The latest New Car Assessment Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean, Latin NCAP, results were published today with disappointing zero star ratings for the Kia Sportage, Hyundai Accent and Great Wall Wingle 5.

The Kia Sportage, manufactured in South Korea, with 2 frontal airbags as standard and no standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC), was rated with zero stars. The SUV achieved 48.15% in Adult Occupant protection, 14.87% in Child Occupant protection, 57.64% in Pedestrian and Vulnerable Road User protection and 6.98%  for Safety Assist.

The Sportage 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 from a higher score. Whiplash protection was good. The bodyshell was rated as stable and footwell area as unstable. Child Occupant Protection performance was poor because Kia declined to select the Child Restraint Systems (CRS) for the tests. Pedestrian Protection was average to adequate overall, with marginal to good protection to upper and lower leg and good to marginal score for the head. The model does not offer Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) for Vulnerable Road Users as an attempt to compensate the pedestrian protection described before in order to avoid or mitigate the impact. Safety Assist showed only Seat Belt Reminder (SBR) points. The car does not offer ESC as standard as well as other relevant technologies. Latin NCAP proposed Kia to volunteer to test a better equipped version to show consumers the benefits of more safety equipment but the manufacturer declined.

The Hyundai New Accent/Verna, manufactured in India and Mexico, with one frontal airbag as standard and no standard ESC was rated with zero stars. The compact sedan achieved 9.23% in Adult Occupant protection, 12.68% in Child Occupant protection, 53.11% in Pedestrian and Vulnerable Road User protection and 6.98% for Safety Assist.

The New Accent/Verna was tested in frontal impact, side impact, whiplash and pedestrian protection. The model showed poor performance in the frontal impact showing a red chest for the adult passenger and leading to zero points in this test and marginal to good side impact protection for adult protection. The side pole impact test scored zero points as it could not be performed due to the lack of standard side head protection airbags. Whiplash protection was marginal. The bodyshell and footwell area were rated as stable. Child Occupant Protection performance was poor because Hyundai declined to select the Child Restraint Systems (CRS) for the tests. Pedestrian protection was over all marginal to weak in the head, good for the upper leg and weak to adequate for the lower leg. This car does not offer AEB for Vulnerable 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. Latin NCAP proposed Hyundai to volunteer to test a better equipped version to show consumers the benefits of more safety equipment but the manufacturer declined.

The Great Wall Wingle 5, manufactured in China, with two frontal airbags as standard and no standard ESC was rated with zero stars. The popular pick up achieved 9.31% in Adult Occupant protection, 0.00% in Child Occupant protection, 19.48% in Pedestrian and Vulnerable Road User protection and 0.00% for Safety Assist.

The Wingle 5 was tested in frontal impact, side impact, whiplash and pedestrian protection. The model showed poor performance in the frontal impact showing red head, neck and chest for the adult driver and red chest for the passenger showing a high risk of life threatening injuries for both adult occupants leading to zero points in this test and adequate to good side impact protection for the adult however the structure showed high intrusion from the impact cart. The side pole impact test scored zero points as it could not be performed due to the lack of standard side head protection airbags. Whiplash protection was poor. The bodyshell and footwell area were rated as unstable. Child Occupant Protection performance was poor and scored zero points because GWM declined to select the CRS for the tests, the car has a lapbelt in the rear centre position. Pedestrian Protection was over all poor to weak in the head, good for the upper leg and weak to adequate for the lower leg, this car does not offer AEB for Vulnerable Road Users as an attempt to compensate the pedestrian protection described before in order to avoid or mitigate the impact. Safety Assist showed zero points as the car does not offer ESC as standard as well as other relevant technologies and SBR are not present in the car. Latin NCAP contacts all manufacturers prior to testing and invites them to observe the process. Since Latin NCAP informed GWM about the Wingle 5 test the manufacturer did not reply or attempt to contact Latin NCAP.

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 for Latin NCAP to receive the parts for the Kia Sportage which was planned to be published much earlier in the year. There are two potential reasons for this delay, one might be a deliberate action from the car manufacturer to delay the results by delaying parts, and a second reason where simply the spare parts system of Kia 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 very disappointing that such an important car manufacturer group as Hyundai-Kia offers low safety performance and basic safety equipment to Latin American consumers. Consumers in mature markets are given state of the art safety in the same models and in many instances at lower prices than in Latin America. From recent tests of Hyundai-Kia models like the Picanto, HB20, Accent/Verna, Tucson, and Sportage, it seems that it does not matter the price range, the group adopts the same attitude towards the safety of Latin American consumers. The life of a Latin American is as valuable and important as the life of any other Hyundai-Kia customer, and we deserve the same basic safety levels without having to pay extra for them. We feel discriminated against by this car maker and we demand urgent action to level up basic standard safety in Latin America to match global best practices. The Wingle 5 is a very popular pick up vehicle used mostly for work purposes and is very popular among fleets. GWM has good safety performing products available in Australia and UK they should provide the baseline standard for Latin America. 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: 

“We are outraged that Kia is selling cars in our region with such poor safety performance in their basic versions. After the evaluation of the Rio Sedan and the Picanto, the disastrous result of the Kia Sportage reveals that the basic safety applied to the models marketed in Latin America is insufficient to adequately protect the population of Latin America. This feature in the safety equipment seems to be a corporate decision shared by Hyundai with the very unfortunate result of the New Accent. Thanks to the Latin NCAP programme, it is possible to trace the general safety performance of a brand’s vehicles. It will be necessary to verify if the poor result of the Wingle 5 of 0 stars is a corporate decision applicable to all their models or if they have decided to discriminate Latin American consumers only with this model. It costs little to brands to improve safety, but it can cost consumers lives or the loss of beloved ones. We demand safer cars for our region, we demand that Hyundai, Kia and GWM to provide the same basic safety that they offer in mature economies countries, without having to pay extra for it”.

Kia Sportage (2 airbags)

The Sportage was tested in frontal impact, side impact, whiplash, pedestrian protection. In the frontal impact the model showed stable structure performance and over all good protection. Side impact test showed good protection. Whiplash test showed also good protection to the neck. The car is missing the standard side curtain airbags as it offers them in other markets. The car offers full dynamic protection to both children however scored zero because Kia declined to recommend Child Restraint Systems (CRS) for the tests. Pedestrian protection was overall average to adequate from the passive safety perspective but Latin NCAP believes this model should offer Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) for pedestrians as an extra measure to prevent the impact or mitigating it. The Safety Assist box shows only Seat Belt Reminder (SBR) points as the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is not standard for this model. ESC, Speed Assistance, rear SBR, and technologies like AEB, Blind Spot Detection which in the correct fitment and with a minimum passive safety points in the Adult box could contribute to better scoring.

Hyundai New Accent/Verna (1 airbag)

The New Accent was tested in frontal impact, side impact, whiplash, pedestrian protection.  In the frontal impact the model showed stable structure performance but poor protection for the chest of the passenger leading to high probability of life threatening injuries in the chest resulting in zero points for the adult frontal test. Side impact test showed average to good protection. Whiplash test showed marginal protection to the neck. The car offers full dynamic protection to both children however the decision of not nominating CRS for the test made the manufacturer to get zero dynamic points. Protection to pedestrians in passive safety is low and it is not compensated with the presence of AEB for Vulnerable Road Users (VRU) with good performance. ESC is not standard in the Accent and this led to low scores in the Safety assist box.

NC

Ka-Chow!