles provide to passengers on the rear seats.

This is because safety of children during travel is ensured by properly restrained child seats.

The assessment checked how compatible the car is with the child seats recommended by the manufacturer, as well as the protection provided in the crash test.

“In the assessments, some of the child seats recommended by manufacturers were found to be incompatible with their vehicle’s belt system,” the statement read.

In the Polo Vivo, Chery QQ3 and Datsun GO+ there was no three-point seatbelt on the rear centre seats and no way to safely install a child seat or transport a small child safely in that seating position.

Child seat

Only the Toyota Etios and Renault Sandero offer Standard ISOFIX anchorages for the outboard rear positions and three-point seatbelt for all passengers facilitating minimum conditions to safely install a child seat.

Speaking at the launch, Lauchlan McIntosh, the Chairman of Global NCAP, said the organization is delighted in working with AA South Africa, the FIA Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies in the campaign safer cars for Africa.

Mr Collins Khumalo, CEO of the AA of South Africa said consumers have a right to know what the safety ratings are on the cars they want to buy.

“These results are critical to educating the public about vehicle safety, but, more than that, they empower road users to make informed decisions. In the same way emissions and green ratings are displayed on vehicles, we think safety ratings should also be displayed on vehicles, and we don’t believe this should be too much of a challenge to make happen,” he said.

The Secretary General of Global NCAP David Ward, said: “It is good to see a four star result in these first ever African crash test ratings. However, it’s extremely disappointing that there’s a zero star car. Such a poor result shows why it is so important for countries like South Africa to fully apply the UN’s crash test standards.”

Mr Saul Billingsley, Executive Director of the FIA Foundation said the first independent car crash tests in Africa is a safety milestone.

Dr. Kelly Henning, Director of Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Health team, said the crash test results for some of the most popular cars sold in South Africa clearly demonstrate why minimum UN vehicle safety standards should be universally applied.

“Ahead of legislation we would urge all auto makers worldwide to voluntarily commit to eliminate the production of zero star cars,” said Dr. Henning.