The driver in the badly crumpled Hardbody (white vehicle) would probably have died, while the driver from the Navara would have walked away, says Global NCAP. Picture: SUPPLIED
The driver in the badly crumpled Hardbody (white vehicle) would probably have died, while the driver from the Navara would have walked away, says Global NCAP. Picture: SUPPLIED

A Global New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) test has revealed the stark differences in crash safety that can exist between new- and old-generation vehicles.

In a 56km/h head-on crash test between the Nissan NP300 Hardbody and new-generation Nissan Navara, the Hardbody performed significantly worse. The driver in the badly crumpled Hardbody would probably have died, whereas the Navara driver would have walked away, says Global NCAP president and CEO David Ward.

“The difference in crashworthiness is extraordinary,” he said.

Both vehicles have ABS brakes and airbags, but the Navara is fitted with electronic stability control, which is absent in the Hardbody.

The Global NCAP crash test was between a new 2019 African Nissan Hardbody and a second-hand 2015 Navara NP300 built in Europe, but the latter is the same Navara that was introduced to SA in 2017. The NP300 Hardbody is an old-generation, one-tonne bakkie that continues to sell in SA and elsewhere in Africa alongside the new-generation Navara.

The NP300 Hardbody was previously tested by Global NCAP and the AA in 2018 as part of the #SaferCarsForAfrica campaign and received a zero-star safety rating after the vehicle structure collapsed to the extent that the airbags were ineffective.

The Nissan Navara was tested by Euro NCAP in 2015 and achieved a four-star adult occupant rating.

Launched to coincide with this week’s third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Sweden, both of the crashed vehicles will be on public display as part of the “People’s Exhibition” at Stockholm Central Railway Station. Global NCAP is partnering with the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety in hosting the exhibition.

The call to action from the #50by30 themed display will be the adoption by governments worldwide of a new target to halve road deaths and serious injuries by 2030.

“These results are extremely worrying and point to a major deficiency in the quality of vehicles available in Africa,” said Willem Groenewald, CEO of the AA.

“We have for a long time been concerned that vehicles available in Africa are inferior to those in other markets such as Europe and Asia, and these results seem to confirm that concern.”

He said it highlights the need for stricter regulation of standards and tougher controls in terms of allowing inferior vehicles on to African roads.

Watch the crash test film here.

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