Global NCAP: ‘democratise safety’ for all cars worldwide by 2020

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Global NCAP Chairman Max Mosley
Global NCAP Chairman Max Mosley

Millions of new cars sold in middle and low income countries fail to meet the UN’s basic safety standards for front and side impacts, international automotive safety watchdog Global NCAP has said in a new report published on 10 March.

Global NCAP, which receives funding from the FIA Foundation, has set out ten policy recommendations for all new cars to meet basic safety standards for crash protection and crash avoidance.

The recommendations include: the adoption of minimum car safety regulations by UN Member States by the end of the UN Decade of Action in 2020; support by Governments and donors to extend consumer testing to all major automobile markets; that automobile manufacturers should make a voluntary commitment to apply front and side impact crash test standards to all new models from 2016; and that the industry should cease the practice of de-specification and bundling of safety features.

Speaking at the UN in Geneva during the launch of the new 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.”

In full, Global NCAP’s policy recommendations are:

  1. That all UN Member States adopt the following two stage minimum car safety regulation plan and implementation timescale by the end of the UN Decade of Action in 2020:
    STAGE 1 UN Regulations* for Frontal Impact (No.94), Side Impact (No.95), Seat Belt and Seat Belt Anchorages (No.14 & No.16)
    by 2016 for All All New Car Models Produced or Imported
    by 2018 for All Cars Produced or Imported
    STAGE 2
    UN Regulations* for Electronic Stability Control (No.13H or GTR. 8), Pedestrian Protection
    (No. 127 or GTR.9)
    by 2018 for All New Car Models Produced or Imported
    by 2020 for All Cars Produced or Imported
    *or equivalent Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs)
  2. All UN Member States with significant automobile production should participate in the World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations to promote a levelling up of the safety standards in an open and competitive market for automobiles and their components.
  3. Fleet purchasers both in the private and public sectors and rental companies should adopt Global NCAP’s Buyer’s Guide and choose ‘five star’ vehicles wherever possible.
  4. Governments and the insurance industry should provide fiscal incentives and to encourage more rapid deployment of new technologies through the passenger car fleet.
  5. NCAPs should be supported by Governments and donors to extend consumer related testing to include all the world’s major automobile markets and the widest range of models especially the most popular and important.
  6. Investment should be encouraged in laboratory capacity and skills training to enable homologation, in use compliance, and independent NCAP testing in all world regions.
  7. The automobile manufacturers should make a voluntary commitment to apply front and side impact crash test standards (UN Regs. 94 & 95 or FMVSS 208 & 214) to all their new models from 2016.
  8. The automotive industry should cease the practice of de-specification and bundling of safety features.
    Instead they should make available the full range of safety design and devices in all their major markets and price the relevant technologies separately.
  9. The automobile manufacturers should improve the content of their sustainability responsibility reporting to include data on the applied safety standards of its global vehicle production.
  10. To sustain the in-use safety of automobiles UN Member States should, a) apply conformity of production checks to models already approved on their market, b) carry out regular roadworthiness testing and include tyre depth and pressure checks in such PTI requirements, and c) consider using scrappage schemes to remove older unsafe vehicles from the road.

Global NCAP receives financial support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, International Consumer Testing and Research and the Road Safety Fund as well as the FIA Foundation.

Global NCAP supports the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety and is a member of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration. There are currently nine NCAP programmes or similar active across the world.

To download copies of the report Democratising Car Safety: Road Map for Safer Cars 2020

Visit Global NCAP at www.globalncap.org