The latest Latin NCAP results were published today with 2 stars for the Peugeot 208 and a disappointing zero stars for the earlier version of the Hyundai Tucson.
The Peugeot 208, manufactured in Argentina, with 2 frontal airbags, 2 side body airbags and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) as standard equipment, achieved two stars under Latin NCAP’s latest protocols. The popular compact model achieved 51.53% in Adult Occupant box, 54.92% in Child Occupant box, 54.13% in Pedestrian Protection and Vulnerable Road Users box and 55.81% in Safety Assist box.
The 208 was tested in frontal impact, side impact, whiplash, pedestrian protection, ESC and ‘Moose’ test. The model showed an acceptable performance in the frontal impact and good side impact for the adult protection thanks to its restraints systems. Whiplash protection was good, the car meets rear impact UNR32 regulation requirements and offers a rescue sheet according to Latin NCAP requirements. The bodyshell and footwell area were rated as unstable. The lack of standard side head protection airbags limited the car scoring. In order to score AEB points, cars need full passive protection and without the curtain airbags the 208 would not be able to score AEB points, technology which is available in the 208 versions.
Child occupant protection performance was below expectations. The low score was due to the lack of passenger airbag disconnection switch and issues with the geometry of the seatbelts and seat. Also during the dynamic test the rear seat backrest unlatched affecting the 3 years old dummy head excursion which could lead to points reduction for the head. The mislatching is investigated and was explained by poor user communication. Some actions were already taken by Peugeot in improving the colour for handle mislatching warning and also in reviewing the backrest system. After Peugeot decided to improve the car to warn consumers properly, in order to prevent rear seat backrest mislatching, a second vehicle with the improvements included was tested. In this new test the rear seat backrest remained in its position during the crash leading to better results for child occupant protection. It is very likely that with side head protection as standard the results would dramatically improve. Latin NCAP offered Peugeot to test better equipped versions of the 208 but the manufacturer declined the offer.
The Hyundai Tucson, manufactured in South Korea, with 2 frontal airbags as standard and no standard ESC achieved zero stars under Latin NCAP latest protocols. The earlier version of the SUV achieved 51.21% in Adult Occupant box, 4.37% in Child Occupant box, 49.85% in Pedestrian Protection and Vulnerable Road Users box and 6.98% in Safety Assist box.
The Tucson was tested in frontal impact, side impact, whiplash and pedestrian protection. The model showed good performance in the frontal impact and side impact for the adult protection, however, the lack of standard side head protection airbags limited the car to get better scoring. Whiplash protection was good. The bodyshell and footwell area were rated as stable. Child occupant protection performance was poor because the Tucson surprisingly has lap belt in the rear centre seating position as standard and also because Hyundai declined to select the Child Restraint Systems (CRS) for the tests. Pedestrian protection was over all average with poor protection to upper leg protection and low score in the head, this car does not offer Autonomous Emergency Braking for Venerable Road Users as an attempt to compensate the pedestrian protection described before in order to avoid or mitigate the impact. Safety assist showed only SBR points. The car does not offer ESC as standard as well as other relevant technologies. Optional safety equipment would certainly offer better protection and Latin NCAP offered Hyundai to test the new version of the Tucson but the manufacturer declined the offer.
The Tucson version tested by Latin NCAP clashed in time with the new version of the model. Latin NCAP purchased the unit tested in February 2021 as Hyundai’s official representatives in 3 relevant countries confirmed that the new Tucson for Latin America was at least 2 years away. Things developed differently and the new Tucson came in to Latin America during 2021. This does not invalidate this result as there are many “old” Tucsons still available as new or as second hand which can be purchased by consumers.
As from 2020 all cars are tested for passive pedestrian safety, which means that the front of the car is repeatedly impacted. After each test all frontal parts are replaced for new ones, implying a large amount of frontal spare parts needed. Unlike all other vehicles tested by Latin NCAP on pedestrian protection it took over 7 months to Latin NCAP to get the parts for the Hyundai Tucson. There might be two potential reasons for this delay, one might be an active action from the car manufacturer to delay the results by delaying parts, and a second reason where simply the spare parts system of Hyundai is inefficient, slow and would keep a consumer waiting months to get an original spare part. Both potential scenarios are not good for consumers.
Alejandro Furas, Secretary General of Latin NCAP said:
“It is surprising that a relevant global platform like the 208 is removing such an important standard safety equipment from its original version like the side head protection airbags. Latin NCAP calls on Peugeot to update the equipment of the model to offer them as standard. This should be done as soon as possible with the updated version made available to put to the test.
Latin NCAP is again disappointed by Hyundai’s attitude to Latin American consumers’ health and safety. It is unbelievable that an SUV like the Tucson does not offer side impact protection and ESC as standard. The long delay in replacement parts delivery is also concerning. We make an urgent call to Hyundai for a dramatic change in basic safety strategy in LAC and level it to its policy in Europe, Australia and US, among others. Latin NCAP believes that consumer information known as labelling can dramatically and quickly improve the safety level of cars as a result of a voluntary action.” < Stephan Brodziak, Latin NCAP Chairman said:
“Once again, thanks to the Latin NCAP Programme, we can know the risks that certain corporations, mostly Latin Americans, expose us to due to the sale of low safety vehicles. We regret the de-specification that Peugeot makes on its 208 model in removing the head airbags for the Latin American markets. Hyundai gives us an unpleasant surprise to see that one of its most popular models in the region, the Hyundai Tucson, which has had significant sales in our countries, gets 0 stars safety. This is one more example of the discrimination in vehicle safety that the inhabitants of the region have to suffer from some car manufacturers that use our region as a sub-standard market to maximize their profits. We demand that both Peugeot and Hyundai urgently implement the necessary safety standards to offer adequate protection to consumers and road users on all their models. Latin America and the Caribbean not only deserve better vehicle safety, they need it now.”
SOURCE: Global NCAP