Meet UN car safety standards worldwide by 2020, motor industry told

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NCAP tests show many new cars fail to meet basic occupant safety levels
NCAP tests show many new cars fail to meet basic occupant safety levels
Vehicle safety campaigners briefed media at the Latin NCAP event
Vehicle safety campaigners briefed media at the Latin NCAP event
German auto club ADAC hosted the briefing at its Test Centre
German auto club ADAC hosted the briefing at its Test Centre

The FIA Foundation has joined the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and Global NCAP in calling for minimum vehicle safety standards for all cars by 2020.

Tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries could be avoided each year in the world if all countries would apply the safety standards outlined in the UN regulations developed by the World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations, hosted by UNECE. The results of crash tests performed by the Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP) and its regional affiliates over the past years have shown that millions of new cars sold in middle and low income countries fail to meet the UN’s regulations for front and side crash tests.

At a media briefing on Latin NCAP crash test results hosted at the German automobile club ADAC’s technical test facility in Landsberg am Lech, Germany, FIA Foundation Director of Partnerships Rita Cuypers joined UNECE Executive Secretary Christian Friis Bach (see photo above) and Global NCAP Secretary General David Ward to urge early action by the motor industry to meet minimum UN safety regulations in all new cars as part of the effort to achieve the 2020 road safety target of the new Global Goals.

The Latin NCAP event gathered media from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Spain and Uruguay, and brought together some of Latin NCAP’s Founding Members including the Ibero-American Road Safety Observatory OISEV, represented by its President Felipe Rodriguez Laguens; the FIA Region IV; the Automobile Club of Uruguay; MAPFRE Foundation and consumer organisations including Proteste. Cars purchased by Latin NCAP are sent to the ADAC laboratories for crash testing. Latin NCAP’s work is co-funded by the FIA Foundation, which helped to establish the independent consumer crash test initiative – the first in Latin America - in 2010.

UNECE Executive Secretary Christian Friis Bach said: “We cannot accept that cars sold in middle and low income countries be deliberately less safe than those sold in developed countries. I therefore call on the motor industry as a whole to ensure that well-established safety standards be applied to all vehicles sold worldwide. I also urge all UN member States to ratify and fully apply the UN legal instruments on road safety, in particular the UN technical regulations for the construction of vehicles. I invite all countries producing cars to join the World Forum and participate in the further development of regulations.”

David Ward, Global NCAP Secretary General, said: “By the end of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020) 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 latest report sets out ten clear recommendations to meet this deadline, and we are convinced that this timetable is both realistic and affordable”.

Rita Cuypers, Director of Partnerships at the FIA Foundation, said: “A signifiant proportion of new cars are still being produced without meeting basic crash protection standards. Tens of thousands of preventable deaths and injuries are happening as a result. This is unacceptable. Car companies can pose as safety champions on one continent, while undermining safety efforts on another. Through our support for Global NCAP and regional NCAP initiatives in Latin America and Asia, the FIA Foundation is determined to make the car industry meet its ethical obligations and its responsibility to help achieve the ambitious new road traffic fatality reduction target of the Global Goals.”