Millions of new cars sold in middle and low income countries fail to meet the UN’s basic safety standards for front and side impacts according to international automotive safety watchdog Global NCAP.
Speaking last month at the UN in Geneva during the launch of its new policy report, Democratising Car Safety: Road Map for Safer Cars 2020, Global NCAP Chairman Max Mosley said:
“Safety improvements stimulated by legislation and consumer awareness campaigns in high income economies that have saved hundreds of thousands of lives are not yet systematically available for drivers and their families in rapidly growing lower income markets.
“For example, crash test standards introduced twenty years ago for cars sold in Europe, are yet to be met by many new cars, and even brand new models, being sold today in leading middle income countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. This is entirely unacceptable. Manufacturers cannot continue to treat millions of their customers as second class citizens when it comes to life saving standards of occupant protection.”
David Ward, Global NCAP Secretary General and author of the new report, said:
“The drive for the democratisation of car safety must now be extended across all automotive markets worldwide. By 2020 at the latest we want all new cars to meet basic standards for both crash protection and crash avoidance. They must have crumple zones, air bags, and electronic stability control. Our new report sets out ten clear recommendations to transform global car safety as well as a realistic and affordable timetable for their implementation.
“Taken together these life saving recommendations have the potential to prevent tens of thousands of avoidable deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries every year.”
- Global NCAP has scored a victory in India: Nissan has agreed to improve the safety of a brand new model Global NCAP argued should never have been allowed to go on sale. The company has agreed to strengthen the body shell and fit airbags to its Datsun Go model, which has been on sale in India and South Africa since last year.