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Funding boost welcomed

The NZ Automobile Association is welcoming the Australian government’s decision to continue funding the work of independent vehicle safety consumer organisation ANCAP for another five years.
Stella Stocks

Stella Stocks, the AA’s general manager of motoring services

Stella Stocks, general manager of motoring services at the AA, which sits on ANCAP’s board, has welcomed the funding announcement. She says the money from Australia’s federal government is a welcome boost to the funds ANCAP receives from state-government agencies across the Tasman, the New Zealand government and motoring clubs in both countries. “The extra funding is a big boost for vehicle safety,” says Stocks.

The Government’s $6.64 million commitment to fund ANCAP for another five years will assist ANCAP to continue the role it plays in testing and assessing new cars, providing information for consumers about vehicle safety and general advocacy about safety on roads.

ANCAP Chief Executive James Goodwin noted the important role safer vehicles play in reducing road trauma. “Continued emphasis to elevate the safety of new vehicles – as well as to reduce the overall age of the nation’s registered vehicle fleet – are critical to reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by serious crashes,” says Goodwin.

The Australian Government joined as a member of ANCAP in 2010 and is one of 23 member organisations including the Australian and New Zealand automobile clubs, all State and Territory Governments and the New Zealand Government.

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ANCAP’s funding boost

The Hon. Michael McCormack MP

The Australian Federal Government will support ANCAP for five more years, announcing a $6.64 million funding plan for the independent crash-test authority.

“The work of the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) is vital to improving the safety of vehicles on Australian roads and it is crucial we provide assistance at a Federal level to help it continue,” Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said.

The Government’s $6.64 million commitment to fund ANCAP for another five years will assist ANCAP to continue the role it plays in testing and assessing new cars, providing information for consumers about vehicle safety and general advocacy about safety on Australia’s roads.

“We are investing in making roads safer around Australia – especially in the regions – which helps drivers, but this is just one piece of the puzzle,” Mr McCormack said.

“That’s why the Government is working as best it can with State and Territory Governments, road safety advocates and organisations, such as ANCAP, to head towards zero road fatalities in Australia.”

Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities Paul Fletcher said vehicle safety standards are an important part of moving towards fewer road deaths in Australia.

“Whether it’s vehicle safety standards, upgraded and new roads or general awareness about road safety, we are determined to do our bit to ensure those who travel on the roads can get to their destination sooner and safer,” Mr Fletcher said.

“While safety standards have improved over the past 20 years, our support for ANCAP will keep ensuring Australians get the right information about their vehicle’s safety before purchase and independent testing of vehicles will continue to provide consumers with that information.”

ANCAP Chief Executive James Goodwin noted the important role safer vehicles play in reducing road trauma.

“Continued emphasis to elevate the safety of new vehicles – as well as to reduce the overall age of the nation’s registered vehicle fleet – are critical to reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by serious crashes,” Mr Goodwin said.

“All Australian road users will see the benefits of this contribution, with the new funding commitment announced today enabling ANCAP to further broaden its range of tests, and expand its advocacy and community education activities,” Mr Goodwin added.

This renewed commitment sees Federal support of the ANCAP program continue until at least 2023.

The Australian Government joined as a member of ANCAP in 2010 and is one of 23 member organisations including the Australian and New Zealand automobile clubs, all State and Territory Governments and the New Zealand Government.

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Older car fatality rate four times higher

After many years of seeing the number of lives lost on our roads decreasing, sadly this trend has reversed. The number of Australians and New Zealanders dying on our roads is increasing. In 2017, 1225 lives were lost on Australia’s roads and 380 in New Zealand.

ANCAP (Australasian New Car Assessment Program) has explored possible reasons for the reversal, with recent analysis of the Australian registered light vehicle fleet revealing older vehicles are over-represented in fatal vehicle crashes, and the average age of a vehicle involved in a fatal crash is increasing.

In 2017 the average age of a registered vehicle in Australia was 9.8 years, yet the average age of a vehicle involved in a fatality crash was 13.1 years – up from 12.5 years in 2015.

ANCAP’s research shows that the oldest vehicles (those built 2001 or earlier) accounted for 20 per cent of the fleet, but were involved in 36 per cent of fatalities. In contrast, the newest vehicles (those built 2012-2017) accounted for 31 per cent of the fleet, but were involved in just 12 per cent of fatalities.

The rate of fatal crashes per registered vehicle for the oldest vehicles is four times higher than that of the newest vehicles.

With older vehicles over-represented in fatal crashes, fleet renewal; address vehicle affordability; and incentivise the purchase of newer, safer vehicles must be encouraged. 

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Top safety ratings for four vehicles

ANCAP Safety

Four new European vehicles are hitting the New Zealand market with 5 star safety ratings from the Australasia New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP).

The Mercedes-Benz X-Class ute, Jaguar E-PACE and BMW X2 SUVs, and the Volkswagen Polo car, all performed well across various crash scenarios and tests, providing high standards of safety for drivers and passengers.

AA Motoring Services General Manager Stella Stocks says it’s great to see safety being prioritised across vehicle types.

“We’re pleased Kiwi drivers are being offered a wide range of safety technologies as standard features, no matter the vehicle type they’re looking to buy,” she says.

“Safety technologies help to prevent crashes on our roads and are a key step towards improving New Zealand’s driving environment.”

The Mercedes-Benz X-Class has autonomous emergency braking (AEB), a standard for the X-Class series. AEB can go a long a way in preventing a crash by automatically engaging the brakes of a vehicle when it senses a hazard within critical range. When tested, the Mercedes-Benz X-Class’s AEB system performed well, detecting and either avoiding or mitigating crashes with other vehicles at low and high speeds.

“This is a game-changer for the ute market and puts pressure on competing brands,” said ANCAP Chief Executive, Mr James Goodwin.

The Jaguar E-PACE features a “pop-up” bonnet and external airbag to provide better support to struck pedestrians. The BMW X2 also has a “pop-up” bonnet, as well as an automatic emergency call function and a fatigue detection system. 

The Volkswagen Polo gained a particularly high 96% score for the safety it provides adult drivers and passengers. This was the result of it receiving multiple perfect safety test scores, such as for its AEB system and side impact safety.

The full list of ANCAP’s vehicle safety ratings, other vehicle safety information and the specifications of the rated vehicles are available online at ancap.co.nz or rightcar.govt.nz.

 

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First safety rating for the year

Independent vehicle safety authority, ANCAP, today released its first safety rating for the year, awarding 5 stars to the Holden Commodore.

The first imported Commodore model arrives onto the Australasian market with high safety scores.

“The vehicle scored well, achieving solid results across all areas of assessment,” said ANCAP Chief Executive, James Goodwin. “Australian families and fleet buyers have long regarded the Commodore as a trusted local choice and the shift to overseas supply has further enhanced the model’s safety credentials,” he said.

“This next generation Commodore includes safety assist technologies not seen in its locally-produced predecessor, with standard-fit features such as autonomous emergency braking and active lane-keep assist.”

“This year we see a fresh approach to vehicle safety assessment and the presentation of results,” Mr Goodwin said.

The ZB Holden Commodore achieved the following scores across the four key areas of assessment:

93% – Adult Occupant Protection

85% – Child Occupant Protection

78% – Pedestrian Protection

77% – Safety Assist

The Commodore shares its structure with that of the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia supplied to Europe, with locally supplied variants offering comparable safety performance.

A 5 star ANCAP safety rating applies to all Commodore liftback, sportwagon and tourer variants available across Australia and New Zealand.

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Five stars for new Kia

The new Kia Niro has achieved a 5 star Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) rating, which is great for New Zealand as the small SUV is launching in the Kiwi market in the new year.

Kia Niro frontal offset test at 64km/h.

The Niro comes equipped a range of safety assist technologies as standard including all three grades of autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane keep assist, electronic stability control (ESC) and fatigue detection. 

However, results of the full width frontal crash test revealed that the rear passenger was poorly protected in the chest and pelvis. Crash readings indicated that the pelvis had slipped under the seatbelt and was not properly restrained. This resulted in a penalty to the crash test score.

“While overall the Kia Niro is a safe car, it’s worth looking into the details and seeing if it’s the best fit for your lifestyle and how you would use the car,” says AA Motoring Services General Manager Stella Stocks.

“Consumers now have a wide range of options, particularly in the SUV market, so they’re in a position where they can pick a safe car that works for their lifestyle and their budget.”

The 5 star rating applies to 1.6 litre hybrid and PHEV variants of the New Zealand sold Kia Niro.

The full list of ANCAP’s vehicle safety ratings, other vehicle safety information and the specifications of the rated vehicles are available online at ancap.co.nz or rightcar.govt.nz.

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Safety rating comes with warning

ANCAP safety ratings for three new market entrants demonstrate the role in ANCAP’s independent safety testing.The Hyundai Kona and Holden Equinox both achieved the maximum 5 star safety rating. The MG ZS scored 4 stars.

Frontal offset of the Holden Equinox.

“SUVs are now the top-selling vehicle segment in Australia and New Zealand and these ratings speak clearly that some are safer than others,” said ANCAP Chief Executive, Mr James Goodwin.

“We were impressed earlier this year with the safety performance of MG’s larger GS model – the very first Chinese vehicle to achieve the top safety rating – however its smaller stablemate, the ZS, does not perform as well. Its rating is held back to 4 stars due to sub-par performance in our head-on crash test.”

The MG ZS scored 10.46 points out of 16.00 points in the frontal offset crash test. Insufficient inflation of the passenger airbag caused ‘bottoming-out’ of the dummy head through the airbag and onto the dash, and a penalty was applied.

Protection for the driver’s knee area was also insufficient. The ZS does not offer any form of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) or lane support functions.

Frontal offset of the MGZS.

In contrast one of its segment competitors, the Hyundai Kona, saw higher levels of protection offered to vehicle occupants.

“The Kona offers good all-round safety,” Mr Goodwin said.

Hyundai Kona

“Its crash test performance was well within 5 star range, and AEB is offered for all variants though it must be optioned on the base variant in Australia. AEB is, however, a standard inclusion on all New Zealand variants.”

“The Equinox is also a good structural performer in all physical crash tests, but consumers will need to opt for higher-specced variants to receive the added safety benefits of AEB and lane keep assist,” he said.

A 5 star ANCAP safety rating applies to all Hyundai Kona and Holden Equinox variants. A 4 star rating applies to all MG ZS variants.

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Kiwi X3 offers extra safety features

BMW X3

The newly released BMW X3 has hit the New Zealand market with a 5 star safety rating from the Australasia New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP), with a special focus on the safety of Kiwi drivers.

“The new BMW X3 offers high levels of safety for all members of the family,” said ANCAP Chief Executive, Mr James Goodwin.

Furthermore, the New Zealand version of the new SUV comes equipped with more standard safety features than both European and Australian variants.

Lane departure warning and intelligent speed assistance systems are offered as standard inclusions on Australian and New Zealand models, but New Zealand models go one step further by also offering lane keep assist, automatic high beam and adaptive cruise control as standard.

AA Motoring Services General Manager Stella Stocks says it’s fantastic to see the safety of New Zealand drivers being prioritised.

“We’re pleased BMW is offering Kiwi drivers a wide range of safety technologies as standard features, which all work to prevent crashes on our roads,” Stocks says.

“Having a wide range of vehicles with a good mix of safety technologies available in New Zealand is a key step towards improving our driving environment here.”

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Top safety rating awarded to Volvo XC60

Volvo’s mid-size XC60 SUV has been awarded the maximum five star safety rating by independent vehicle safety authority, ANCAP, attaining class-leading scores in two key areas.

“The XC60 passed the assessment achieving not only 5 stars, but taking out the highest scores to date in the areas of Adult Occupant Protection and Safety Assist,” said ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, Mr James Goodwin.

“This model is fitted as standard with an autonomous emergency braking system which operates at high and low speeds and can detect pedestrians. Performance testing of this system earned the vehicle full points. It also has an intelligent speed assistance system which uses a camera to recognise and inform the driver of the local speed limit,” Mr Goodwin said.

“High levels of protection were recorded for occupants in all four crash tests, with only the chest of the rear passenger in the full width test and the lower legs of the driver in the frontal offset test seeing points deducted. “

The XC60 scored 98% for Adult Occupant Protection and 95% for Safety Assist.

The five star ANCAP safety rating applies to all D4, D5, T5 and T6 variants.

Volvo XC60 frontal offset test at 64km/h

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ANCAP releases its own safety app

ANCAP will officially launch a new app tomorrow that will provide users with an up to date, in hand tool that can be easily used to compare vehicles safety information.

While the official launch is tomorrow, the app is free and available to download now on iOS and Android.

A screenshot of the app comparing three different models.

The app has been developed to provide a new mechanism for consumers to access ANCAP safety rating information in the lead-up to a vehicle purchase, as well as provide additional safety-related content and features to see the safer vehicles conversation continue post-purchase.

Users will be able to select from a wide range of the most commonly available models, and compare up to three different cars at once.

The app has been developed in collaboration with the NZTA, AA New Zealand and a number of Australian road safety and automotive agencies.

“The road toll is increasing so we must work harder and do more to see this reversed. The ‘ANCAP Safety’ app will assist consumers make safer vehicle choices in an effort to reduce road trauma,” the agency said in a statement today.

ANCAP is Australasia’s leading independent vehicle safety advocate and provides consumers with advice and information on the vehicle safety.

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2017 car safety guide released

AA has published their User Car Safety Ratings guide, updated for 2017.

Released today, the guide is the result of in-depth analysis by the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) of real-world crash data collected in both New Zealand and Australia.

The guide is updated annually and now provides safety ratings on 279 used vehicles built between 1986 and 2015. This year, it lists 106 of them as good or excellent, and a further 113 are categorised as poor or very poor. 60 are considered marginal.

Ahead of the general election on 23 September, the AA is calling for vehicle safety information to be provided at the point of sale, similar to fuel economy information already available.

The Ford Mondeo is one of the AA’s picks for superior safety features.

AA Motoring Services general manager Stella Stocks says New Zealand has a huge second-hand car market, and that the average age of used imports is increasing.

“This means the gap between the safety performance of used and new cars is widening.”

Stocks says that for many motorists the safety difference between cars is not immediately apparent, and there are important distinctions that consumer should have easy access to.

“Motorists, especially people buying cars for the first time, can easily be overwhelmed by what is available and can find it difficult to work out which factors they should consider most.”

Many of the poorest performing vehicles are often driven by novice drivers who are more likely to be involved in a crash.

Ministry of Transport data shows younger drivers are seven times more likely to crash than those with more experience behind the wheel.

Ms Stocks says while younger drivers will often have more modest budgets, they need the best protection.

“The guide shows which cars are the safest across all categories, which is why we want the information available at the point of sale. It enables buyers to consider safety performance of one vehicle against another before they get behind the wheel.

“Buyers can’t make the right choice without the right information.”

New car crash test results are provided by the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP).

The work conducted by MUARC show that a driver of the worst-rated vehicle is more than 10 times as likely to be killed or seriously injured in the same crash as a driver in the best-rated vehicle.

Used Car Safety Ratings can be found on the AA’s website.

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