Nobody wants to be involved in a head-on collision, but the sad reality is that South African roads are not safe.
You probably expect, and rightfully so, that newer vehicles are designed with safety measures front and centre, but it appears that isn’t always the case.
Take the recent test conducted on the Nissan NP300 Hardbody, for example. Whilst the model didn’t feature on Leisure Wheels magazine’s list of bakkie of the year, it is one of the best-selling vehicles in Africa.
More specifically, reports Wheels24, the NP300 is usually amongst the top 10 selling vehicles in South Africa, month in and month out.
If you’re behind the wheels of one of these, or are looking to snap up some new wheels, here’s something to consider:
In 2019, news broke on a 2018 Hardbody’s inability to fully protect its occupants in the event of an accident. Despite the harrowing results of that test, it did little to deter the bakkie’s sales success both in South Africa and across the greater African continent.
Not satisfied with the then-results, the Global NCAP pitted a new 2019 Nissan NP300 Hardbody against a second-hand 2015 Navara Hardbody, European-spec, and had the two vehicles drive into each other at 56km/h.
The results of this test speak for themselves:
When the Global NCAP (an international car safety program tasked with evaluating new automobile designs) compared the two cars in tabular form, the difference was alarming:
In case you didn’t watch the video above, the man featured, Global NCAP CEO and president David Ward, spells things out clearly:
“This is a very dramatic car to car crash test which uniquely illustrates the double standard in vehicle safety performance between models sold in Europe and those sold in Africa.
“The difference in crashworthiness is extraordinary. The new Nissan Hardbody performs significantly worse than the second-hand Nissan Navara, to the extent that the driver in the new African Nissan would likely have died from their injuries but the driver from the second-hand European Nissan would have walked away.”
When Wheels24 reached out to Nissan South Africa for comment, the company released a statement saying the “locally produced NP300 Hardbody meets all safety regulations within Africa”.
Willem Groenewald, CEO of the AA, says that is part of the problem:
“What this car-to-car crash also demonstrates is a complete disdain for African vehicle consumers and their safety at the expense of profit. It also again highlights the need for stricter regulation of standards and tougher controls in terms of allowing these inferior vehicles on to African roads.”
Improvement in those areas mentioned above would be nice, thanks.
South Africans tend to be very touchy about their bakkies, so I wonder how those who forked out for new Nissan NP300 Hardbody will react to the news.
Deep breaths, people.
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