A lot of us take modern car safety for granted these days, but in some markets, a worrying amount of vehicles offer extremely poor protection in the event of an accident.
As part of its Safer Cars for Africa campaign, Global NCAP tested an entry-level version of the Great Wall Steed pick-up truck, yielding a grand total of zero stars. The car has no airbags or seatbelt pre-tensioners, and even does without ABS.
The footage isn’t quite as horrifying as the video of Global NCAP’s Nissan Hardbody crash test, but the way the passenger cell deforms is still shocking. Even if the vehicle did have an airbag, the outlook for the occupants would still have been pretty grim, with the body shell integrity is described as “unstable”. Both the driver and front passenger’s knees may hit “dangerous structures” behind the dashboard, the report states, while driver chest protection is rated as “weak”.
Speaking about the test results, Global NCAP general secretary Alejandro Furas said:
“Another zero star rated ‘Bakkie’ gives us very serious cause for concern in our latest crash test results for Africa. The potential for life threatening injury in the Steed 5 follows the zero star performance of the Nissan Hardbody pick up. The contrast between the marketing claims for such vehicles and the reality of their poor safety performance could not be more stark.”
In the safety organisation’s latest batch of Safer Cars for Africa tests, the Renault Kwid and Haval H1 were also trialled. The two fared slightly better, but each still only managed a paltry two stars. Unlike the Great Wall, the Renault and Haval did come with airbags (two apiece), but the bodyshells were - again - rated as “unstable.”