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Cheaper imported utes score poorly in safety tests

29 SEPTEMBER, 2009

Australia’s leading independent vehicle safety advocate, the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), has issued crash test results for three imported utes on the Australian market and found all scored poorly.

The highly anticipated Great Wall Motors SA220 and V240 utes from China received only two stars out of five, while the Malaysian Proton Jumbuck ute only rated a single star.

RACV’s Chief Engineer, Vehicles, and ANCAP Program Manager Michael Case, said the results were disappointing given commercial vehicles are now more commonly rating four and even five stars and many passenger vehicles are five-star rated.

Mr Case said he was concerned about the widening gap between Australian Design Rules (ADRs) and ANCAP’s safety testing.

"Crash statistics show that occupants of one or two stars vehicles have twice the risk of receiving life-threatening injuries in a crash, compared with four or five-star vehicles, at a time when four and five-star ratings are becoming increasingly available for new car buyers," Mr Case said.

“New vehicles that achieve only a one or two star ANCAP rating, while meeting the ADRs, are a cause for concern.”

ANCAP Council Chair and VicRoads Manager Vehicle Safety, Ross McArthur, said the results for the Great Wall vehicles were particularly disappointing as they are new models to the market.

“The SA220 and the Jumbuck lack airbags and other safety features that are expected as standard equipment by new car buyers,” Mr McArthur said.

“The V240 has dual airbags but these failed to protect the driver and passenger from injury in our crash tests.”

TAC Road Safety Manager Samantha Cockfield said all three utilities performed poorly in the ANCAP offset crash test.

“All experienced loss of cabin structural integrity, with poor head and leg protection at impact,” Ms Cockfield said.

“There were high injury measurements for driver and passenger in all three vehicles.”

For a full list of ANCAP’s vehicle safety ratings, including light commercial vehicles and utilities, and other vehicle safety information, go to

ANCAP is supported by all Australian and New Zealand motoring clubs, all Australian state governments, the New Zealand government, the Victorian Transport Accident Commission, NRMA Insurance and the FIA Foundation.

Media Contacts:

RACV:             Jo Robertson, Communications Adviser – 0407 910 278

VicRoads:        Bree Taylor, Media Adviser – 9854 2499

TAC:                Emily Bogue, Media and Communications Adviser - 0429 416 778

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