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WATCH | Mazda2 and Nissan Almera record mixed results in latest #SaferCarsForAfrica crash testing

Global NCAP and the Automobile Association of SA (AA) launched on Thursday a new round of #SaferCarsForAfrica crash test results with the support of the FIA Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

In this round two vehicles were subject to testing: the Mazda2 hatch and Nissan Almera sedan. Locally the latter is popular with ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Bolt. 

The Mazda2 equipped with driver and passenger airbags achieved four stars for adult occupant protection and three stars for children. The Nissan Almera with driver and passenger airbags scored three stars for adult occupants and three stars for children.

Both models showed seat failures during testing, the Nissan with a seat detachment and the Mazda with a backrest failure. Though these did not have significant effects on the assessment ratings, which are based on injury criteria, the failures are of serious concern and Global NCAP has raised them with each manufacturer as a matter of urgency.

“Though the latest #SaferCarsForAfrica tests showed average results, we are concerned that both cars had failures in their driver seats, more severe in the Nissan than in the Mazda,” says NCAP secretary-general Alejandro Furas.

#safercarsforafrica results 2017 to 2021.
#safercarsforafrica results 2017 to 2021.
Image: Supplied

“Global NCAP calls on both car makers to review these failures as a matter of urgency. We would also call on them to improve the basic safety offered in these models as standard, adding Electronic Stability Control (ESC), pedestrian protection and side body and head airbags as soon as possible.”

Both models were equipped with ISOFIX anchorages and when combined with effective Child Restraint Systems (CRS) showed good protection in the dynamic test. However, one must note that neither the Mazda nor the Nissan offers the possibility of disconnecting the passenger airbag when a rearward facing CRS is installed in the passenger seat.

“#SaferCarsforAfrica is an important programme for the AA as we continue to push for better safety standards on vehicles for local consumers,” says AA CEO Willem Groenewald. “The results of the fifth round of testing are encouraging, especially the four-star rating achieved by the Mazda2.”

“However, the results show there are still some safety deficiencies on vehicles available in SA and this should, again, serve as a marker to manufacturers and safety authorities of the need for improved basic safety features which should be offered as standard on all models available locally,” Groenewald concludes.

Global NCAP’s #SaferCarsForAfrica project tests frontal crash protection for occupants only. Side impact and pedestrian protection assessments will form part of the further evolution of Global NCAP’s crash test protocols in Africa.

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