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Global NCAP asks manufacturers to eliminate sub-standard car safety

Global NCAP asks manufacturers to eliminate sub-standard car safety
Tristan Honeywill

Global NCAP is asking car makers to consider a voluntary commitment to improve basic levels of crashworthiness. Global NCAP Secretary General David Ward spoke at the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (ESV) vehicle safety conference in Seoul to government and manufacturer representatives.

Ward said: “In emerging markets, we’re seeing the critical importance of body structure integrity together with better restraint systems. Without these we will not see the reduction in fatalities and injuries that we need. The number of vehicles that fall short of the basic UN crashworthiness standard, Regulation 94 is worrying.”

In 2011, around 60 million new cars were sold. Global NCAP estimates that around 20 million of these did not comply with the most basic crashworthiness standards. “This is astounding in a period of extraordinary globalisation and growth for the auto industry,” said Ward. “I see little difference between a substandard vehicle and the terrible tragedy of the collapsed factory in Bangladesh: both are sub-standard products causing terrible human injury.”

Ward continued: “Manufacturers should consider making a commitment that by 2020 there will be no vehicles built anywhere that don’t meet these standards. A sensible voluntary initiative by the industry would be a good way to recognise the importance of the Decade of Action.”

Global NCAP is assisting the establishment of New Car Assessment Programmes (NCAPs) in emerging economies with financial and technical support. The organisation is also providing a platform for all NCAPs to exchange ideas and best practice, looking at how to accelerate the introduction of new technologies into the marketplace.

In emerging markets, we’re seeing the critical importance of body structure integrity together with better restraint systems

Later this year Global NCAP will publish a Buyer’s Guide for governments, corporate fleets and private buyers. It will recommend that all should always choose five-star cars wherever possible. In regions not supported by NCAPs, the Guide will recommend that buyers check that cars pass the main crashworthiness standards.

• A detailed account of David Ward’s speech will be available soon – sign up to our newsletter to receive complete coverage

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