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ANCAP adopts Euro NCAP’s latest crash tests

Safety steps up: the second-generation Nissan Juke will be one of the last new models to be tested using the 2019 ANCAP safety tests.

Tougher moving-car crash testing will be carried out by ANCAP from June

21 May 2020

AUSTRALIAN new vehicle crash testing protocols will be drastically increased this year when the latest European safety regime is adopted locally in June.


Car-makers must fall in line with a new test – a moving vehicle hitting a moving barrier – to retain or be eligible for a five-star safety rating with the assessment set to include the use of the world’s most advanced crash-test dummy.


The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) aligned itself with Euro NCAP testing procedures and protocols in 2018 and will introduce the new testing from next month with the first new vehicle expected to be assessed in the closing weeks of June.


ANCAP director Rhianne Robson said “we are in complete alignment with Euro NCAP, so any step change is a joint approach so our protocols and policies are aligned.”


“We have common protocols between the Australasian market and the European market.”


The new test is a frontal crash test involving a moving deformable barrier and a moving car, replacing the offset-deformable barrier test that Euro NCAP has used for the past 23 years.


Euro NCAP said the new test “not only evaluates the protection of occupants inside the car, but also assesses how the cars’ front-end structures contribute to injuries in the collision partner.”


New for the 2020 tests are the mobile barrier and a unique method to rate vehicle compatibility. It also debuts the “THOR” mid-sized male crash test dummy that is the most advanced frontal-impact dummy and relays head, neck and chest injuries.


“Side impacts account for the second highest frequency of death or serious injuries,” Euro NCAP said in a statement.


“The latest updates to this area of the safety assessment include adjustments to the near-side barrier test speed and mass, increasing the severity of the test. 


“More significantly, Euro NCAP will for the first time evaluate far-side impact protection, focusing on driver protection and the potential interaction between driver and front seat passenger. 


“With the latter test, the protection offered by new-to-market countermeasures such as centre airbags can be adequately verified.”


The new test will be applied for any vehicles rated from this year as ANCAP winds down its reviews of 2019 vehicles, most recently the second-generation Nissan Juke.


“We have had a slow start for this year because of step changes from January and most brands put forward vehicles for testing from the latter part of last year,” Mrs Robson said.


“The delayed testing program was then exacerbated by COVID-19.”


Mrs Robson added some of the European test laboratories had not been testing because of the physical barriers in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


“We are expecting to see our first 2020 vehicles come out in late June,” she said.


“Some of the vehicles released this year have been to 2019 protocols mainly because these vehicles were released in Europe first, and so we have yet to see 2020 rated vehicles.”


Despite the news from Euro NCAP, vehicle manufacturers would have been told about this new change about four or five years ago while ANCAP published news of the impending changes in August last year.


Mrs Robson said vehicle manufacturers were stepping up to the changing regulations of safety which was shown in the five-star ratings that many continue to achieve. 


“Even though the stringency of our criteria is increasing, we are seeing vehicle brands responding and providing increased safety to the market,” she said.

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