July 20, 2024

Brighton Journal

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How to Know if Your Car is a Death Trap

How to Know if Your Car is a Death Trap
In September Latin NCAP published the test results of the Hyundai Nuevo HB20, which received 3 stars after upgrading its equipment.

When choosing a new or used car, safety is usually not one of the main concerns of users. Not from regulators or manufacturers, at least not everywhere in the world.

Information about what protection drivers and passengers receive from automobiles in circulation in Argentina appears to be relatively opaque or often distorted. But a global NGO dedicated to reducing the number of injuries and deaths from traffic accidents is trying to change that, creating information specific to each market in the world.

About 4,000 people die each year in Argentina from traffic accidents. It is the leading cause of violent death in the country, even surpassing suicides and deliberate homicides, one of the major social concerns.

Since 2010, an NGO, daughter of an international association, has been trying to ensure the concern of reducing accidents in Argentina and throughout the region. About Latin NCAPA partner at Global NCAP and many similar companies conducts investigations – through sheer shock and torture Crash test dummies– The security provided by the models, literally spreads to every corner of the world, so that users have the information to decide and their decisions, over time, force the industry to raise its standards.

One model does not provide the same protection in all markets (Furas).

“One problem consumers face is that automakers often introduce a new model, test its safety, and then advertise their crash test results in all the markets in which they operate. But the same model does not offer the same level of safety in all these markets because manufacturing standards are very different. Also, To save costs, importers ask for versions with fewer features“, I said Infobae Alejandro FurasGeneral Secretary of the New Car Assessment Program for Latin America and the Caribbean (Latin NCAP) and Technical Director of Global NCAP.

Automakers who meet the highest safety requirements in Europe, the United States, and other first-world markets, but move their production to countries like Argentina, Brazil, or Mexico, settle for cheaper processes that offer little protection for drivers, passengers, and bystanders. , Latin NCAP was launched to assess units across the Latin American region so the public knows what cars they drive.

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Funded by the Inter-American Development Bank, Bloomberg Philanthropies, FIA Foundation, Global NCAP and ICRD, the hypothesis behind the initiative – according to data on its website – By placing responsibility on the behavior of drivers, the area is more conducive to preventing accidentsCyclists and pedestrians.

Crash test dummies need a precise ambient temperature so their sensors can function properly (Shutterstock)
Crash test dummies need a precise ambient temperature so their sensors can function properly (Shutterstock)

“It is a convenient solution. Accidents are the result of behavioral problems and some others. But it is one of the factors that affect the incidence and severity of traffic accidents. Factors like road infrastructure, sanitation and so on. Among them, incorporating passive and active safety measures in cars has a very big impact. But that The issue is not at the center of the debate,” says the Uruguayan-born mechanical engineer, former race car coach and renewable fuel researcher who currently heads the Latin NCAP and conducts crash tests at the ADAC (German Automobile Club) laboratory in Landsberg am Lech, a suburb south of Munich, Germany.

Every year, A The laboratory is in the form of a straight track 168 meters longCovering 72 meters, a pulley system moves steel cables through an opening in the floor that accelerates cars to speeds required to simulate accidents and test results.

All markets in the world have a minimum level of protection, which arises from regulation. That, for us, is point zero (Furas).

A combination of film sets and high-tech institutions, The Crash Test Laboratory From Landsberg am Lech Crash Test Dummies – All You Need – Human-inspired dummies used to test damage caused by people involved in collisions. They cost up to 1,000,000 euros Everyone – feel at home. They have very specific requirements such as deactivation within a very precise ambient temperature range. At least, if its sensors are to function properly.

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Tests –Evaluating the safety of adults and children in frontal collisions at 64 km/h and side collisions at 50 km/h– They give each model a score based on whether or not it provides adequate protection for the driver, passengers, child passengers and pedestrians. The system awards a maximum of five stars to models that offer the most protection for their occupants and their child occupants. Zero stars, Latin NCAP maintains, approve regulations but do not provide reasonable protection in the event of an accident.

“There is a minimum level of safety in all markets in the world that arises from regulation. That, for us, is point zero. We want to take it too far and regulations are not always very effective. Rating and advertising of that rating leads to demand from manufacturers to the public, an offer to manufacturers that focus on safety. and improve industry standards,” Furas said.

Toyota Hilux testing at ADAC's (German Automobile Club) Landsberg am Legh laboratory
Toyota Hilux testing at ADAC’s (German Automobile Club) Landsberg am Legh laboratory

Other NCAPs around the world have made great strides in this. A notable case is that Australia, which had difficulty passing legislation in Congress to raise the minimum safety standards offered by manufacturers, decided not to regulate anything. Encourage more.

The country decided to take the Global NCAP rankings and announce it No government agency will buy cars that don’t get at least 4 stars in crash tests. NGO A year later, they announced an upgrade to at least five stars. Within a few years, fewer cars were being sold in the country. And there is no need to negotiate legislator through legislator.

According to Latin NCAP technicians, this area is progressing very fast in terms of vehicle safety. But in the opposite direction: until recently an “average” region in terms of safety seems to be in a hurry to quickly take the top spot in the ranking of regions with the least safe cars. The adoption of increasingly ambitious standards in India and Africa means that Latin Americans no longer have only Europe and the United States to envy.

Several collisions are carried out per week at the ADAC laboratory
Several collisions are carried out per week at the ADAC laboratory

Regulation is not the answer in Latin NCAP’s view. Rules are necessary, of course, but they are still the minimum to work. The rest involves active demand for improvements coming from users and companies, and spreading each model’s security levels across each market.

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The Latin NCAP did not produce anything good – at least from the point of view of the automakers – Rating system accessible in two clicks. It is hosted on the Latin NCAP website and allows access to the results achieved by the best-selling cars in the region in their basic versions.

That’s because the organization understands that those models are the ones that need the most improvements, and that if automakers are willing to pay for better safety features, they should subject those more expensive models to specific tests and advertise them separately with a corresponding rating. .

“Conceptually A zero-star car means one of its occupants can sustain life-threatening injuries. Any of the rated shock configurations. A five-star car, under the same crash conditions, has a higher probability that its occupants will not suffer serious or permanent injuries,” explains Latin NCAP.

The results show that Only 8 models sold in the region achieve 5 stars. Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan Qashai, Toyota Corolla, Volkswagen Nivus, Volkswagen Nuevo Virtus, Volkswagen Taos and Volkswagen Taigun. The list is completed with the Chevrolet Tracker, which received three stars in the 2022 test, albeit with one star: a fire in the seat belt pretensioner after a side crash test. The discovery forced the company to issue a recall – calling in a workshop to replace units already in circulation.

However, the model name isn’t enough to tell you that you’re looking at a five-star safety-rated car. The tests are very specific, and the page provides details such as the year each test is valid and the serial numbers of the models that qualify for that rating, so you can make sure what kind of car you’re buying.