BMW April 2022

Global NCAP and the Automobile Association of South Africa has launched a new round of #SaferCarsForAfrica crash test results, with the welcome support from the FIA Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

The Mazda 2 with driver and passenger airbags achieved four stars for adult occupant protection and three stars for children. The Nissan Almera with driver and passenger airbags scored three stars for adult occupants and three stars for children. 

Both models showed seat failures during testing, the Nissan with a seat detachment and the Mazda with a backrest failure. Although these did not have significant effects on our assessment ratings, which are based on injury criteria, the failures are of serious concern and Global NCAP has raised them with each manufacturer as a matter of urgency.    

Both models were equipped with ISOFIX anchorages and combined with effective Child Restraint Systems (CRS) showed good protection in the dynamic test. Neither vehicle offers the possibility of disconnecting the passenger airbag when a rearward facing CRS is installed in the passenger seat. 

Global NCAP’s #SaferCarsForAfrica project currently tests frontal crash protection for occupants only. Side impact and pedestrian protection assessments will form part of the further evolution of Global NCAP’s crash test protocols in Africa.  

Alejandro Furas, Secretary General said: “Although the latest #SaferCarsForAfrica tests showed average results, we are concerned that both cars had failures in their driver seats – more severe in the Nissan than in the Mazda product. 

“Global NCAP calls on both car makers to review these failures as a matter of urgency. We would also call on them to improve the basic safety offered in these models as standard, adding Electronic Stability Control (ESC), pedestrian protection and side body and head airbags as soon as possible.”  

Willem Groenewald, AA South Africa CEO said, “#SaferCarsforAfrica is an important programme for the AA as we continue to push for better safety standards on vehicles for local consumers. The results of the fifth round of testing are encouraging, especially the 4-star rating achieved by the Mazda 2. 

“However, the results show there are still some safety deficiencies on vehicles available in South Africa and this should, again, serve as a marker to manufacturers and safety authorities of the need for improved basic safety features which should be offered as standard on all models that are available locally.”

David Ward, Executive President of the Towards Zero Foundation said, “It is troubling to see seat failures of the kind revealed in our latest #SaferCarsforAfrica tests. We would urge Mazda and Nissan to address these issues as a priority and more generally to significantly improve the safety features equipped on their models as standard. Consumers in Africa deserve the same levels of vehicle safety performance which are taken for granted in other parts of the world.”