The age of vehicles involved in fatalities is rising and the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) doesn’t like it. They test brand new vehicles when released on the market and give them a six-year date stamp, but after that there is no check-up or reassessment.
“I think we’ve lost sight on the entire fleet”, ANCAP chief executive James Goodwin recently admitted. That’s why they made new plans to apply the new rating standards to ageing cars.
Of course it’s not correct or safe that a vehicle released before 2018 can maintain the same star safety rating they received when new for years on end. Newer cars, being tested against the latest safety equipment and crash structure regimes could even score lower while actually being safer. The ANCAP calls this system ‘legacy ruling’ and that’s what they’re planning to abolish to ensure the safest cars on the road are actually the safest.
“We think safety is exceptionally important for our customers”, says Toyota Moorooka Sales Manager James Leighton. “That’s why we always point out the available safety features and make sure we keep up-to-date with the latest technologies, like Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning. Most customers assume a new car’s safety features are up to the highest standard, and it’s our job to make sure they actually aware what they are”
According to the ANCAP ‘date-stamping’ vehicles also leads to confusion over the safety credentials of a new car. In 2016, vehicles over 15 years old represented 20 per cent of registered vehicles, yet were involved in 36 per cent of fatalities. In contrast, vehicles less than five years of age represented 31 per cent of passenger cars on the road, yet were involved in only 12 per cent of fatalities. This obviously says something about the safety of older vehicles and the need for a proper and updated safety rating.
“Older cars are seriously overrepresented in serious crashes”, says Goodwin. “It’s not as though those vehicles are more likely to be involved in more crashes; it’s more around the survivability. The fundamentals of the average 1990s to 2000 models are not likely to protect people very well.” Yet some of them still rock the maximum 5-star ANCAP rating, relevant back in the days but out dated at present.
Worried about the safety of your vehicle? Download the ANCAP Safety app or visit one of our dealers in Moorooka, Springwood or Browns Plains to check out the latest models with the highest – current – ANCAP safety rating!