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ANCAP: Foton Tunland awarded three stars

Not so smashing: Foton’s Tunland ute punches the wall in ANCAP offset crash testing.

Chinese-made Foton Tunland ute comes up short in ANCAP crash safety testing

Foton logo28 Feb 2013

THE Chinese-made Foton Tunland ute has been awarded just three stars in Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) crash safety testing, continuing the lamentable safety performance of vehicles imported from the world’s biggest motor industry.

The ute, which was crashed at Sydney’s Crashlab in January on behalf of the independent safety organisation, also copped a blast for not having electronic stability control (ESC).

ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh said ESC was a life-saver, particularly in vehicles with a higher centre of gravity.

“There really is no excuse for a new vehicle coming into the market today to be without ESC, which is now mandatory for passenger cars,” he said.

Utes require ESC to achieve four stars under ANCAP rules introduced last year, but it is unclear if that would have got it across the line anyway, as its crash test performance was described by ANCAP as “relatively poor”.

64 center imageLeft: Toyota Landcruiser and Mitsubishi Pajero undergo ANCAP tests.

Importer FFA Automotive had anticipated four stars for the dual-cab ute that went on sale in Australia in November.

The Tunland was said to have been designed for western markets by Foton – one of the world’s biggest commercial vehicle makers.

So far, no Chinese-made ute has managed four stars in ANCAP testing, with Great Wall’s popular V240 getting only two stars.

However, Great Wall’s X240 SUV scored four stars in testing last year – the best of any Chinese vehicle to date under local assessment.

Chery’s J11 SUV scored only two stars, while its small hatchback stablemate, the J1 got three.

While Foton fell short in the most recent round of tests, two of Australia’s best-selling large SUVs, the Toyota Landcruiser and Mitsubishi Pajero, now have been given a clean sweep of five-star results.

The addition of dual knee-protecting airbags to the Landcruiser 200 series GX and GXL models means these variants join the upmarket VX and Sahara Landcruisers on the five-star list.

Safety upgrades to Mitsubishi Pajeros built from April this year also mean five-star protection for occupants.

The Pajero previously was rated at four stars, with protection from serious leg injury described as marginal.

“These (Pajero and Landcruiser) are very popular choices for fleets and families alike, and we now know they'll be better protected in these upgraded models,” Mr Lauchlan said.

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