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Second chance for Hyundai's Tucson

Second life: Hyundai has fixed the problems preventing its Tucson from achieving a maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating by reinforcing the driver's footwell, giving better lower leg protection in a crash.

Safety concern fixed to give Hyundai Tucson a new five-star ANCAP rating

11 Jan 2016

HYUNDAI Motor Company Australia (HMCA) has strengthened the driver's footwell in its Tucson mid-sized SUV to attain a five-star safety rating with the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), after previously being awarded a surprise four-star rating.

The original ANCAP crash test, conducted in early November, revealed the Tucson suffered from a compromised driver footwell structure, which could result in an injury to the driver's lower left leg area in a crash.

This resulted in a score of 0.41 out of a possible four in the 'occupant safety: lower leg' crash test, and while the Tucson achieved six perfect scores out of the total of eight crash tests and nabbed five stars in the Euro NCAP crash test, the South-Korean mid-size SUV walked away with one less star than Hyundai was hoping for.

The redesigned Tucson now achieves a score of 2.8 in the same test, elevating it to a five-star rating and ensuring Hyundai now boasts an entire passenger car and SUV range with a maximum safety rating across the board.

The only vehicles in Hyundai's Australian range not to achieve the top score are the iLoad commercial van and related iMax people-mover.

Hyundai would not go into detail about the changes, but HMCA public relations general manager Bill Thomas said it was important to maintain safety standards across its range.

“In this case, the original four-star rating for Active X by no means indicated that the vehicle was unsafe – it is superbly equipped with modern safety features and has tremendous ability to avoid an accident before it happens,” he said.

“But as a brand, we think it's important to maintain a five-star standard with our range wherever we can – as this was an issue with the crash test result itself, it needed to be addressed.” After the lacklustre crash test performance late last year, Hyundai flew in a team of engineers from its research and development centre in South Korea to make the necessary revisions, which were put in place for all Tucsons built in Korea from mid-November and Tucsons built in the Czech Republic from mid-December.

HMCA chief operating officer Scott Grant said Hyundai is very pleased with the new crash test result and will remain committed to improving safety in the future.

“We are pleased that the Tucson has now been awarded a 5 Star safety rating by ANCAP,” he said.

“The Australian score now matches the 5 Stars awarded to Tucson in Europe by Euro NCAP, and is also in line with the maximum safety score achieved by Tucson in the United States.

“Our vehicles are continually improved throughout their production cycles, and this is an example of that development process in action.

“The fast work in bringing Tucson to 5 Stars in Australia is a clear indication of our commitment to the highest safety standards – Tucson is a strong, safe vehicle and following this result, the Australian range of Hyundai passenger cars and SUVs remains 5 Star rated across the board.” Last month the Tucson found 1672 new homes for its mid-size SUV, ranking second in its segment behind Mazda's ever-popular CX-5 (1917) and ahead of Toyota's RAV4 (1630), Mitsubishi's Outlander (1338) and Nissan's X-Trail (1234).

Hyundai has sold 5390 Tucsons since being launched locally less than six months ago.

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