Zero star safety ratings for Hyundai, Kia and GWM while Peugeot rolls back features, says new Latin NCAP testing

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The Hyundai Tucson failed to achieve a single star in the safety.

Four popular vehicle models – the Kia Sportage, Hyundai Accent and 2018 model Tucson, and the Great Wall Wingle 5 - have received zero star ratings while the latest Peugeot 208 received just two stars following devastating crash test results published by Latin America’s New Car Assessment Programme (Latin NCAP). The independent consumer crash test initiative is supported by the FIA Foundation.

The 2018 model Hyundai Tucson failed to receive a single star under Latin NCAP testing. The vehicle, manufactured in South Korea, only has two 2 frontal airbags as standard and no standard ESC. Between the testing of the 2018 model at the start of 2021 and the publication of this testing data a new Tucson model was launched but Hyundai declined Latin NCAP’s offer to safety test the newer model.

The other models which failed to achieve a single star were: The Kia Sportage, manufactured in South Korea, with 2 frontal airbags as standard and no standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC); the Hyundai New Accent, manufactured in India and Mexico, with one frontal airbag as standard and no standard ESC; and the Great Wall Wingle 5, manufactured in China, with two frontal airbags as standard and no standard ESC.

All the zero star model manufacturers declined to select the Child Restraint Systems (CRS) for testing and while Latin NCAP offered all manufacturers the chance to test a better equipped version of the models to show consumers the benefits of more safety equipment all either declined or failed to respond.

The Peugeot 208, manufactured in Argentina, with 2 frontal airbags, 2 side body airbags and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) as standard equipment, but fails to provide side head protection airbags as standard unlike on previous 208 models, a finding Latin NCAP described as ‘surprising’.

Saul Billingsley, Executive Director of the FIA Foundation, added: “These results highlight the continuing and deeply disappointing trends of manufacturers to strip globally recognized models of safety features when entering the Latin American market and even rollback safety features once offered as standard. Latin NCAP continues to highlight the injustice in the global vehicle manufacturing market where Latin American consumers are sold dangerous imitations of the vehicles available in other markets. Governments must hold manufacturers to account by introducing vehicle standard legislation to save lives.”

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”.

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.”