Skip advert
Advertisement

“Safety is the one issue we can’t compromise on”

Editor Graham Hope looks at the scary safety ratings of cars being sold into developing markets

Opinion - Chery crash test

As the eyes of Britain’s motorists were focused on Chancellor Philip Hammond’s latest assault on diesel drivers last Wednesday, it was easy to miss another story of arguably more far-reaching significance.

Down in South Africa, the results of the first-ever crash test programme conducted by Global NCAP in conjunction with AA South Africa were published.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Top ten cars for safety features

Here in Europe, we’ve become accustomed to the work of Euro NCAP, whose testing regime has undoubtedly produced safer cars for us all to enjoy over the decades. Mercifully, other parts of the world are finally catching up.

But those first results from Cape Town didn’t make for pretty reading. Among the five cars assessed, which accounted for 65 per cent of new car sales in South Africa last year, were the Datsun GO+, awarded one star for adult occupant protection, and the Chery QQ3, shamefully given no stars, with the vehicle structure rated “unstable”. 

To succeed in developing markets, makers have to build vehicles to a budget. That’s a given. But what I can’t accept is that this has to compromise the safety of owners. Yet we’ve seen results like this before in South America, and now the problem is apparent in Africa. Surely that’s unacceptable in 2017?

The car industry is becoming more globalised – at the Frankfurt Motor Show I chatted to the R&D boss of the QQ3’s maker Chery, who talked about his brand’s desire to extend its influence in all regions. But every maker operating globally has a minimum responsibility to every customer everywhere: to keep them safe. A life is a life, after all, whether buyers are in Beverly Hills, Birmingham or Bangladesh.

Here in Britain, we’re lucky (although diesel drivers may not feel that way at the moment) because our cars are inherently safe. It’s time every driver across the world was able to say the same.

Have you had any experience with inferior quality cars while abroad? Let us know in the comments below.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

‘Dacia Zen’ seven-year warranty brings added peace of mind
Dacia Duster - tailgate
News

‘Dacia Zen’ seven-year warranty brings added peace of mind

The value brand’s new warranty is also available on used cars, as well as for existing Dacia customers
16 Apr 2024
Car Deal of the Day: Mercedes EQC offers luxury EV motoring for £327 a month
Mercedes EQC - front cornering
News

Car Deal of the Day: Mercedes EQC offers luxury EV motoring for £327 a month

Mercedes’s EQC showed that the German firm was serious about electric cars and it’s our Car Deal of the Day for Monday 15 April
15 Apr 2024
New 2024 Audi A3 takes the fight to BMW and Mercedes with £32k price tag
Audi A3 Saloon - front action
News

New 2024 Audi A3 takes the fight to BMW and Mercedes with £32k price tag

The updated Audi A3 is available now, with the hot S3 version due from May
16 Apr 2024