Many Cars In Developing Countries Fail UN Safety Standards

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Many Cars In Developing Countries Fail UN Safety Standards

The United Nations (UN) has expressed its concern that many new cars sold in developing countries still fail to meet basic UN safety standards for occupant protection against frontal and side impact.

Speaking in Geneva during the launch of the UN's policy report Democratising Car Safety: Road Map for Safer Cars 2020, Global NCAP Chairman Max Mosley said:

“Safety improvements stimulated by legislation and consumer awareness campaigns in high income economies that have saved hundreds of thousands of lives are not yet systematically available for drivers and their families in rapidly growing lower income markets. “For example, crash test standards introduced twenty years ago for cars sold in Europe, are yet to be met by many new cars, and even brand new models, being sold today in leading middle income countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. This is entirely unacceptable. Manufacturers cannot continue to treat millions of their customers as second class citizens when it comes to life saving standards of occupant protection.”

David Ward, Global NCAP Secretary General and author of the new report said, “The drive for the democratisation of car safety must now be extended across all automotive markets worldwide. By 2020 at the latest we want all new cars to meet basic standards for both crash protection and crash avoidance. They must have crumple zones, air bags, and electronic stability control. Our new report sets out ten clear recommendations to transform global car safety as well as a realistic and affordable timetable for their implementation. “Taken together these life saving recommendations have the potential to prevent tens of thousands of avoidable deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries every year.”

Global NCAP is strongly urging governments around the world to adopt the following safety regulations, as well as making Electronic Stability Control (ESC) a mandatory feature for all new cars.

Reg. 94 Occupant protection in frontal collision

Reg. 95 Occupant protection in lateral (side) collision

Reg. 12 Steering mechanism – frontal impact (partly covered by Reg.94)

Reg. 14 Seat belt anchorages

Reg. 16 Safety belts and restraint systems

Reg. 17 Strength of seats, their anchorages and any head restraint

Reg. 21 Interior fittings

Reg. 26 External projections

Reg. 44 Child restraint systems

GTR  7 Head restraints

GTR  8 Electronic stability control

GTR  9 Pedestrian protection

In Malaysia, many of these regulations have already been gazetted, with all new models homologated after 1-January 2012 meeting the minimum Reg. 94 and Reg. 95 standards for passive safety. Active safety however, could be improved further. ESC (GTR 8) is already a compulsory feature in Australia, Europe, and the USA since 2012.

For more tips on how to choose a safe car to buy, read more here.



As someone who appreciates cars not just for their horsepower value but also for their cultural significance, he is interested in the art of manufacturing and selling cars just as much as driving them. Prior to swapping spread sheets for a word processor, he spent his previous life in product planning and market research.


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