The New Car Assessment Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean, Latin NCAP, releases its latest results today, with very disappointing zero star performance for the Suzuki Baleno and one star for the Toyota Yaris. Latin NCAP calls for urgent vehicle safety improvements.
The Toyota Yaris, produced in Brazil and Thailand, with double airbags and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) as standard achieved one star under Latin NCAPs latest protocol. The popular B segment model achieved 41.43% in Adult Occupant box, 63.85% in Child Occupant box, 61.63% in Pedestrian Protection and Vulnerable Road Users box and 41.86% in Safety Assist box.
The Yaris for Latin American market does not offer side body and side head protection airbags as standard like the model sold in Malaysia for example. In the frontal impact test (unit tested in 2019) the model showed unstable structure and unstable footwell area performance. Side impact showed a door opening during the test. A door opening in Latin NCAP side impact test, which has same configuration as Regulation UN95, means that the car would have failed the UN95 test. The Yaris seatbelt reminder system (SBR) showed no detection of the front passenger.
The door opening in the side impact requires immediate action by Toyota as it poses a serious risk of ejection in the case of side impacts. The result is valid for the hatchback and sedan versions of the Yaris. This model offers optional equipment that can potentially contribute to better performance and could have become standard in all model range at the time of this publication but a decision of Toyota in Mexico affected negatively the standardization of key equipment to improve the result of the Yaris. Toyota refused to test the optional equipment to show its performance which opens the question of the effectives of those extra safety elements.
The Suzuki Baleno made in India with two airbags as standard achieved zero stars. The popular compact car achieved 20.03% in Adult Occupant box, 17.06% in Child Occupant box, 64.06% in Pedestrian Protection and Vulnerable Road Users box and 6.98% in Safety Assist box.
The zero stars result is explained by the poor side impact protection, low whiplash score due to the lack of UN32 proof for rear impact test, lack of standard side head protection airbags, lack of standard ESC and the decision of Suzuki of not recommending Child Restraint Systems (CRS) for the test. The Baleno was offered in Europe, 6 airbags and ESC as standard, while the model in Latin America is not offered with side body and side head airbags (curtain airbags) and ESC as standard. Suzuki refused to test the optional equipment to show its performance which opens the question of the effectives of those extra safety elements.
Toyota Yaris 2019 result audit test
As part of the regular procedures, Latin NCAP has performed an audit test on the Toyota Yaris published in 2019. Latin NCAP tested the Toyota Yaris in 2019, manufactured in Brazil, it achieved four stars for adult occupant and four stars for child occupant protection. According to the requirements of the assessment protocols, Latin NCAP has the right to audit any sponsored test at any time.
The result of the audit tests showed that in the side impact one of the doors opened and the passenger seat seatbelt reminder (SBR) was not properly detecting the passenger and therefore failing to warn about the seatbelt use. Consequently, the safety rating was recalculated and it resulted in a downgrade to three stars for adult occupant protection. The 2019 result was updated accordingly in Latin NCAP website.
Alejandro Furas, Secretary General of Latin NCAP said:
“Baleno’s zero star is part of an ongoing disappointment, after the Swift’s zero star rating some weeks ago. With specially poor safety performance in adult and child occupant protection on offer from Suzuki as standard to Latin American consumers. Even more surprising and disappointing is Toyota’s first ever one star model, the Yaris. It is concerning that a decision made by Toyota Mexico is the main reason for this result but moreover the responsible of the decision of not offering now, as standard key safety equipment. As a result of the decision, key safety equipment such as side body and side curtain airbags are not available for all Latin Americans”.
“Latin NCAP calls on Toyota and Suzuki to significantly improve the standard safety equipment on these models as soon as possible and for them to be tested to demonstrate the improvements. Basic vehicle safety, which is taken for granted in mature markets, is a right that Latin American consumers should claim without having to pay extra for them”.
Stephan Brodziak, Latin NCAP Chairman said:
“It is unfortunate to have another zero stars car from Suzuki vehicle, in this case the Baleno model, which in some countries is marketed as” Good, Nice, Baleno”, to which we should add “Low safety”. As for the Toyota Yaris is very disappointing that it has obtained only one star, as this car is so popular in our region, with a very high market penetration. In previous tests Toyota had a very good safety performance record, which is inevitably stained when designing with such low safety of one of the most accessible vehicles for consumers that the brand has, due to the risk involved in having a one star vehicle circulating on the streets of our region. We make an energetic call for both Suzuki and Toyota to be committed to the safety of the consumers in Latin America and the Caribbean, we do not want more zero and one stars cars circulating in our countries”.
The Yaris was tested in frontal impact, side impact, whiplash, pedestrian protection and ESC. The one star result is explained by the poor side impact protection, marginal whiplash protection in dynamics, lack of standard side head protection airbags and lack of passenger Seatbelt Reminder (SBR) according to Latin NCAP. Pedestrian protection performance showed a reasonable level.
The Baleno was tested in frontal impact and side impact, whiplash and pedestrian protection. In the Frontal impact the model showed stable structure performance. Side impact test showed high intrusion in the door with poor protection to the chest of the adult door during the test. Whiplash test showed marginal neck protection. The zero stars result is explained by the poor side impact protection, marginal whiplash protection, lack of standard side body and head protection airbags, lack of standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and the decision of Suzuki of not recommending Child Restraint Systems (CRS) for the test. Pedestrian protection performance showed a reasonable level.
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